We spent this past Sunday running all over the Southland, joining other auto enthusiasts in collecting toys for needy kids. Our first stop was the 5th Annual Motor4Toys event up in the Valley, and then we stopped over at Gerhard and Rosemarie Schnuerer's own Fifth Annual Charity Event and Antique Vehicle Show at their mini-museum in Huntington Beach. While the Motor4Toys event was the biggest toy drive we've ever been to, Gerhard's party was equally special, just on a smaller scale.
Co-sponsored by Mercedes-Benz USA, it's a great event that allows the public inside the Schnuerer's impressive collection of classic European automobiles and motorcycles. Their concours-level inventory of vehicles include a 1918 Opel Dual Cowl Phaeton, an 1895 Benz Horseless Carriage Landaulet/Coupe, and a 1886 Benz Patent Motor-Wagen replica. Gerhard also happens to be a fan of newer Mercedes-Benzes, which helps explain the open and closed versions of the McLaren SLR out front, right beside the CLK63 Black Series that MBUSA brought along as a special auction offering. Follow the jump to read the rest of the story and don't forget to check out our high-res gallery.
All photos copyright ©2008 Frank Filipponio/Weblogs, Inc.
Besides the Toys for Tots toy collection, the event has an auction that raises money for the Assessment and Treatment Services Center among other charities. Several prizes were auctioned ranging from pedal cars to flights over Catalina Island, from Newport Harbor dinner cruises to the aforementioned CLK Black, which would belong to the top bidder for a full 48 hours, gas included. Gerhard said they didn't care where you took it, just as long as you had it back in 48 hours. We were hoping Alex Roy was in the crowd.
It's a terrific event with guests enjoying Holiday cheer along with some great German food served up WWII-Style in a Gulaschkanone Military Field Kitchen. Besides the obvious goodwill, this particular event stands out for one other thing. All of the cars, bikes and military vehicles run, and Gerhard always has several of them fired up to take guests for a spin around the block.
Besides the Patent Motor-Wagen, we also got to sample a Pinzgauer troop transport (above left), a 1943 VW Kübelwagen (above right), a 1943 BMW R75 Military Motorcycle with Sidecar (below left), a 1944 VW Schwimmwagen, and even the CLK. The highlight was when Gerhard brought out his latest acquisition, the largest Mercedes ever made, a 1966 Unimog Car Hauler (below right). It arrived with a G-Series in the bed and then put on a show for the crowd, jacking itself up, sliding its rear wheels apart and tilting its bed to drop its load. An incredible bit of engineering, and another great event.