Why is this Porsche 550 being exhibited in the Mercedes-Benz Museum?

Even fierce rivals can be the best of friends

VISITORS to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, may notice a car on display that doesn’t seem to belong in the collection.

Sharing plinth space with some of Mercedes-Benz’s most famous and successful racing cars is a local icon from a notable rival: a Porsche 550 of the type that used to compete against the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR in events such as the arduous Mille Miglia.

There is a rational explanation, of course. As the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019, the Mercedes-Benz Museum is paying tribute by showcasing a former nemesis among the legendary “Silver Arrows”.

In addition, the Mercedes-Benz is inviting those who work at Porsche to visit the museum, with free entry on presenting their staff ID. Porsche employees will have access to the Mercedes-Benz Museum from January 31 to February 10.

Though they’ve long been rivals, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz are connected in quite a few different ways. As well as calling the same German city their home, both companies are intrinsically linked to Dr. Ferdinand Porsche. Before he founded his eponymous company, Dr. Porsche designed competition cars for Mercedes, ranging from the dominant SSK roadster to the 3,500hp T80 land speed record prototype.

Christian Boucke, head of Mercedes-Benz Classic, said: “We send our sincere congratulations to the Porsche Museum and hope our museum ally continues to be as successful as it has been to date. With the Porsche Museum and Mercedes-Benz Museum, Stuttgart boasts no less than two internationally acclaimed automotive museums.”

The Porsche Museum’s 10th anniversary won’t be the only milestone that Porsche will commemorate in 2019; this year also marks the 50th anniversary of Porsche’s legendary 917 endurance racing car.

The 3,5000hp, six-wheeled Mercedes that could have taken the world land speed record in 1940