The Story of Mercedes Benz
It all started with two different ideas from two different men with two different cars. Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz each created their own companies, manufacturing their own cars. Their companies produced brilliant automobiles as rivals for about 30 years, until economic ties caused their two respectful companies to merge and create what today is the greatest automobile in the world. Here is a brief history of the Mercedes Benz from it's early days as a motor cycle engine to today's ground breaking automobile.
1871, at the age of 27, Karl Benz got together with a partner August Ritter in Mannheim to form his first company, the "Iron Foundry and Machine Shop". Not long after, the two partners went their separate ways and Karl Benz started a company of his own.By 1879/80, eight years after his company was founded, Karl Benz had developed his first working two-stroke engine.
1885. The first motor cycle. Gottlieb Daimler makes further improvements to the four-stroke single-cylinder engine. and fits it in a two-wheeler which he had designed himself. 1886. The Daimler Motor Carriage.Gottlieb Daimler orders a four-wheeler carriage from coach makers Wimpff & Sohn into which he fitted his 1.1 hp engine.
On January 29, 1886 the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin granted Karl Benz German Patent No. 37435 for the world's first motor car. Its 0.7 hp engine was mounted horizontally at the rear of a three-wheeler carriage. The motor car was born The early 1890's brought the breakthrough for Karl Benz. With new partners and 50 employees, he now concentrated entirely on designing motor vehicles.
1893. The Benz Velo was the first cheap, mass-produced car in the world. It came onto the market in 1893. 1896. The first delivery vehicle was developed by Karl Benz on the chassis of a Viktoria car model. It was supplied to the Paris department store "Bon Marche"
1898. The name Mercedes. In 1898, Emil Jellinek, who bought and sold Daimler products, took part in the Nice-Magagnon-Nice rally under the pseudonym Mercedes, his daughter's name. He won the race in a Daimler.
1909. Daimler's star. The suggestion to use the star as a trademark came from Gottlieb Daimler's sons. Their father had once sent his wife a postcard with a star marking out the house where he was living in Deutz. "One day this star will shine down on my work", he said.In 1909 a trademark was taken out on the star. Its three points symbolizes the three branches of motorisation: on land, on water and in the air.
1903. The year of the Parsifal.The new Parsifal was the first Benz with a vertical two-cylinder engine. It was also the first Benz with modern propeller shaft drive. 1919. Peacetime production.Drawing on experience gained with aero engines in the First World War, it was now decided to use supercharging in vehicle engines too.
1921. The first luxury models.In 1921 Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft presented two new vehicle models at the Berlin Motor Show. These were the first luxury cars of the post-war era. 1923. The Benz Drop-Shaped Car of 1923 was unusual in its basic layout and can be regarded as the first mid-engine racing car in the world..The drop-shaped car's greatest moment was in the Monza European Grand Prix.
1924.The Merger. After winning a combined 269 races, Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft and Benz & Cie. co-ordinate their production activities and two years later merged into present day Mercedes Benz. . 1926. . Shortly after the merger, Daimler-Benz create the legendary "K Type" supercharged model. It had a top speed of 145 km/h, making it the fastest touring car in the world.
1929. The new medium-sized cars. One of the first models to appear after the merger was the "Stuttgart", a six-cylinder unsupercharged model, producing 38 hp. 1934-1936. The dream cars of the 30's. In the 30's cars such as the 500 K and the 540 K were among the most sought after cars. Cars like the 540 K sports car are among the all-time showpieces of automotive engineering.
1934. A new racing formula led Daimler-Benz to develop a completely new car known as the W 25. Over the weight limit to enter races at first, a sand down on the paint allowed the Silver Arrow to win countless series. 1945. A fresh start. After the War, the bombed out Untertürkheim plant put production of cars on hold, and for the first few months, the factory's output included trailers for bicycles.
1946. Car business resumes At the Sindelfingen plant, . which survived damage, production continued except it only produced as a pick-up, because the Allied Control Council, prohibited Germany from manufacturing personal cars. 1949. The first new post-war developments May of this year saw the first new post-war development: a diesel version of the 170, which soon became a best-seller.
1954. The dream car of the 1950's. The 300 SL, which went into production in 1954 was a dream car from the moment it came onto the market. Its 215 hp 3-liter 6-cylinder engine gave the 300 SL a top speed of 250 km/h. 1955. A new roadster. The 190 SL was a "popular" version of the 300 SL. The cost of the 190 SL was only half that of the 300 SL. The roadster was fitted with a 4-cylinder engine from the 190 saloon, upgraded to 105 hp. More than 26,000 190 SL's were sold around the world.
1958. Launch of the SE series. The 220 E series was more economical the a 300 SL. With better flexibility, higher power output and substantially improved pulling power, it consumed approximately half a liter less fuel per hundred kilometers than the 220 S. 1961. More safety for Mercedes-Benz drivers. Daimler-Benz researches were always convinced in the safety of the seat belt. They had been optionally available since 1957, however in 1961, the company started to fit the anchorage points for seat belts as standard.
1963. A new "Grand Mercedes". In 1963, Daimler-Benz presented a new model: the 600, a car of superlatives in every way and fitted out with a wide array of electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic and vacuum-operated systems. 2,600 were sold through 1981. 1974. New convertibles. The seventies too had their SL. The running gear of the new convertibles was taken from the /8 series. Even more than their predecessors, they emphasized elegance rather than sportiness.
1977. A completely new Mercedes. The W 123 T-models presented in 1977 were a new departure in the Mercedes model range. The letter "T" stands for "tourism" and "transport". 1979. The new S-class makes its debut. Gone was the chrome trim of the predecessor. Instead, bumpers and broad side plastic moldings bore witness to a functional design philosophy. The drag coefficient of 0.36 was low for the times.
1982. Mercedes in a new format. In late 1982, the new W 201 series saw the light of day. With their new body and running gear, these compact vehicles sparked lively discussion. 1984. Daimler-Benz introduced a new "mid-series" car, the W 124, incorporating further advances in passive safety. It featured belt-tensioners for driver and front passenger as standard equipment and a steering wheel airbag was optionally available.
1989. Silver Arrows return to the stage. Before the first event in Suzuka, the Mercedes C 9's were resprayed in silver. The Silver Arrows made a comeback worthy of the proud tradition. The Silver Arrows won 7 out of 8 races including a double win in the Le Mans 24 Hours race. 1993. Mercedes-Benz was the first manufacturer in the world to fit a four-valve diesel engine in a car. The new engine, fitted in the new E-class models - offering enhanced performance and smoothness, along with extreme longevity.
1994. The renaissance of the roadster. The SLK study for a small convertible was given a rapturous welcome when it was unveiled at the Turin Motor Show. SLK stands for "sportlich", "leicht" and "kurz = short". The two-seater from Stuttgart is the most exciting Mercedes in years. Fitted with the latest safety technology and offered with a 4-cylinder in-line engine with or without supercharger, it develops a maximum output of 150 or 250 hp. This new dream car will start to leave the Mercedes plant in Bremen as early as 1996. It will write a new chapter in the company's long and remarkable roadster tradition.