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IT’S just a little while until Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, Kwanzaa and Winter-een-mas, so you’re already thinking about where you can go to avoid the responsibilities of the house, dog, cat, bird, fish and, it being the season of festive infidelity, perhaps even the car. First stop has to be Germany.

Believe it or not, Merkelstadt is metal lovers’ heaven. We start our tour in Stuttgart. Here you get two nearly brand-new architectural masterpieces devoted to great god auto. The real looker is the Porsche Museum, with 80 porkers on show.

The whole structure sits on just three V-shaped columns. Right now there’s an exhibition with five decades of Porsche prototypes and concept cars. You can combine the museum with a factory and restaurant tour where a particular highlight on the menu is US prime beef grilled fresh right in front of your eyes by Porsche’s very best mechanics.

Over the road (figuratively speaking) is Mercedes. A more sophisticated creation by Dutch (another fun-loving race) architects UN Studio, the Mercster museum has double the number of cars, with even more food outlets. You can see a “single continuous timeline of over 125 years of auto industry history”.

Not only that, but there’s also an engine tour. Who doesn’t want to see a diesel engine put together? I hate to tell you, but it’s not as much fun as Mercedes World at Brooklands outside London, where, for a small queen’s ransom, you can drive any Mercster you like around a small track.

But Mr Mercedes, Dieter Zetsche, doesn’t want you just stopping at Stuttgart. Nein, he says, head to Gaggenau (the town, not the dishwasher) for the Unimog Museum, then to Neumarkt for the Maybach Museum and finally to Ladenburg for the Dr Carl Benz Museum.

Click here to keep reading: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/executive-living/motoring/sacred-sites-on-road-to-metal-heaven/story-fngmee2f-1227108211588

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