Thursday, October 29, 2009

Deutsche Museum, Munich

Germany has many excellent technology museums and collections of which the Deutsche Museum in Munich is but one. Not as extensive as Sinshiem, the Deutsche Museum is spread across several buildings in central Munich. The automotive collection is not housed in the main museum but is situated in three adjoining buildings on Theresienhöhe Strasse, near Bavaria Park where the Octoberfest is held each year.

Although not an enormous collection it has an interesting display of racing vehicles, including a wonderful 1930s rear engined Audi, a 1950s Mercedes and a Messerschmit racer. The second hall has a fairly random collection of old veteran vehicles and bikes, some later German vehicles and an assortment of buses and trains. The first hall has an interesting display of urban vehicles from the 1930s to 1950s, including trams, fire engines and utility vehicles. With the exception of the racing display I think this is the best exhibition as there is a consistent theme.

This was the first time I'd actually seen a 'real life' Maico Mobile and I must admit to be very impressed. It is a truly amazing scooter. The urban display also featured quite a few interesting micro cars.

The original Benz motorwagon. It all starts her
And the Ford Model-T took motoring to the masses

Victoria "Vicky" moped

Another handsome moped by Victoria, this time the N99

Progress Strolch and a Kriedler Florett moped

A BMW Isetta, NSU Prima and a Zundapp 50cc moped

A Heinkel Perle moped and Heinkel 150

A Goggomobile sedan, NSU Quickly moped and a Messerschmitt

An IWL Berlin

A Durkopp Diana

A Durkopp Diana followed by the ubiquitous Citroen CV2

The classic French Citroen Traction Avant

Citroen DS. Once my dream car; now.... so many to choose?

The exceptional Tatra T87. This streamlined Czech car may have been the inspiration for the Volkswagon Beetle.  Hitler described the ultra-modern Tatra as the car for Germany's autobahns.

NSU Lambretta. NSU got back on its feet after the war building Italian Lambrettas. They quickly moved on to a new and improved version, the NSU Prima.

Vespa, Maico Mobil and a 1960 Fiat 600 Multipla

The magnificent Maico Mobil - two wheeled car

A very vintage Zundapp and Opel

Megola motorcycle. The Megola was a radically different motorcycle.  It was powered by a five cylinder radial engine mounted on the front wheel hub. It was started by spinning the front wheel while up on its stand. It had no clutch which meant that to stop the engine had to be switched off.  It was quite an impractical design but performed well in racing. 

A Zundapp Janus leads a column of economy vehicles

The Zundapp Janus has three doors, one in the side, one at the front and one at the rear.

Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 34

A magnificent 1939 Horch. The luxury marque of the Auto Union conglomerate.

1929 Mercedes-Benz

A Steyr 50. Compare this 1936 car with some of the other streamlined vehicles of the 1930's in my postings about the Tatra and Volkswagen Beetle. The Austrian Steyr company would later merge with motorcycle manufacturer Puch and Daimler to become Steyr-Daimler-Puch.

A Setra bus. German built under licence from Tatra.

A Goliath Pionier three-wheeled car. The budget Pionier was Carl Borgward's first motor car.

Veterans and trams

In the early 1920s the Rumpler company built this remarkable streamlined car. It featured a centrally mounted engine and extremely efficient streamlining.  About 300 were built but ultimately this radical, boat shaped car was just a little too unusual to be success.

A Bugatti

A classic Cadillac

1938 Audi

An Alfa Romeo roadster. About as sexy as they come. Here is a German link about this vehicle
1934 Auto Union type A. The first of a long line of world record breaking racers. The car was designed by Ferdinand Porsche and featured a massive 4.4 litre V 16 rear mounted engine, which made the type very difficult to handle. Only 5 Type A's were ever built but they led directly to the Type B, C and D racers that took the racing world by storm in the years before World War Two.

The Auto Union Type A and the world speed record breaking NSU Delphin III racer. In 1956 the 500cc three-cylinder engined motorcycle broke the 200kph barrier with a top speed of 211kph at Bonneville.

Mercedes Benz 300 SLR

Messerschmitt KR200 racer


  1. The one listed as a Tatraplan is in fact a T87.

  2. Thanks Craig. I've updated the blog. Cheers!

  3. not NSU Spider, VW Karmann Ghia typ 34 :