Petra and Uwe Bergh are a bit mad – about exceptional vehicles, remote destinations and a legendary crew in outer space. They unite it all in their Arto. And it’s not only the sci-fi fans who are amazed when they see the liner.
The Enterprise has landed. Right here on Earth. It hovers over radiant, pulsating blue under car lights on the riverbank. Closer inspection reveals that this vehicle isn’t a flying object from a far away galaxy, but rather an Arto 72 L from Polch, Germany. It’s also not manned by Kirk and Spock, but instead by Uwe, Petra and their son, Piet, which makes it the U.P.P. Enterprise. The Berghs have been turning motorhomes into travelling space ships for eight years now. Inspired by the TV fleet, the matte grey Arto bears the ID number NCC-1701-B – and is the third model in the series. The previous models, NCC-1701 and NCC-1701-A, have since found new owners with a penchant for all things exceptional. The fleet stays connected in a chat group.
To give the Arto Enterprise its special look, Uwe Bergh took advantage of his colleagues expertise: “Our company works with foil wrap experts, and we also hired a rim builder and had some electronic highlights installed.” For small logos or customised highlights, Uwe Bergh simply turns on his digital printer before covering everything in high-performance, protective overlaminate. He ordered the new rims from a specialist right before delivery. Their son Piet even got an interface for his game console as part of the customisation.
The spirit of discovery
If you ask Uwe Bergh what he finds so fascinating about combining outer space and motorhomes, he recalls: “In the Star Trek universe, it was about peaceful exploration from the very beginning – about discovering new worlds. That always inspired me.” On top of that: “I have an absolute car fetish – I had my first Mercedes when I was 18. I’m probably also the only person driving an orange, fully wrapped Range Rover in all of Germany.”
And why did they want the third Enterprise motorhome to be a Niesmann+Bischoff? It was simple for Uwe Bergh: “I’m a minimalist. I don’t like when there are too many visible components on the outside. In an Arto, everything stays in place when you’re driving and the quality is unrivaled. We were also incredibly pleased with how the special paint finish looked combined with lettering”, the Berghs reported. The fleet crew spotted their dream motorhome at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf. The dynamic liner met all of their expectations: it was long enough but still compact and, most especially, provided plenty of storage space. The Berghs even have enough room for their two old Vespas.
Individualists on tour
Travelling in the Arto whenever possible helps Uwe Bergh relax from his job as the head of an advertising agency. While on the road, he and his family live according to the famous motto of the TV Starfleet: “Going where no man has gone before”. It proudly adorns the rear of the vehicle.
The family prefer unending expanses as their route of choice when driving their U.P.P. Enterprise. That might mean Ireland, Scandinavia, Scotland or even the North Cape. “You are not going to find us on a campsite with 400 other people. We’re total individualists in that respect.” When travelling on less even terrain, features such as full air suspension with a levelling function help them come to a perfect halt. As a smaller “outboard shuttle”, as Uwe Bergh calls it, they often hook a Smart up to the rear – which keeps the adventurers mobile for short shopping trips or outings.
An animal magnet
“When you get out of the Arto at some rather remote locations, you really feel like you’re on an away mission.” The Berghs had that kind of beyond-civilisation experience in Finland while 350 km north of the polar circle. “We were underway for three weeks completely on our own there. Thanks to the Arto’s clever features, it wasn’t a problem. One morning, I heard a strange noise out of nowhere, looked out the door at 21°C below and saw a herd of reindeers licking the motorhome. We must have picked up an amount of salt during our trip. That’s not something you’ll experience in a hotel.” At times without ice cold reindeers nearby, the Berghs always find something to do in their Arto’s storage area. That’s where they usually have scooters, stunt kites and other things to play with. They definitely never get bored. It’s been roughly one and a half years since its registration and the Arto already has more than 40,000 kilometres on the clock – and the Bergh family has plenty of priceless moments to remember.
The crew is also reminded, time and again, of the U.P.P. Enterprise’s individuality while traveling from one destination to the next. “We have never been on a trip without seeing the Spock salute at least five times – especially on the British Isles – everybody there is just a mad as we are.” They will soon find out how the French react, as they’ve planned to visit the Montpellier region for their next research mission. To paraphrase Mr Spock: Drive long and prosper!