Austin Roadtrip: Knoxville Mercedes Plant

After we left Gatlinburg, we were headed to Nashville. Along the way we passed through Knoxville and stumbled upon this Mercedes plant. There were signs about a museum, so we decided to make a rest stop and see what there was to see.

I’ll let you browse without too much of my commentary for this one, in traditional museum fashion.


1885 Daimler Motorcycle
The result of strapping an engine to a motorcycle. Daimler’s own teenage sons test drove it.


1886 Daimler Motor Carriage
Apparently this didn’t count as a vehicle because it’s just a stage coach with an engine attached to it. The idea couldn’t be patented until a similar design was built with the engine incorporated from the chassis up.


1934 Stuttgart Limosuine
The was one of two cars marketed for getting around town in Germany in the late 20’s and early 30’s.
This baby had a 2.0 L, six-cylinder engine.


1939 170 V Cabriolet “B”
Another daily driver in the 30’s, this beauty had a top speed of 65 mph. 


There were plenty of newer models showing off the latest technology. One cool thing I learned is that the production teams on each new vehicle will sign the first car off the assembly line to commemorate the project.


The one of the original M-class that was in Jurassic Park: The Lost World! Three identical vehicles were used to make the movie. We saw an unusual number of dinosaurs on this trip, right?


This is a Mercedes C-Class, looking ready for a race.
You can get your own C-Class body kit in case you want your case to look as cool as this.


Engines are so cool.


I don’t know what’s going on here, but I like it.


Looks like they put their best crash test on display. Are the cars always painted orange for these tests?

I’m not so knowledgable and car stuff, but this was a fun pit stop. If you come, I’d recommend calling ahead to schedule a factory tour. There wasn’t one happening when we were there, but I think that would have really made this place for me.


Billy Bob was looking a little sad at this point. I think this is around the point in the trip when we started to reconsider his place of prominence in the cupholder…he was starting to show some signs of sunburn.

But we had places to be, anyway. We were off to Nashville!

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