The Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart is one of the largest and most visited industrial museums in the world. But the 160 or so automobiles on display are only a small part of the shiny chrome treasures that form the Mercedes-Benz Classic vehicle collection. Another 1,000 historical models are ‘parked’ in secret places outside Stuttgart – these secret places are called the ‘Holy Halls’.
This collection is the treasure trove of the brand. It has existed since 1923 and offers a comprehensive overview of the model history of Mercedes-Benz. Cars with special technology and equipment are stored here, as are the silver arrows of Caracciola, Lang and Fangio, the Pope’s carriages, the state cars of the young Federal Republic of Germany or Mercedes models that became collectors’ items due to their prominent previous owners. Some of these exhibits are well protected and waiting in special wooden boxes for their next use at exhibitions, fairs, events or classic car races. Others stand next to each other as silent witnesses of the past. Each time a model is modified, the collection is extended by the last vehicle of the discontinued series, which experts believe will be one of tomorrow’s classic cars.
The ‘Holy Halls’ are not open to the public; enquiries from editorial offices and TV teams have often been rejected. But, during the years 2016 to 2018, almost all the vehicles of the Mercedes collection were photographed. Thus, a unique photographic collection was created, the automobile history from more than ten decades; many of the previously unpublished photographs are exclusively available here in this book. In addition, Mercedes-Benz Classic agreed to open the ‘Holy Halls’ for an external photo team and provide information about the car models stored there.
For the first time, it has been possible to produce a fascinating illustrated book with panoramic and detailed shots from the ‘halls’, and lively photo reports on cars that tell stories – from the first Benz batting motor car to the latest Formula 1 racing car. Equally thrilling are the stories of the unique specimens and prototypes that are stored in the ‘Holy Halls’: Mercedes models that never went into production are presented for the first time. The stories about the selected automobiles of the vehicle collection are supplemented by historical recordings from the Mercedes-Benz Classic archive.
Illustrations: 207 color