My husband is a life-long aficionado of the car company Porsche. He informed me when we were dating that he planned to own one by his 30th birthday. That did not end up happening. Our third child, Aidan, was born two months after his birthday and with the appearance of Aidan, so disappeared Matt's dream of owning a Porsche at 30. He then readjusted his dreams to 40. He spent his 40th birthday in the deserts of the Middle East. Poor guy. He just can't catch a break. I don't know if he has now set his sights on 50, but I can tell you this: it probably ain't happening.
We drove down to the Porsche museum in Stuttgart (pronounced Shtoot-gart) last weekend, because everybody knows that it always makes someone feel better to show them what they can never, ever have, right? Don't feel too bad for him. He has owned three BMW's in the past and is the current owner of a BMW motorcycle that never gets driven. We have also owned together a Volkswagen and an Audi. That's a lot of German cars. Here's a little side note about Matt. He loves Germany. He loves all things from Germany (big surprise there). He thinks that anything made in Germany is far superior to everything else in the world. You could stamp Made In Germany on a dog turd and he would spend 30 minutes praising and extolling on the design and the functionality it. "Doesn't that dog turd just look better than the dog turds from America?" or "Look at how aero-dynamic that dog turd is!" American design, or lack of it, is a conversation held often in our home.
Back to the museum. The Porsche Museum is located in Stuttgart and is easily accessible off of the autobahn. There is adequate parking in an underground garage. If you want, read about it here. There is an audio guide available in several different languages. The placards for the cars, however, are only in German and English.
Here is the first car we saw.
Now I'm a little confused. Isn't that a Volkswagen? It may take me a little longer to catch on than a regular person, but I'm pretty sure I can tell the difference between a Porsche and Volkswagen. Turns out that this is the first car designed by Ferdinand Porsche and it is in fact at first called the Porsche Type 60. It was then changed to a Type 1, and finally to what we all know and love, the Volkswagen Beetle. I think Ferdinand should have stopped right there. It looks perfect to me. I present to you, The People's Car, circa 1934.
The first "real" Porsche didn't come along until 1948. Even Ferdinand Porsche said it was "basically a souped-up Volkswagen."
The Porsche Type 356.
I walk around the museum, feigning interest. Cars, not even Porsche's, really hold my interest very long. I see few women, and the few I see I share looks of boredom with.
Definitely a boys club.
Finally a car catches my interest.
This car, designed by Ferdinand's son, Ferry Porsche, was built exclusively for the North American market. It seems American military stationed in Germany after WWII were able to buy these cars in Germany. Germans would see them out on the road and then question the Porsche company why they weren't in the catalog. Seems they were none to happy to find out that there were models that were only available to Americans.
I stopped listening to the audio guide about a third of the way in. It was just way tooooo much information about Porsche. I took in aesthetically pleasing sights. I may be bored, but I'm not brain dead.
A pretty interior.
Lots of design and racing awards.
A pretty champagne colored convertible.
When my kids and I saw this car we started having imaginary conversations between the Polizei (scary German police) and the criminals they were chasing. In their Porsche police car.
Polizei- "Give back zhat bratvurst!"
German Criminal - "Nein!"
Polizei- "You can run, but you can't... vait. I am in a Porsche. Vhy even run?"
After a couple of minutes of this, I started getting side-ways glances. Turns out not everyone finds my Polizei impressions amusing like my kids do.
A different color for every day of the week.
Why is he standing like that? Because you are not allowed to touch the cars. At all. No finger prints, bitte, on zhe Porsche's.
After I did the complete loop around the museum, I noticed that Matt was only half way done. He was listening to the entire audio guide. So I found a way to entertain myself. I told the kids to drop the last syllable from Porsche making it sound like Por-shhhh. This is something that drives Matt crazy. Really crazy. I know this. How evil am I?
Matt is giving the thumbs-up because he likes this car. Ashlenne is giving the thumbs up because she loves my plan and is ready to say Por-shhhh.
Of course, what museum is complete without an expensive give shop full of things to make you feel better that you can't afford the real thing.
Por-shhhh shirts, (ha ha ha!)
Little tiny Porsche's that were really, really expensive.
Finally we came to a Porsche you could touch. You could even get in it.
Dare to dream, boys. Dare to dream.
We finally said good-bye to the Porsche Museum and headed off into Stuttgart. The clouds were rolling in and the wind was picking up. We ate at McDonald's (don't judge me, they're everywhere.) After dinner it was pretty dark so we got back in the non-Porsche Volvo and headed home to Heidelberg. Until next time, Stuttgart.
Thanks for the memories Por-shhhh Museum!