The first exhibits can be found in Legend Room 1.
The first truck was built at a time when the steam engine was still predominant in other countries, for example in America, England and France. The first trucks with an internal combustion engine had speeds of 3-12 kilometres per hour and were also equipped for reversing.
Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft had been producing so-called business vehicles – today’s vans – since 1897. This vehicle on display was powered by a two-cylinder Phoenix engine and carried loads up to 1,100 pounds. Benz & Cie. had started selling similar delivery vehicles as early as 1896.
The next exhibits can be found in Collection Room 2.
The special high-speed transporter for racing cars was a one-of-a-kind specimen built by the Mercedes-Benz testing department. The racing department used the transporter, also called the “Blue Wonder”, to chauffeur its racing cars in 1955 – at speeds of up to 106 mph. As the original no longer exists, the vehicle was completely reconstructed with the help of documents from the archives.
The O 10000 saw duty in the 1930s as an urban bus and long-distance coach and impressed people by its very size. The exhibited vehicle served the Austrian Postal Service as a parcel truck after World War II, plying the Salzburg – Vienna route. Later on, it was converted into a mobile post office which saw use at events like the Salzburg Festival or as a temporary post office.
In 1935 Mercedes-Benz put the Gaggenau-built L 6500 heavy-duty truck on the market. It was equipped with a powerful six-cylinder diesel engine and specially designed for long-haul transportation work. The three-axle version with a payload capacity of ten tonnes was sold as the L 10000.
The next exhibits can be found in Collection Room 3.
The Mercedes-Benz Econic introduced in 1998 was specifically designed for urban use with its low frame, level cab floor and folding doors. It is mainly used for refuse collection, but also as a firefighting vehicle, beverage distributor or tank truck. A special feature of the exhibited vehicle is the practically dust- and particulate-free natural-gas drive.
This Mercedes-Benz L 409 served the German disaster relief organization THW in the 1980s and 1990s as a repair crew vehicle. It can carry six persons and 1.5 tons of equipment. The L 409 belongs to the van series which was manufactured from 1967 to 1986 and was also called the “Düsseldorf van” for the factory that built it.
Since 1951, Mercedes-Benz has been building the Unimog – a vehicle of many, many talents which has proven itself in agriculture and as a municipal vehicle. Typical of the Unimog are the portal axles, the snub-nosed cab, the single tyres and the all-wheel drive. With a snowplough, the U 500 shown here, a member of the Unimog generation launched in March 2000, can clear 1,600 tonnes of snow per hour.
The LF 3500 with turntable ladder embodied the state of the art in fire-fighting vehicle design in the early 1950s. The then ultramodern vehicle was built on the conventional chassis of the Mercedes-Benz 3.5-tonne truck and features a ladder from the Karlsruhe-based Metz company. Mechanically powered, the ladder has a vertical extension range of 72 feet.
The last exhibits can be found in Legend Room 7.
The 1450 S represented the first generation of Mercedes-Benz race trucks. Between 1989 and 1993 it was the most successful model in the European Truck Racing Cup and powered Thomas Hegmann to one title and Steve Parrish to three championship crowns in the top category of truck racing, the 18.5-litre (1,130-cubic-inch) displacement Class C.
Following in the tyre tracks of the 1450 S and 1834 S, the Atego race truck represented the third stage in the Mercedes-Benz race truck development programme. In 1998, its first season, Ludovic Faure drove the Atego to the European Truck Racing Cup title in the “Super Race Class” for purpose-built race trucks. In 2000 the Atego finished runner-up in the standings. Mercedes-Benz withdrew from truck racing at the end of the 2001 season.