They call them the ‘holy halls’. Most car manufacturers have a museum somewhere, and Mercedes-Benz’s is a bit special by most standards.

But not everything in Mercedes’ archive fits in its museum – this is a company with a 125-year history, after all.

So, as you or I might put school reports and old photos and letters in a drawer at the back of the wardrobe, behind a series of nondescript doors around Stuttgart lie the holy halls, seldom seen highlights from the annals of Benz history.

I say ‘seldom seen’, but that’s slightly misleading. Most of the cars Mercedes keeps under dust sheets run; this is an active archive and many are used at events. It’s just that, well, there are so many, many cars that plenty don’t see the light of day too often.