In 1903, Wilhelm Maybach developed the Mercedes Simplex in Stuttgart, the highlight of the car was the 60HP engine, this segment of cars kickstarted the ultra-luxury segment which has over time evolved into today’s S-Class sedans. One of these Simplex 60hp’s was owned by Emil Jellineck, the man who founded the brand Mercedes more than a century ago, and it is this very car which is very prominently displayed like a priceless jewel in the Legend 2 level of the museum. The car was in some sort the direct successor to the Mercedes 35hp, renowned as the first modern car produced in numbers.
This is the oldest car in the museum that has ever left for an extended period. The top model of the Simplex was a common sight amongst the highest echelons of society. The car is usually displayed on an inclined shiny black surface where it is an attraction for the visitors. Preparing the car for its journey was a logistical challenge, as the car weighs about 2.2 tons and had to be lifted from its supports without disturbing the surface, the huge crane system in the atrium of the museum along with special logistical machinery made this delicate process successful in a mere five minutes and about 7 floors of the museum. “This was the first time we have used a mobile mini-crane from Scholpp to manoeuvre the car out,” says Benedikt Weiler, curator of the museum.
The special lifting gear was moved by the museum’s crane system and then moved the car to the transport cage, which along with the crane system is capable of moving cars and loads of up to 20 tonnes which is sufficient for of the museum’s collection. The car was very meticulously lifted centimetre by centimetre, a team from Schlopp-the German industrial logistic experts were closely monitoring the move, being careful not to damage the priceless car or the special sloped Terrazzo flooring. The preparations for the move took about eight hours while the move in itself was done in ten minutes, just like clockwork, according to the curator.
The whole move was followed by a meticulous examination by the Mercedes-Benz Classic Workshop’s team of experts. After the inspection the car was underway to its destination in Fellbach, not too far from Stuttgart, to the Mercedes-Benz Classic Centre where the car will be displayed as an important part of the event focusing on the history of the S-class. The Simplex 60hp, in true automotive terms is the grandest and the first generation of the luxury saloon car.
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