Motorworld: A million dollar day out

Story by Paul Hughes
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

Whether you are a motorsport fanatic, a casual car enthusiast or just like looking at shiny things, Motorworld will get your engine running.

Motorworld sits on a former WWI Flugfeld, or military airfield, around which developed an aircraft industry. In WWII, it became home to a German Luftwaffe fighter squadron. The allies bombed the base in 1944, before the US Army took up residence in 1945. In 1948, the site became a “GoCo,” or government owned/contractor operated, facility that saw the Army working hand in hand with Daimler-Benz providing repairs and upgrades for military vehicles.

A “deuce and a half” Army truck, similar to what was churned out in Boeblingen in the late 1950s. US Army Photo

Becoming the Army’s Bӧblingen Ordnance Depot in 1957 and covering some 6 million square feet, it was churning out an average of twelve 2½ -ton trucks, twenty-five ¾-ton trucks, forty jeeps, thirty semitrailers, sixty trailers and ten sedans every month.

After the Army closed the depot in 1992, the site fell into disrepair. For 15 years, it laid in ruin and many buildings were destroyed. Motorworld – after many years of administration—opened its half million square foot facility in 2009, preserving many parts of the historical buildings. Today, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, Pagani, Bentley, McLaren, Rolls Royce and others call Motorworld home.

A cross between a museum, garage, car dealership and conference center, everything in Motorworld is either an exhibit, a repair or for sale.

Dominating the Werkstatthalle, or main hall, are the glass box garages. For $265 per month, collectors leave their privately owned vehicles on museum like display alongside restaurants, a hotel, a brewery, conference halls, and retail stores.

Carlover’s dreams come true at Motorworld with restored classics.

Motorworld has an aroma of old lubricants and rubber as an automotive haven should. The sounds of some of the world’s most exclusive cars starting up, being tested and moved around reverberate through the open plan halls next to the gleaming exhibits, providing a feast for the senses.

Several retailers operate within the halls, including parts, clothes and collectables stores. If you want to pit your driving skills against others, there are hi-tech race simulators with seats that pivot and swivel with the action. You can race locally with family and friends and – if you want to take it more seriously – you can compete nationally with other Motorworld centers. There is also a small children’s play area and outdoor seating.

 

“Motorworld is one attraction in the Bӧblingen area, open 365 days a year,” said Susanne Kirshbaum, Motorworld Center manager. “Yes, even on Sundays, where we also hold an English language Trinity church with around 300 attendees. Entry is free, but you will have to pay around a Euro for parking if you arrive by car.”

Cars, cars and more cars … plus some two-wheeled exhibits.

You can expect to spend around 2-3 hours here, with a huge range of dining choices to choose from ranging in cost from Italian ($$$), to a grab and go café. ($) Thirsty? Motorworld has a bar with its very own beer brewery on site!

If you indulge in a race simulator session and a lunch at the mid-priced Tower 66 ($$)– which won Bӧblingen’s best steak and burger award in 2019–a family of three could expect to part with $60-$70. To complete your million-dollar day out, just add a satin black, convertible Rolls Royce to your purchases. Of course, finance and insurance brokers are also available on site.

Driving through automotive history

Throughout the year, you will find many events and festivals at Motorworld. An English version is available.

The Mercedes Benz Museum has more than 1,500 exhibits and is located near the Wasen in Stuttgart.

The Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen holds more than 80 vehicles and many small exhibits.

Learn more about the U.S. Army in Bӧblingen here.