All sixteen nations of the 1974 World Cup were given a unique Mercedes-Benz team bus.

Heading for victory.

The first team bus of the 1974 German national football team celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Luxurious companion.

When the World Cup was held in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1974, Mercedes-Benz exclusively provided the players and officials with 72 model O 302 buses. Each of the sixteen nations of the 1974 World Cup were given a luxuriously equipped team bus for the duration of the championship.

On the outside, the sun-yellow paint of the bus was adorned with the national flag and the name of the team's home country in huge letters; inside, air conditioning, a galley and an on-board lavatory provided exceptional comfort – fittings that were not usual at the time.

When the Mercedes-Benz O 302 was built, no one guessed that the bus would write a chapter of football history.
The German national team's bus was given an enthusiastic welcome by the fans.

Historic unique item.

The sixteen nations competed with each other for the grand title in football stadiums in Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Munich. Among them, ahead of the field: the Federal Republic of Germany. The closer the team of Günther Netzer, Franz Beckenbauer and Berti Vogts got to the final, the more excitement the brightly-coloured bus created among the football fans. Frequently there were euphoric choruses of car horns on the autobahns. The team bus went with the footballers not only on their journeys from match to match, but finally to victory too: in 1974, the German national team became world champions. Since then, the bus has been a symbol of the football success of that year and brings back powerful memories.

At home in the world.

Following the World Cup, the unique vehicles were sold to various bus companies in Germany and internationally. There they remained in use for many years, mainly with the original paintwork. Today their trail leads to distant countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Argentina. The German team’s momentous bus disappeared without trace in the 1990s. That was why Mercedes-Benz rebuilt the former world champions’ O 302, identical down to the last detail, and exhibited it for visitors to get close up to at the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

This year, the bus’s 40th anniversary will be celebrated on 29 May, reminding us of the national team’s momentous victory in 1974. And who knows? Maybe the German football team will be heading for the title again this year with their Mercedes-Benz team bus.

Shining in sun-yellow paint: The replica of the 1974 German national team's bus at the Mercedes-Benz Museum.