The ``acoustiguide'' headset offers tours in three languages. The plate glass and marble sparkles. The cars in the Mercedes-Benz Museum are dust-free, halogen-lit, and company-owned. They draw 420,000 each year to downtown Stuttgart.
To Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, it's the stuff of dreams.
Mayor Finkbeiner toured the museum yesterday afternoon, part of a city-sponsored tour of German industrial prospects. Here, more than 100 cars are arranged in a loose chronology, from Gottlieb Daimler's pioneering 1885 ``Riding Car'' through the 1954 gull-wing 300SL Coupe, right up to this year's models.
Cars owned or driven by Emperor Hirohito, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Queen Elizabeth II are there.
It doesn't take leaps of imagination for the mayor to envision a museum like this in northwestern Ohio, showcasing the durable, rough-and-tumble Jeep mystique. He sees it downtown, along the Maumee River, or attached to the new $1.2 billion Jeep plant in North Toledo.
A collection of classic Jeeps exists at the company's Jeep Parkway assembly plant, but it is much less than it could be, Mr. Finkbeiner said.
``We've never taken advantage of the fact that a lot of people passing through the midwest would like to see the history of Jeep,'' Mayor Finkbeiner said. ``There's so much we could do with a museum like this, downtown, maybe part of the COSI. We could show films there, of the Camp Jeep test site in Colorado, or of some of the ad images of Jeeps in exotic places.''