The Secret Car Collection of Mercedes-Benz

Holy Halls
Mercedes-Benz’ Secret Car Collection

I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I have never been to Germany, much less the architectural masterpiece that is the spiraling aluminum and glass clad Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. Conceived in 2006 and designed by UNStudio, the Museum’s trefoil inspired perimeter layout and DNA helix inspired internal walkways were the basis for what would become one of the globe’s most unique Museum structures. And one that warrants careful study in itself.

The vast raw concrete inner surfaces – cast at night to obtain purity of texture and color – provide an ideal backdrop to highlight Mercedes’ extraordinarily diverse collection of motor cars and trucks. Typically there are about 160 vehicles on display. It’s widely known, however, that the factory has in fact accumulated a collection of over 1,000 vehicles. Which has begged the question over the decades; where do the other cars reside?


The shots of the sliver arrows taken in the dark are surreal.



A parade of luxury and performance: I’d love to see how many miles are on some of these cars, particularly the more mundane sedans. 300 Adenauer with the webasto sunroof at right would be nice to have. 

Hidden Treasures

A new book, “Holy Halls. The Secret Car Collection of Mercedes-Benz” answers that question in spectacularly brilliant fashion. Author Christof Vieweg was allowed to wander among MB’s stunning hidden collection of vehicles housed within 12 inconspicuous buildings scattered about in Stuttgart. With photographer, Igor Panitz, in tow Vieweg curated 207 photographs which he presents in the 244 page hardback book.

In addition to the shots taken within the storage facilities, 50 cars were shot in Akka Concept GmbH’s studio in Sindelfingen utilizing the Circulight lighting process invented by the studio’s founder. Harry Ruckaberle. Based on the images presented here, the result is eye popping. The shots of the sliver arrows taken in the dark are surreal.

Stored gems: Fancy the brilliant C111s? How about a SLR Stirling Moss edition or a slightly used Grand Prix car? They’re all in the book.

A must have Book

I just ordered my copy, despite the fact it is in German. My sense is that the book’s language is largely photographic. I, like many of you, will be fairly familiar with the cars but will undoubtedly be fascinated with the presentation and the rich photography.

The book is available on Amazon at the moment: German edition: “Heilige Hallen – Die geheime Fahrzeugsammlung von Mercedes-Benz”, by Christof Vieweg, with photos by Igor Panitz and Harry Ruckaberle. Delius Klasing Verlag, Bielefeld, 244 pages, 207 photos and illustrations, size 26.9 x 28.9 cm, hardback, ISBN 978-3-667-11666-6

Silver Arrow lineup is hard to fully comprehend. Breathtaking motor racing cars evoking a legacy of motor racing excellence from Mercedes-Benz.

roy spencer/editor
photography/igor panitz

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