Love, lust, and desire

There are few things/people that I love, lust, and desire.  Actually, there is only one thing and one person that fall into each category.  Of course, the person is my husband D.  The thing?

A Mercedes-Benz.  A car.  An automobile.

It’s an odd thing really, to lust after a machine, an inanimate object.  I don’t have the same love for rock stars or for athletes.  I don’t care that much for television and I watch movies when I feel like it.  And yes, I love my George Clooney (coffee machine) but I only love it.  I don’t lust after it nor do I desire it.

The one thing that I love, lust, and desire is a Mercedes-Benz.  There is just something about her…

I didn’t know much about the company’s history so a little reading, plus a visit to the Cité de l’Automobile in Mulhouse to see the Schlumpf Collection, was needed.

If you are an automobile buff like me the visit is totally worth it.  Fritz Schlumpf began collecting cars and housed them in his spinning mill, which is now the museum.  On a trip to Mulhouse D and I spent an afternoon at the museum ogling cars dating back to the late 1890s.  The museum houses some 400+ vehicles and you do need to dedicate several hours if you want to see them all.  D was there mainly to see the Bugattis and the Bentleys.

The 400+ vehicles include automobiles which date back to the late 1890s, including an 1893 Benz.  The museum also includes a section dedicated to race cars, including Renault’s driven by Michael Schumacher (for Benneton F1) and Alain Prost and Mika Häkkinen‘s Peugeot.

The chefs d’oeuvre or masterpieces of the museum are kept in a separate area.  The majority of cars in this category are Bugattis, of course, but you will also find a Peugeot, a Maybach, several Rolls Royces and Hispano-Suizas, among others.  (Speaking of Maybach, did you watch the video on their website?  Reclining seats in the back and a privacy screen?)  The section also includes a Delahaye Coach 135M from 1949 which comes with an interesting story.  The owner of the coach and his wife left France in 1951 for their honeymoon trip to the US.  The couple decided to stay in the US and lived there for years.  In 1986, the owner donated the car to the Museum using the return trip they had purchased in 1951!

The only other place I can think of where cars are front and centre for almost everyone is Monte Carlo.  Here, it’s all about Rolls Royce, Bentley, Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini.  Other cars feature too but the 5 auto makers listed  seem to command the most attention.  Still, I hang on to my personal bias especially when, among the crowd, I spy a McLaren Mercedes parked in front of the Cafe de Paris.  Be still my heart.  And much like the yachts in the port below it seems as though each owner or renter — yes, you can rent a Bentley — is trying to out-do the other.

Of course, my future includes a Mercedes-Benz of my own.  Until then, I will satisfy myself with regular visits to the Mercedes-Benz showroom on the Champs Elysées.

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Categories: Cité de l'Automobile, Mulhouse

Author:Tanya in Transition

I am a woman in transition. I left my job of 13 years to find happiness and France!

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2 Comments on “Love, lust, and desire”

  1. July 29, 2011 at 11:30 AM #

    I have never been enthralled with cars at all, but I do lust after some of these gorgeous old cars… we recently went to a small fair dedicated to the sale of old car and motorcycle parts (my husband is rebuilding a very cool 1957 Lambretta scooter) and there was a selection of super cool old cars – not the big fancy rich-people cars, but every day cars; and I wanted one! Any one! I’ll note down this museum for any future trip to Mulhouse!

    • July 30, 2011 at 5:02 AM #

      Yes, I love old cars and motorcycles. Those vintage vehicles are absolutely gorgeous. And yes, the museum is worth a stop. Their restaurant isn’t too bad either.

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