Made in Stuttgart #1: Porsche Museum

One of the questions a lot of people ask me is whether I have a car. A GERMAN car. No, we don’t. An obvious question since we do live in the city of Porsche and Mercedes Benz. We don’t really need one because 1) we live right next to the subway, 2) it’s so much more practical to use the train or even just rent a car and 3) our home doesn’t have a parking space. It was either a parking space but far away from the center, or no parking space and right in the city center. But yes, there are a lot of nice cars on the streets, but it isn’t like EVERYBODY has one. Some German cars can also be a luxury even for Germans. They’re THAT good (the cars) and they’re THAT practical (the Germans).

독일에 사니 많이 받는 질문 중 하나는 그럼 독일차가 있겠네? 없습니다. 일단 집 바로 옆이 전철역이고 조금 더 가면 기차역, 거의 모든 곳이 전철이나 기차로 해결 가능하고 사실 여긴 자동차도로보단 기찻길이 먼저 생겨나서 기차나 전철이 훨씬 편하고 필요할때 렌트를 하는것이 훨씬 효과적. (아우토반은 또 다른 이야기) 아, 그리고 우리집은 주차공간이 없음. 우리 또래의 독일인들도 비슷한 상황. 특별히 필요하지 않은 이상 자동차, 그것도 포르쉐나 벤츠를 끌고 다닐 이유가 없는 것이 사실이다.

p31The original Porsche Museum opened in 1976, but the new one was completed in 2009. I sense there was a bit of an silent competition spark going on between the Porsche museum and the Mercedes Benz museum. The building is quite unique indeed, standing out from the usual red roofed houses and simple grey buildings around it. But then everyone seems to think the same thing. “Yup, that seems like the Porsche museum. Silver, sleek, shiny and simple.”

스튜트가르트는 포르쉐와 메르세데즈 벤츠의 본고장이다. 본사가 여기에 있고 박물관도 있다. 일년반넘게 살면서 이 두곳을 안가보다니. 부끄럽지만 이제 적어도 포르쉐는 갔다고 할 수 있게 됨. 포르쉐 박물관은 1976년에 열었다가 (벤츠가 멋진 박물관을 개관한 후) 재공사에 들어가 2009년에 새로 개관했다. 회색빛 하늘, 주변 회색 건물들과 빨간 지붕 집들과 다르게 눈에 띄는것이 사실. 번쩍이고 뭔가 시크한 느낌. 포르쉐의 느낌을 살리려는 의도였겠지만 사실 디자인을 맡은 건축가들의 개성일지도.

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p1The tickets have different cars on them, and I was so tempted to ask for more. Geeky.

표마다 그려진 자동차가 다른 것을 발견. 다 갖고 싶다.

p5Porsche was founded by Ferdinand Porsche, who was an automotive engineer/designer and the creator of the first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle, the Volkswagen Beetle and the Mercedes Benz SS/SSK, among others. (He was also an important figure during the World War II as a member of the Nazi party and also the SS). Stuttgart was already a highly demanded city for the automotive industry and Mr. Porsche spent a great deal of time creating, designing and perfecting various techniques and models.

One of his best known works was the assignment from the German government: to design a car for the people, or a “Volkswagen.” (Porsche also produced tanks during the WW2, which is something I never knew.) The first car to bear the Porsche brand was Porsche 356, which was produced in 1948 by Mr. Porsch’s son, Ferry Porsche, who made it because he couldn’t find a one he wanted to buy. How cool is that. The cooler fact was that when they first manufactured the 356, it was in an old saw mill. They made 49, built entirely by hand. WHAT? (It was named 356 because it was the 356th project)

pp포르쉐는 폭스바겐 비틀을 비롯한 자동차를 디자인한 페르난드 포르쉐의 브랜드. 정식적으로 스튜트가르트에서 시작되었다. 포르쉐씨의 뛰어난 기술력과 안목은 나치의 귀에도 들어가 후에 나치당의 일원으로 활동하기도 했지만 결과적으로 폭스바겐을 만들어내는 성과를 얻기도. (자동차와 함께 2차세계대전에 사용된 탱크도 만들어냈다고.)

포르쉐의 이름을 딴 첫 자동차는 포르쉐 356. 포르쉐의 아들 페리 포르쉐가 아버지를 대신해 만들었다고 한다. 아버지를 위한것도 있었지만 사실 본인이 사고 싶은 차가 없어서 직접 만든거였다고. 쿨한 녀석 같으니. 이름이 356인건 포르쉐가 계획하고 있던 356번째 프로젝트였기 때문이다.

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p4The museum is lovely. Many people have said that it was a bit small (compared to the Mercedes-Benz museum) and so not so spacious for a museum and I agree. I haven’t been to the MB museum yet (gasp!) but I could see how anyone could say that the museum is indeed a bit small (5,600 square meters, to be exact. The MB museum’s exhibition space is 16,500 square meters).

But I found that this was the charm. The building itself looks very futuristic and avant garde with its shiny silver metallic and white walls, but it was very easy and practical to see every single car and display in the room. (This style seems to be Delugan Meissl Associated Architects‘ speciality.) Avant garde can sometimes be a bit too overwhelming, but it works well especially with the overall image and design of the Porsche brand. It’s basically a big, white room divided into smaller ones, but each space is very well structured and organized. Follow the map painted on the wall, and you’ll get to see every car without having to go back and forth, trying to catch the ones you missed. It’s very flowy, which was a big plus for a museum with cars, not paintings or smaller artifacts.

아직 벤츠 박물관에는 가보지 않아서 제대로 비교할 수는 없지만 많은 사람들은 일단 크기에서부터 포르쉐가 지고 들어간다고 얘기했다. 당연한것이 포르쉐 박물관은 5,600 제곱미터, 벤츠 박물과는 16,500 제곱미터이다. 크기로 봐서는 당연히 그렇겠지만 난 사실 포르쉐 박물관, 가볼만했다. 작은게 매력! 크기는 작지만 없는게 없었고 (레스토랑, 카페, 기념품샵, 작은 극장 등) 작은 공간을 정말 효율적으로 사용한 티가 남. 벽에 그려진 지도대로 걸아가다보면 자연스럽게 모든 자동차를 쉽게 볼 수 있었고 바닥부터 천장까지 흰색이라 환한 느낌.

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p7The Volkswagen Beetle.

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p8-1Porsche 356 No. 1 Roadster and all its glory. Red leather seats and all. The first car to bear the name Porsche.

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p10The details were amazing. A leather belt to open and close the hood?

이런 센스쟁이들. 본네트를 열고 닫는데 가죽 벨트를 적용한 센스란.

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p11This one was one of my fav, just because of the color. I’m not a fan of green anything except for plants and trees, but this one was very special. It’s the Porsche 356 A 1600 S Coupé and also took part in the Mille Miglia race. It was also the company car for German racer Huschke von Hanstein

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p15The Porsche 911 S 2.2 Targa. This was a model that was developed to match the U.S’ stricter laws on safety. It’s a hybrid between a convertable and a coupe: the Targa. The headlights kind of give the age away.

p16The cars on the upper level are not toys. They are real cars.

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p21Porsche has been very successful in various motorsports, mostly long distance races. It’s currently the world’s largest race car manufacturer. And they are good. They have the trophies to prove it. Loved the idea of hanging them all together. Very arty. This year the museum will hold a special exhibition called “Road to Le Mans” (March 26-July 13) to celebrate Porsche’s return to the 24 hours of Le Mans. There are almost always special exhibitions, so it would be a good idea to check out the exhibitions section on the museum’s website before visiting.

자동차 브랜드답게 레이싱에도 큰 활약을 보이고 지금도 보이고 있는 포르쉐. 대부분은 장거리 레이싱이었다는데 현재 세계에서 가장 많은 레이싱카를 제작하는 브랜드라고 한다. 2014년에는 24시간동안 치뤄지는 르망 레이싱대회에 나가는 것을 기념해 특별한 전시도 열 예정.

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p27In 1900, Mr. Porsche combined the wheel-hup electric drive with a petrol engine, creating the world’s first full hybrid automobile: the Lohner Porsche Semper Vivus. It looks like a cross between a wagon/tractor and a time machine.

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p28The green lantern, anyone?

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1111The Cayenne is one of the most popular Porsches here in Stuttgart and I have to say, it’s nice. Very nice. The museum has an interesting prototype of the Cayenne hybrid, and it was one of the busiest spots yet. I looked in myself, but not being such a car expert, I just nodded my head a couple of times and walked away.

p30Places mentioned:

All photos by rachelsanghee

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