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Dr. Carl Benz Automotive Museum Moves To New Location

Dr. Carl Benz Automotive Museum Moves To New Location

Posted by on September 21, 2005 at 9:45 AM CST

If you're planning on visiting the Dr. Carl Benz Automotive Museum,  
you'll soon have to visit a new location.  This month, the museum is  
moving form its current Ladenburg location to the almost 100 year old  
halls of C. Benz Söhne.  The halls, which can be considered one of  
the birthplaces of the Mercedes-Benz brand, were restored with the  
help of Daimler Chrysler AG, and will house historical exhibits of  
the founder of the museum, collector Winfried A. Siedel.  Highlights  
include 40 passenger cars, race cars and trucks, two biographical  
exhibits relating to Karl Benz, and many other items and exhibits  
displaying the Benz engineering history.  The move is scheduled to  
take place this month.

You can read the full press release below.


Dr. Carl Benz Automotive Museum To Move Into The Historical Factory  
Of C. Benz Söhne

The Dr. Carl Benz automotive museum in Ladenburg will move, and the  
collection’s new domicile will be the factory halls, almost 100 years  
old, of C. Benz Söhne. The historical factory, in which the vehicles  
of the C. Benz Söhne brand were manufactured in the early 20th  
century, was restored with the support of DaimlerChrysler AG and will  
provide an appropriate setting for the historical exhibits of  
collector Winfried A. Seidel. The objects include biographical  
exhibits relating to Karl Benz, among them his office and two rare  
vehicles of the C. Benz Söhne brand. In addition, the museum presents  
some 40 passenger cars, trucks and racing cars – most of these of the  
Benz and Mercedes-Benz brands. These are complemented by bicycles,  
motorcycles and other exhibits relating to engineering history. The  
two-wheelers are also meant to build the bridge to Mannheim-born  
bicycle pioneer Karl von Drais.

New life in the “old factory”

The “old Benz factory” is what Ladenburg’s citizens call the  
impressive building on the banks of the River Neckar. The venerable  
halls on Ilvesheimer Straße in Ladenburg look anything but old,  
however. The brick walls proudly glow in the sun; inside freshly  
painted iron girders are glistening, and the air is filled with the  
fragrance of the newly laid wooden industrial parquet floors. And the  
blue sun, the signet of “C. Benz Söhne, Ladenburg bei Mannheim” (C.  
Benz & Sons, Ladenburg near Mannheim), hangs resplendent above the  
stairs leading up to the entrance.

During the first quarter of the 20th century, only around 320  
vehicles of this brand were manufactured here. At the time, there  
were many automotive factories as small as this one. But the company  
on the banks of the River Neckar differed from its competitors in one  
crucial aspect: its founder. It was no other than automotive pioneer  
Karl Benz who established the company in Ladenburg in the early 20th  
century, initially to produce engines. In later years, he changed to  
manufacturing automobiles together with his sons.

The mechanical engineering company C. Benz Söhne still exists today  
but moved into more modern buildings in Ladenburg. With the Dr. Carl  
Benz automotive museum founded by Winfried A. Seidel, a chapter of  
automotive history will return to its roots in September 2005. The  
highlights of the collection include, among other things, the last  
two vehicles of the C. Benz Söhne brand built in Ladenburg. These two  
touring cars left the brick halls in 1924 – and will return to their  
birth-place in the fall of 2005.

Collector and classic car expert Winfried A. Seidel is well aware of  
the special significance this historical site has for his museum:  
“The factory itself is now one of the most important exhibits.” After  
the extensive restoration of the building, financed by  
DaimlerChrysler AG, the Dr. Carl Benz museum will be enhanced not  
just by an exhibition area that is about a third larger. The new  
museum building is also an architectural memorial to the life and  
work of Karl Benz in Ladenburg, thus bearing witness to the region’s  
industrial history.

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