Auto & Technik Museum
Just an hour and a half west of our home is Sinsheim. We noticed the planes around the museum every time we drove by on the autobahn.
So we decided to finally make Sinsheim a destination, not a place we just drive by. The museum was housed in two large buildings, with many other planes on display outside.
Beth and Spencer checking out the planes, trains, and automobiles in the museum.
One of the day’s highlights was for Spencer to see a TU-144. What’s a TU-144? When the French and British were secretly developing the Concorde in the 60s and 70s, the Russians were trying to develop their own supersonic transport, or SST. Trouble is, they were years behind in development, and wanted very, very badly to be the first in the air with a SST. So they spied, and stole blueprints for the Concorde in its final development phases. They quickly cobbled together their SST, called the TU-144. They beat the Concorde in the air by a matter of weeks, so they could claim to be the first. It was such a blatant copy of the Concorde, the press called the plane “Concordski”. One of the few TU-144s built crashed and burned in front of millions of viewers at the Paris Air Show. While the Concorde came to market and succeeded (until the big crash a couple of years ago), the TU-144 saw limited service because of so many development problems. One interesting feature is the pair of forward canards, or small wings, located just behind the cockpit. These were an attempt to improve control at slower speeds while landing. The Concorde had an elegantly curved wing, which took care of this problem.
(Update) I went back to the museum in June 2002 with some visiting friends, and the TU-144 had
been raised onto a pedestal above one of the hangars. Very impressive.
1885 Benz, one of the first motorcars.
1934 Mercedes 500K.
Contrasting the 1885 Mercedes was this Lamborghini Diablo.
V-12 Engine, 200-mph, $300,000. I want one.
This is the end of the Lamboghini Diablo most people see briefly before it disappears into
the distance. In the background is the rear of an older (90s) Lamborghini Countach.
60s Ford Skyliner, with full folding metal top.
1958 Chevy Impala, complete with Elvis plates.
Tailfin from a late 50s Dodge. Check out the rocket-style ring around the taillight.
1958 Zundapp Janus 250. Which way is it going? When is the last time you
saw one of these? The back seat faces the rear. Barf bags not included.
1956 Goggomobile Coupe TS-250 (really!) We actually saw one of these on the
autobahn the other day on our way to Rothenburg.
The museum also included many displays of WWII machinery.
Beth noticed all the German mannequins were laughing and smiling, while all the Americans and Brits were very glum. Hmmmm.
The museum is not ALL guy stuff. There were some nice exhibits of period artifacts.
And you thought Mercedes only made fancy cars. This is a Mercedes tractor.
No sunroof, power windows, or remote keyless entry on this model.
So, everybody has an SUV. Boring!! Want to really stand out in a crowd?
How about a powered wheel? The seat and motor remain stationary (hopefully) while
the outer wheel is powered along on the special geared track. The rider must have a good
sense of balance (and a good sense of humor).
(Click on the English flag in the upper left corner)
Hope you enjoyed the