A quick trip to Stuttgart on Friday gave me a lot of insight into some interesting technical developments at Mercedes, but just as importantly an hour in the Mercedes Museum.

If, like me, you spent much of your childhood evenings leafing through either books on architecture or the history of the car, and drooling over the beautiful Mercs, then this place is such stuff as dreams are made on.

You get a lift to the top floor of double spiral tower and then walk down the shallowly sloping floor that runs around the edge of the building, passing the first powered motorcycle, the first car, motorboat, bus and so on, all interspersed with key social events around the globe to give the engineering a bit of context.

In some cases there's slightly too much context for comfort, as one of the grandest of the early saloons, the 770 Grosser Tourenwagen, is of course inextricably linked with the Nazi Germany.

My favourites are the 1936 500K Spezial-Roadster, the 1967 280 SL ‘Pagoda’ and the utterly awesome futuristic F500 Mind.