This friday we had our betriebsausflug. A department outing. I’m not sure if this is a German thing or an SAP thing, but I can’t help thinking of school outings for grown ups. A fine thing indeed. We drove down the motorway to Stuttgart, visited the Mercedes Benz museum and then had a guided tour of the Weissenhofstiedlung. (more in a later post on that)
The museum is fabulous. I was flabbergasted that in 1909 Benz built a car with over 200bhp that had a top speed of over 230 kms. But more than anything I was captivated by the beauty of good design.
I wish I’d had a real car design expert with me. (the gearhead in me enjoys the metacool blog) but the audio service at the museum was pretty good.
I learnt something about the 300SL that I didn’t know. The gullwing doors were an innovative answer to a challenge that the new chassis design had created. The race car was built to be light and strong with a new tubular construction form, but the structure made it impossible to add a normal door, this would have sacrificed the torsonal strength.
So the designers came up with this.
Mercedes-Benz needed a lot of convincing to turn the racing car into a production model, but it is a good thing they did.