History of Mercedes Benz Automobiles
Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler grew up in southern Germany about 60 miles apart, not knowing about each other. They are the fathers and the beginning of the Mercedes Benz history. Benz patented the first gasoline powered car, a tri-wheeler in 1886, later the same year Daimler built a motorized stagecoach. Daimler then made a deal with William Steinway of piano fame, to make Daimler Cars in Long island, New york. Production there began in 1904 until a fire in 1907.
Benz built his first four wheel car, the Victoria, in 1893, followed by the production of Velo the following year. That car entered the first auto race between Paris and Rouen, France. 1895 was the first year of Benz trucks. The first Mercedes automobile was marketed in 1901, named after the daughter of Emil Jellenek, a wealthy Austrian auto enthusiast who was providing financing.
The year 1923 saw fifteen million cars world wide, of which half were made by Ford (see Ford history), and 80% were in the United States. In 1924 the two companies Benz and Daimler began an alliance under their separate names. In 1926 the two merged, and Mercedes brand production cars began. The merged company produced about 8,000 cars in 1927, and introduced the first diesel truck. This was a big improvement from the early post-war years. The three-pointed star began in 1909 and was patented in 1928.
The Most Notable Mercedes Benz Automobiles In History
The company introduced the 770 Grosser, it’s largest and most luxurious car ever, in 1930, to a world still reeling from the Wall Street crash. Weighing about 6000 pounds and powered by a 7.6 liter V-8 engine, it was the epitome of wealth. In 1931 it launched another innovation, the model 170, with the first-ever four wheel independent suspension. During the thirties Mercedes continued it’s racing success. In 1937 the 200 mile an hour W125 won seven out of 13 races. The pre-war 170V sedan was basically the same car when post-war production resumed in 1948.
In the mid 50s the company produced the super-fast 300SL sports car with upward opening doors, and race-bred refinements. Today it’s a coveted collector’s item. In the late fifties, it produced the first crumple zone body design, built to withstand a crash while keeping the occupants safe. About that time, the company made an agreement with the Studebaker-Packard Corporation whereby Mercedes cars would be sold through their dealer network. When Studebaker went out of business in the mid sixties, it’s dealers continued selling Mercedes-Benz cars.
In 1963 the limousine-sized 600 model pioneered air suspension. Daimler-Benz merged with the Chrysler Corporation (see Chrysler history) in 1998. The merger was dissolved in 2007 after management disagreements. That year the first Mercedes hybrid models were offered. After world war two, the first factory outside Germany began in Argentina, and the brand is now built in several countries.