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      09-21-2010, 05:44 AM   #1
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Exclamation Fahrzeugmuseum Suhl - DDR motorcycle & car Museum...

Fahrzeugmuseum Suhl
Friedrich-König-Straße 7
98527 Suhl

(03681) 70 50 04 tel
(03681) 32 71 73 fax



Museum hours – Daily from 10am until 6pm.

Cost: 4 euros for the museum. Or…
6 euros for a combi-ticket - which also gets you into the gun museum down the street!

Hi Guys,

Welcome to another one of my German Museum photo tours. This one is in Suhl, in the former East Germany. Today there is only one Germany. Suhl is where some of the great motorcycle and gun makers were based for the DDR (Deutsches Democratic Republic).

The “Fahrzeugmuseum” Suhl ( which translates into “vehicle museum”) is unlike any car & motorcycle museum I have been to before. There is no significance the museum’s location. Rather it is located in the center of the city in Suhl. AND it is located inside the city’s convention center (Congress Centerum Suhl)! Picture putting a car & motorcycle museum in your local shopping mall and you will kind of get a “feel” for what this museum is like to visit! What is also kind of cool is they also have a sister museum down the street, The other museum is a weapons museum of mainly riffles and shotguns and hand guns. All and all it was an interesting day for me! Suhl is located in the heart of the Thueringer Wald (national forest). This area also makes for some great curvy and twisty roads to drive on. Not to mention a brand spanking new Autobahn that connects the former East with the West.

The Fahrzeugmuseum Suhl is also brand new. It opened on April 29th, 2007.

Suhl is a short: one hour’s drive from the Bamberg area. The autobahn is brand new and the most dangerous thing is watching out for the former East German drivers who do not exactly drive like the rest of the (West) Germans do. Meaning they are liable to pull out without looking in the mirrors and linger longer in the left lane. But the autobahn is fairly deserted and makes for a really nice drive up North. Just be cautious over taking cars – no matter how nice they are. Of course it helps to know what cities are in the east and read the plate letters on them!

To be honest the hardest thing about this museum was the parking. They have two big parking garages in the city. You have to look hard for the “parkhaus” signs though. It wasn’t so obvious on my first drive around the street. There is one parkhaus by the Fahrzeugmuseum and one down the street by the Waffen Museum. I parked in the first one. But once parked… I had to travel a gauntlet of corridors and doors – until I found myself inside the Congress Centrum – where the museum is located on the bottom floor. Parking was cheap at just a euro or two and hour. I stayed three hours and cost me three euros.

Inside the museum you are greeted by MANY motorcycles and bicycles! All of East German design. Names like Simson, Wanderer, Haenel, EMW, AWE, JAWA, Wartburg, IFA, ect… They also had some West German marks like, BMW, SACHS, Triumph, Zuendapp. I was kind of surprised to see a few classic BMW’s on display there too.

What I liked about this museum is that they had a lot of the car and motorcycle culture on display. East German style! And NOT just the bikes or cars by themselves. I think it is best to see all the little things that made up that era of transportation. They also did a great job on nice displays for the many, MANY motorcycles they have in their collection.

One of the cars on display was a car I had not heard of before. AND it was a BMW! A Greifzu-BMW formula 2 car. This car was driven by Paul Greifzu DDR race car driver from the late 1940’s & 50’s. He was a national hero and propaganda tool for the communist. I don’t think BMW was too please about him winning races with their blue & white propeller logo on the front of his car. This car was built in Eisenach and had nothing to do with BMW – so I believe. Greifzu had taken his prewar BMW 328 and striped the body and made himself a formula 2 racer. It was quite successful too! Powered by a 140 hp, 2.0L six this silver formula car was able to reach speeds of up too 260 kph!

On May 10th, 1952 Greifzu tragically died while practicing for a race on the Dessau autobahn in 1952 in his formula 2 auto. Seems the engine threw a connecting rod and locked up – causing the car to loose control and crash. He was testing the car’s top speed (260 kph) at that time. A few days later they had a state’s funeral for Herr Greifzu die DDR Rennfahrer.

I made a short video of a video clip (see bellow my video) from German TV show that had playing there at the Greifzu formula car. It was quiet interesting! At the end of the clip – they showed this memorial stone. I wanted to go find it in the city.

I tried to find this memorial stone. The lady at the museum thought it was across the street – next to the old national theater. But when she took me outside to show me where… she said… “Ohh… they moved it”! She had thought it was next to the big tree to the left of the theater. Funny enough the memorial was also next to the German Reunification stone. But that was gone to! SO… off I went to the Waffen Museum… and saw all these Taxi drivers. I stopped and asked them. One driver seemed to know where it was. Three traffic lights up street – he said. So later on, I went to go find it. But it was not there! I did find a Polizei station so I went in there and asked the Polizei. No one there seemed to know! I said it was next to the Reunification stone – and no one seemed to know where THAT WAS!!! lol Germans – they do not like to remember their history!

Well… after some walking around the city and asking a few locals. I found out indeed the city had removed the stone/memorial. They are repairing it since it was decaying and full of graffiti. Btw… the Reunification stone was also gone! Go figure. Welcome to the “new” Germany – where they tear down the past. lol

I also understand on the A9 autobahn (direction South bound) where the autobahn curves is a stone that marks the spot where Greifzu’s car crashed. Maybe one day I will stop by there.

Ok, onto the weapons museum…

Waffenmuseum Suhl
Friedrich-König-Straße 19
D-98527 Suhl

Phone: 011 49 3681 72 06 98
Fax: 011 49 3681 72 13 08
E-mail: info@waffenmuseumsuhl.de

The Waffen Musuem was pretty cool too. You got to see many antique and rare guns on display. Even some nicely engraved double gauge shotguns. They had some interesting guns like a water cooled machine gun from WWI and the WWII 9mm Luger. What I found out was that Simson not only made bicycles and scooters and motorcycles… but also some really nice guns too! Talk about multitasking! They made it all.

Another cool weapon was from Comrade Kalaschnikow and his venerable AK-47. I think no further explanation is needed

The Waffen Museum also had a fair amount of porcelain ceramics on display. So there will be something for “her” here too. In this area of Germany is also the “porcelain strasse” – so there are many factories and places to make this a mutual interesting side trip while your in Germany. I put some suggestion at the end of my write up bellow.

On my drive back to Bamberg – I decided to stop in Eisfeld for dinner. Eisfeld is just North of Coburg and it is where the old border guard crossing was. Today the old Stassi border crossing is a big AGIP gas station and memorial to the former past. Many people do not even know that this is where East met the West.

Just down the street from the gas station is a nice gast huas (http://www.waldhotel-hubertus.de/de/index.php) Not only a restaurant but also a nice hotel. I thought I would post the info here just incase anyone needs a place to spend the night in. Dinner was from 11 to 15 euros and a double bed room for two will set you back 36 euros each (pp) with breakfast & parking. What more could you ask for?

And now onto my photos…


Fahrzeugmuseum Suhl

The museum is inside here…

Inside the convention center…

Museum is downstairs and to the left…

Small display on the newly built autobahn A71…

Musuem Entrance…

Simson bicycles…


Paul Greifzu’s rebodied BMW 328 formula 2 car…

The car’s record…

Paul Greifzu memorial on the A9 autobahn in Dessau. Internet photo.

my video....

SACHS boat motor…





Onto the Waffen Museum...

The AK…

The old Simson factory in Suhl. Bicycles, motorcycles and guns!

Comrade Kalaschnikow

The Taxi drivers I ask for directions...

The second parkhaus near the Waffen Musuem.

The old state theater across the street from the Fahrzeugmuseum.

A look at the Waffen Museum from across town… while I try to find that memorial that is no more!

The Polizei who I stopped by and asked…

On the way home… I stopped in Eisfeld off the A73 autobahn – a former border crossing point. Now the old check point is a big gas station and small memorial. You would never have known it!

Gas prices… $6/gal for diesel, $6.84/gal for super95 and $7.14/gal for SuperPlus98

The nice Wald hotel and restaurant


Also near Coburg/Eisfled is the Hummel Factory…


Coburger Str. 7D
96472 Rödental

my 330 plus photos here:

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      09-21-2010, 05:54 AM   #2
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      09-21-2010, 08:52 AM   #3
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nice pics... thanks for sharing your experiences at the museum.

It was pretty cool to see those E91 cop cars.

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      09-21-2010, 04:24 PM   #4
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I thought this might clear some things up about the old Eisenach factory. Here is what I understand about EMW - BMW connection:

The company in Suhl started out as Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach (FFE), then BMW bought them out in 1928. From 1928 until 1942 BMW produced cars in Eisenach. BMW also prodcued motorcycles for the Bundeswehr and air plane engines for the Luftwaffe durring the war. The Allies bombed the factory in 1942.

Then after the war the Americans occupied the factory for a bit. Then we turned that part of Germany over the Russians. The Russians then produced the old BMW designed cars from the past like: the BMW 321, 326, 327, ect...

ALL BMW's between 1945 to 1951 were produced in Eisenach by the Comunists. BMW was not producing cars at this time - only motorcycles down in Garmisch and later Muenchen. Since BMW did not procude any cars durring this time - and since they could not go after a county ie Russia... they had to wait until the Russians turned the legal owners of Eisenach back to the East Germans GDR/DDR). That happened in 1953. That was when BMW asked the GDR to change the name and logo of the cars being made in Eisenach. Thats when the name changed to EMW and the red & white logo.

Eisenach later produced cars under the Wartburg and IFA name plates. But after reunification... the factory went out of business. That was in 1991.

Opel opened a car factory across town. That is where alot of these museum cars went. Along with most of the EMW factory workers. To this day Opel produces the Corsa there in Eisenach. Opels cheapest & smallest car. In 2007 this new museum in downtown Suhl opened up and the museum collection was moved into Suhl.

for more info see....


Glad you guys enjoyed my photos. I think I should take some more photos of the Polzei cars. Looks like you all really liked those!


Last edited by Dackelone; 09-21-2010 at 07:30 PM.
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      09-21-2010, 04:30 PM   #5
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thanks for sharing

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      09-21-2010, 06:38 PM   #6
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cool photos
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      09-21-2010, 07:16 PM   #7
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i liked the guns and the e91 cop cars.

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      01-13-2014, 06:31 PM   #8
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AK-47 designer, wrote penitent letter

Next door to the auto museum in Suhl was the weapons museum. Komrad Kalashnikov, designer of AK-47 was where some of the AK's were made during the cold war. Very cool place if your in the area. Suhl is about two hours North of Nurnberg or about three hours from Munich.

Mikhail Kalashnikov, AK-47 designer, wrote penitent letter before he died...

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      01-13-2014, 06:39 PM   #9
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Very cool.
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      01-13-2014, 06:54 PM   #10
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Thanks for sharing Dack. Interesting 180 right before his death.

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      01-14-2014, 07:55 AM   #11
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Thanks for the pics!
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