The Wisconsin Section has just over 300 members, concentrated mainly in the Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay areas. We have 10 to 20 events every year, including a biannual autocross, spring and fall rallies, car shows, drive 'n' dine events, technical sessions, social events like the Christmas party, and occasional road trips.
The Milwaukee section of the Mercedes-Benz club was born shortly after the merger of the club from New Jersey, and the Mercedes club in Chicago. The merger took place on April 21st of 1959, and sometime later in 1959 the Milwaukee members decided to start their own official section.
The history of the Milwaukee section (now Wisconsin section) is linked to one early member. Lothar Altmann, MBCA's longest surviving member, was the service manager for Mercedes cars at Burnham Motors (later Daum Motor Sales). Lothar was a master mechanic who had joined the Chicago club on Feb. 9, 1956, before the merger. Early members were Lothar, Gerry Daum, Harger Dodge, David Fee, and others, comprising a group of about 15 Benz owners. The first events were merely picnics in a park along the Milwaukee river in Cedarburg.
An early member of note was Harger Dodge who joined in 1960. By 1963 (and on through 1967) Harger was the leader of the annual "Stuttgart Safari", where members took European delivery of their new Mercedes. This was an event that Harger had helped to develop. Harger rose to prominence in 1963 by becoming MBCA national President, a title he held through 1967. Mr. Dodge purchased a 1962 300SL Roadster on a Safari, most likely the first roadster in Wisconsin, and met Lothar Altmann, at Burnham Motors while getting his car serviced. Harger was a stickler for maintenance, and would leave Lothar notes on specific items he wanted taken care of when he left the country for vacation. His roadster survived him to this day, and was the subject of an article in the The Star of September 2004. Lothar and Burnham Motors developed a reputation for maintaining the roadsters of the early 1960's, so much so that nearly all the roadsters owned in Wisconsin and surrounding states were regular service customers.
In October of 2000, the Milwaukee section officially changed its name to the Wisconsin section, in recognition of the many members now scattered across the state. This section of the MBCA has grown to approximately 350 members. The club now has a web site and a calendar of events that spans 12 months, offering 10 to 15 official activities per year. Recent emphasis has been on more statewide events such as rallies, more driving events of various kinds, and activities involving neighboring sections of the MBCA. Events are developed by a board of 4 officers and 6 directors, with several past section presidents and officers who enthusiastically participate in the process of running the club.