If you know me, then you know i am not biggest car nut in the world. As long as it has four wheels and moves, then i am good. I've never really been into racing or whizzing down the motorway. Maybe because my pockets only stretch to a VW Golf and not a fancy shmancy four by four, seven seater with the biggest, most fastest engine known to man!
But we were lucky enough to be invited to Mercedes-Benz World in Brooklands for a day of racing, off-roading and a tour of the museum. Not only that, but my son got to practice his skills in the awesome 'Little Learners' section. And i think i might have become a little bit into cars... Or maybe just really good looking, monster cars?
Now this isn't going to be a blog about the finer specifications of the cars, the engine sizes or the throttles or speed gear shift thing... (see, i have no clue). But i can appreciate a beautiful looking car.
Mercedes-Benz has such a rich heritage, one that i didn't know a thing about until i had a tour of the museum. Did you know that one of their technicians can build an AMG engine within 6 hours? All the AMG vehicle's engine are hand built on their famous "one man, one engine " philosophy. Every AMG engine builder finishes the engines they produce with an engraved plaque signed with their signature. There are only around 50 AMG engine builders in total. It kind of puts to the bed the thought of this massive factory when you know it's hand made like that! When asked by the tour guide about the engines the majority of us guessed it would take weeks/months to build...
So when we arrived at this beautiful building in Brooklands, off we headed to get ready for some track driving. Not before having some pastries and fresh coffee. I got to meet some fantastic dad bloggers too! I've never done anything like track driving so i wasn't sure what to expect. Needless to say, we went fast. Very fast! We tested out the cars speed, braking, how it takes on bends... we even went on the wet straight and skid circle track which recreates icy conditions and that's when we spun. Boy did we spin. I'm not too embarrassed to say i almost wanted to vom in the car. But it was amazing to see how durable these cars are in all conditions.
It was then time for some off-roading. They have a special off-road site right next to the Brooklands building. Within two minutes you're suddenly in some woodlands with gullies, steep hills, stairs...! And yes, i drove through them all. I have no idea how the car i was in didn't topple over. At one point the cars front right and back left wheels were the only ones touching the floor as i went through the gully. And driving up steps? Insane. But what an experience!
After being thrashed about in what felt like a safari ride, it was back to the building to help my little boy get his 'Little Learners' license. Readers of the blog will know, he loves cars. He was in his element and drove so well. He's got a battery powered car at home so i think he's really coming along with his steering. He passed his 'test' and got his license which now is not stuck proudly on the fridge at home.
A lovely lunch was put on in the The Gullwing Bistro which was absolutely delicious and they have a pretty substantial kids menu. It's very cool to have a meal over looking the track i must say. I doubt this type of venue often see's so many parents with little ones but i am sure they didn't mind the aftermath of dining with many toddlers! We ended the day with a guided tour of the museum, learning all about the history and where it all started. It was genuinely interesting, even for someone who knew nothing of the cars before that day. It was great seeing all the early models then leading up to all the cars of the modern day.
We were also loaned a serious beast of a car for a week over my birthday weekend. The Mercedes-Benz GLS 350 d 4MATIC AMG. I don't think i need to tell you how much my son enjoyed this. It has three TVs in it (yes, CBeebies was on there!), seven seats and did things i never thought possible by a car. I am in love. However, this whole experience has left me wanting one of my own now... Thanks for that Mercedes-Benz!
Disclosure: I was invited to the above event but i wasn't asked to write about it. We had such a great time I thought I'd share it with my readers.