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  • Merks Motor Museum and Neumarkt Classic Car Day - Nürnberg, Germany

    Bored at night last night and looking for something to do today I searched for a car museum in Nuremberg. I found out there is one car museum in the city, the Merks Motor Museum. Today I visited the Merks, and I found it to be one of the coolest small automotive museums I have ever been to. The Merks is a privately owned car museum, and it runs as a family operation, it is basically the private collection of Herr Claus Merk, a car collector from Nuremberg. The museum was empty today, it was a sunny Sunday and most Germans were out riding their bicycles and enjoying the sunshine.

    Arriving at the Merks I was greeted by Christine Merk, the daughter of the owner, a rather attractive German lady (most of them are...), she spoke better English than I did German, and I bombed her with a lot of questions about the museum, classic car meetings, etc in the area. She obviously grew up around her father's collection and was definitely a motor head too. She gave me lots of information, which is good because a lot of these local classic car shows are passed word of mouth and not much is posted on the web. After while she told me to go check out the cars in the museum and when I was done she would have some more stuff for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nürnberger Zeitung

    Museum owner Claus Merk and daughter Christine. From the Nürnberger Zeitung
    The collection is rather eclectic, encompassing everything from 1930s sedans, German microcars, Porsches, Ferraris, Italian econoboxes, tractors, typewriters, telephones, etc. Her father is apparently a guy who is in love with random machinery and found an organized way to maintain his collection and make money at the same time. I told her I liked SAAB and was active in an online SAAB community, and next weekend I am going to the SAAB meeting in Frankfurt, she said I had come at the right day, because today was the first day they had a SAAB 96 on display, her father had literally just towed the car in yesterday, all the way from Sweden.

    I spent a good hour walking around the museum, taking lots of pictures, I thought the entire collection was very interesting. It did not discriminate against more plebeian cars, and it featured a VW Golf sitting right behind a Ferrari 308 GTO. I thought it was cool they had the car my grandfather learned to drive on ( a Ford Model T), the car my mom learned to drive on (a DKW Sedan two-stroke) and the car I learned to drive on ( a Fiat 127, which in Brazil is the Fiat 147). Pretty cool. All the cars on the museum run, save for two or three, and her father often takes them out.

    After I was done I returned to Christine at the front desk. She was engrossed watching the Formula One race, she says she watches every F1 and DTM race (definitely a motor head), and she had written down on a sheet of paper a bunch of dates and places for many important local car shows and small races, all the way to the end of September, which is the end of car season here in Germany. She also gave me a stack of brochures and local free magazines, and highlighted some stuff for me. Very cool.

    Christine also mentioned that on any other day I would catch her father at the museum, but today he was down in Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz with a Jaguar from the museum, as there was a big classic car meet there. She said it was only 45 minutes away and I should check it out. I thanked her, picked up my stack of papers, left her to watch her F1 race, got on the Autobahn A3 and headed south toward Neumarkt.

    Getting to Neumarkt I soon knew I was on the right place when there were a lot of rare cars on the road going towards downtown. It's not everyday you see a Messerschmitt KR200, a Steyr Puch Haflinger, and a Citroen Mehari just going down the road... I found where the show was being held, right at the center of town, and parked nearby. The roads leading to the show were blocked and guards at the entrance were letting only show cars and local's cars in. I walked in, saw a plethora of interesting cars, bikes, trikes, tractors, etc etc for show. Christine had said this show was for old cars only (what Germans call Oldtimers), but I saw a few Youngtimers, which are usually cars over 15 but less than 30 years old.

    I found the organizer's tent, asked for someone who spoke English, and I got information about bringing my car next year. Apparently there is no entry fee for the participants, you just write your information and you car is registered! The organizers apparently charge the local businesses who make a killing on a busy day like this, so for car owners it is free. One of the organizers asked me what kind of car I had, I said a 1987 SAAB 900. He asked me where was the car, and I told him it was parked outside on the street. He then told me to just drive through and park with the rest of the show cars, they had no SAABs today and I would be representing the brand. I wouldn't be eligible for any of the many trophies and prizes they give out since I hand't registered, but I could at least show my car. So I brought my car in, parked it next to an old Benz, locked it and left to explore the show.

    The coolest thing I saw on the show was a 1934 Royal Enfield motorcycle with a diesel engine. The guy found the bike in Chile, decrepit and rusted, but he had never seen a diesel powered bike before, so he bought it and shipped it to Germany to restore it. He said buying, shipping and restoring the bike was the easy part. The hard part was making it road legal in Germany. He took the bike to a few motorcycle inspectors near Nuremberg and Munich and no one would touch his bike, saying ti couldn't be made road legal since it did not have the original engine, but an engine made for a water pump. Then one day he found some guy who is a master inspector, who said that vehicle inspection rules in Germany date to 1938, when Hitler made the rules on which the current laws are based. But since this bike was made in 1934 it predates the rules and is therefore exempt from it! So he got his bike to pass inspection, and now he rides the only road legal diesel powered motorcycle in Germany. He says he rides it daily and has no problems at all, but gets lots of looks everywhere he goes with it. He says the bike is very hard to ride and brakes are terrible, but he takes it easy and goes slow, hasn't crashed yet!

    Anyway, today was a very cool day and as usual I took lots and lots of pictures. Some of them will follow, I will post a link to the gallery with all of them later.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Merks Motor Museum and Neumarkt Classic Car Day started by rpiereck View original post
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. rpiereck's Avatar
      rpiereck -
      Bristol 400, beautiful car!

      One room was full of miniatures

      Found a SAAB!

      Old abandoned Studebaker, literally found in a barn, and according to Christine the milk jug and wood crate came from the same barn as the car

      One room filled with typewriters and mechanical calculators, all made in Nuremberg on a factory that is now closed

      Relics of the past

      Modern classic

      Gorgeous Maserati 3500 GT Superlegera

      Glas Goggomobil T250-01 micro car with a funky paint job

      Just arrived at the museum

      Neckar Jagst 770, a German car I never heard of before. Basically a Fiat 600 made in Germany.

      More remnants of the past

      Old Trabant Wagon with DDR plates

      Two vintage Unimogs

      One of four halls filled with cars

      Some iconic badges

      Leaving the Merks

      Here is the link to the gallery with the other pictures from the Merks: https://picasaweb.google.com/1133845...eat=directlink
    1. rpiereck's Avatar
      rpiereck -
      Pictures from Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz Oldtimer Treffen (Neumarkt Classic Car Meet)

      Just a Messerschmitt going down the road, nothing out of the ordinary...

      Alfa Romeo Montreal... this car's exhaust was akin to aural sex

      Auto Union DKW Coupe parked on the road

      Unidentified car going down the road. And old Opel perhaps (Olympia?)

      Two beautiful Benz, and a BMW Z1 parked in the background

      And those before were out on the street outside the show. Inside...

      Sprite always looks happy. Mazda copied it with its shit eating grin

      Very clean Lancia Delta Integrale wearing Porsche wheels

      Opel GT, aka Poor Man's Corvette

      Mercedes Bus with trailer

      This bug supposedly has a Porsche 6 cylinder engine, but the engine cover was closed and the owner wasn't nearby

      Pretty Escort

      Everybody loves fat guys on scooters

      Cool vintage scooter with matching trailer

      This guy was hand cranking this old Praga car (never heard of it), took him a few tries but it started after all


      Back to the future

      BMW's 60's design

      Tractors of all sizes

      Ubiquitous Mog

      These guys came in traditional German farm costume (they could be from southern Bavaria in which case they probably dress like this every day anyway)

      Citroën 2CV, for sale for 6900 Euro

      The diesel powered Royal Enfield

      Some people didn't believe it and everybody was asking the owner if this was real

      Exposed primary gears with manual oiler

      The owner is the guy in the military uniform

      This huge tractor has a two-cylinder, 10-liter, two-stroke, diesel fueled engine. Made one hell of a noise

      75,000 Euro vintage convertible Benz. I saw one of those doing 115 mph in the Autobahn two weeks ago

      There's more to come...
    1. rpiereck's Avatar
      rpiereck -
      Classic convertible

      Alfa sedans are never as sexy as Alfa coupés but they do have their own sporty charm

      Matra Murena

      I like the wheels

      Super clean Fiat X1/9 with an interior that was a bit too much in white and blue leather

      BMW Isetta had people around it all the time, it was very hard to get a picture of just the car

      More cars driving in

      Fiat 126 with a 0.6 liter two cylinder air cooled engine, 26 horsepower

      Followed by an original AC Cobra with enough horsepower to eat the little Fiat for breakfast

      Triumph TR-3

      BMW 2002 Turbo

      DKW Munga with more guys in costume

      Ford Excort XR3i, these cars were all the rage when they were new in Brazil. They were the fastest cars sold in Brazil until VW beat it with the VW Gol GTi (Gol, not Golf)

      Classic Opels

      Vive la France! This car had a very funny and wimpy police horn, typically French, and everybody was laughing, it was quite a joke on the French, all done in good humor...

      They even had proper Gendarmerie caps

      The Citroën Méhari has a body made of ABS plastic

      That's a lot of chrome!

      Fast little car

      Apparently this Fiat was raced by Walter Rohrl

      Engine deck lid stays open to cool the engine and provide downforce on the rear driven wheels

      Lancia HPE Executive 2000

      Interesting shooting brake body

      Got bugs?

      Ford Taunus, shares the Ford V4 engine with the 96


      Renault Gordini, these sold very well in Brazil

      One SAAB on the show!

      Facel Vega Convertible, this car is pure class, state of the art auto technology for its time

      Facel Vega interior

      Soon people started leaving

      Maybach Cabrio

      Here is the gallery with the rest of the pictures: https://picasaweb.google.com/1133845...eat=directlink
    1. nordwulf's Avatar
      nordwulf -
      Your 900 looks at home between all the other vintage automobiles!

      There should be more museums with common cars from the 70s and 80s and perhaps 90s. Love seeing cars like an Opel Kadett, VW Golf, BMW 3-series and other cars from when I was young. It's cool to look at expensive and unique old cars but I connect more with every day cars.

      Looks like a Ford Capri in the middle. My dream car when I just got my license. Unfortunately, a dream it always remained. Yeah, I know, I didn't have high standards or sufficient funds to own a sports car like that at the time..

      Compliments for the many pictures. As usual... wish I was there!
    1. rpiereck's Avatar
      rpiereck -
      Same here Frank, I love going to museums where you can see regular old cars in good shape. I know I will see some Ferraris, Porsche and Rolls Royces, it's when I see a Ford Capri, or a prototype late 70s Opel Kadett (below), unexpected cars at a museum, that I am truly impressed. Wanna impress me with a Ferrari or a Porsche? Let me see the thing run and the engine rev!

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