I had such a great time at Brooklands Museum that I continued with the motor theme this weekend and visited Mercedes Benz World. My intention was to visit this place on the same day I went to Brooklands as it’s situated just over the road however, I was having so much fun with the old cars that I ran out of time. No matter, the drive from Frimley to Weybridge is simple and well sign-posted. For exact details on how to get here click this.
Compared to Brooklands, Mercedes Benz World is all shiny and new and it’s the first thing that hits you as you enter, for free! The second is the longest escalator, as named by the staff.
I was greeted by a very helpful guide who handed me the day’s timetable. I had missed the 11 minute guided tour of the building so I aimed to catch the second tour at 3pm. However, I did get there in time for the Silver Arrows show. This was a display of mercs driving very fast in sync, weaving and winding on the track. Slick!
My exploration of the building started with the story of Mrs Bertha Benz’s and the Benz motorcar’s first long-distance journey on which she had several breakdowns. She managed the 180 km journey by using her hatpin to clear a carburettor blockage, replacing the worn insulation on a cable with a garter and topping up the fuel tank with a bottle of petrol bought at a chemist’s shop.
I was very impressed with this story and was further impressed by the claims that Mercedes invented a lot of the clever motor gizmos such as a hard rooftop, ABS and airbags. The list continued and then I came across this story. After dominating Grand Prix races in 1914, the latest Mercedes racing car attracted considerable public attention and was put on display in Germany and then in London. It happened to arrive just as the First World War started whereupon it was hidden.
Walter Bentley was convinced that the car’s engine contained important technical advances so on his initiative when war was declared a search team was sent in that found the Mercedes. It was then sent to Rolls Royce where the engine was stripped down and put on a test bench. It proved to be one of the best designs of its era and the knowledge thus gained is believed to have had a major influence on the design of Rolls Royce aero engines. It is rumoured that at the height of the war Mercedes sent a tongue-in-cheek invoice to Rolls Royce demanding a royalty payment.
No wonder this motto was all over the wall.
See what I mean by slick!
Even the loos were plush…
I then went on a passenger ride round the handling track for a reasonable £15 and got thrown around my seat but loved every second of it.
How many types of black is there?!!?
I was very lucky as there was an auction due to start the next day so there were additional cars on view.