Jon’s 10th Anniversary European Trip – Belgium Grand Prix, Porsche Museum, Mercedes Museum

To celebrate our 10th anniversary, my dear wife Cecilia planned a four-country trip to Europe (Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany).  In addition to enjoying the tourist attractions, food, and shopping, we also made three car-focused stops.

Jon's 10th Anniversary European Trip - Belgium Grand Prix, Porsche Museum, Mercedes Museum
Leaving church in Kenny’s Miata (2004)

Our first stop was the Belgian GP at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps

Stuttgart was the final city of our trip. We visited the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen. It was a very special feeling to arrive at Porscheplatz as new Porsche owners (Cecilia planned our trip long before we bought our 911).

The highlights are the cars that made the Shum brothers Porsche fans in the 80’s:

Jon's 10th Anniversary European Trip - Belgium Grand Prix, Porsche Museum, Mercedes Museum
McLaren-TAG Turbo F1 Engine
Jon's 10th Anniversary European Trip - Belgium Grand Prix, Porsche Museum, Mercedes Museum
The 962
Jon's 10th Anniversary European Trip - Belgium Grand Prix, Porsche Museum, Mercedes Museum
The 961 that raced in LeMans after the 959 won Paris-Dakar

And finally, the Porsche that opened the doors for Team Shum: the Boxster Concept Car (with the 959 in the background).

We also stopped by the Mercedes-Benz museum (also in Stuttgart).  While much larger than the Porsche museum, its exhibits focused on automotive history and was somewhat disappointing from a racing standpoint.

The only great section was the W196, the F1 Championship-winner. The W196 “Type Monza” was a streamlined F1 racecar, and was later succeeded by the open wheel version. The open wheel version was introduced at the 1954 Nurburgring GP, after the streamlined version was exposed of it weakness at racetracks with high speed corners (Silverstone).

However for unknown reason, Fangio’s 1954 F1 Championship trophy was displayed in a completely separate area…

The section for the SL “Gullwing” and the original SLR race car should be a highlight, but was merely “good” (see that truck? Why is it there?)

The Motorsport section lacked focus and just had all the cars thrown into one area.  Mercedes was merely the engine supplier to the most of these machines (Sauber C9, Penske Indy, McLaren F1) again highlighting its lack of racing hertiage.
Jon's 10th Anniversary European Trip - Belgium Grand Prix, Porsche Museum, Mercedes Museum Jon's 10th Anniversary European Trip - Belgium Grand Prix, Porsche Museum, Mercedes Museum

Even worse was the wall of “winning drivers”.  Kimi Raikkonnen was in between Marcus Winkelhock and Christijan Albers?  Not that Winkelhock and Albers are not good drivers, but they should be in different categories than Kimi…
Jon's 10th Anniversary European Trip - Belgium Grand Prix, Porsche Museum, Mercedes Museum

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