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Most historians agree that Karl Benz's first prototype of 1885 was the worlds first petrol-powered car. Benz was to start out working as a carriage builder and at a stationary engine manufacturer, where he quickly thought it a good idea to combine the two to make a better mode of transport. It would take him 5 years, and a couple of partners (allowing him to concentrate on his engineering) to see the first Benz tricycle reach limited production. This three-wheeler morphed into the four-wheel Viktoria in 1891, forming the basis for van and bus versions.

The four-wheel version became very popular, and by the turn of the century Benz was the largest automobile manufacturer. Fierce competition from other manufacturers would see Benz leave the company bearing his name, in favour of Hans Nibel, who soon embarked on a motor racing effort that would once again raise the companies profile. Most noteable was the "Blitzen-Benz", powered by a 21.5 liter airship engine! Designed to hold the land speed record, it not only achieved it but would hold the record for another decade. Economic hardship following World War I forced Benz to merge with another German manufacturer, Daimler.

Also see: Mercedes-Benz History

Mercedes SSK  

Mercedes 28/60 45/50 h.p.

1907 - 1914
A century ago, the owner of a Mercedes usually delegated cranking, praying and probably cursing as well to his unfortunate chauffeur. You would certainly need to be in good form to swing four cylinders totalling over 7¼ liters. More >>
Mercedes SSK  

Mercedes Benz SSK

Designed by Ferdinand Porsche, the Mercedes SSK is regarded by most as the finest pre-war sports built. More >>
Mercedes 540K  

Mercedes Benz 500 & 540K

1934 - 1939
Definitely one of the most desirable masterpieces in the pre-war period, this car foresaw the trend of Mercedes-Benz in having incomparable build quality and elegance of design. More >>
Mercedes 170V  

Mercedes Benz 170V

1936 - 1953
In April 1945 Daimler Benz executives announced that the company had "ceased to exist", however some of the less damaged manufacturing plants fell into the Allied occupied zone and, after as many ex-employees could be located, production resumed on the 170. More >>
Mercedes 170D  

Mercedes Benz 170D

1949 - 1955
For a diesel powered Mercedes to be successful, the engineers needed to create a car that would perform as well if not better than its petrol cousin. And, as always, the Mercedes engineers succeeded. More >>
Mercedes 170S  

Mercedes Benz 170S

1949 - 1955
While the design of the 170S was not actually new, in fact its routes stretched back as far as 1936, it did play an important role in re-establishing Mercedes in post-war Europe. More >>
Mercedes 220  

Mercedes Benz 220

1951 - 1956
Introduced after a showing at the Frankfurt Auto Show of 1951, production began in July of 1951. Closely resembling the Mercedes 170S, the headlights were instead moved to the front fenders and the model featured much more elegant interior appointments. More >>
Mercedes 300  

Mercedes Benz 300

1951 - 1956
First introduced to the public at the 1951 Frankfurt Motor Show, the 300 is important in the post war Mercedes line-up as it represents the return by Mercedes to manufacturing outstanding high quality and luxurious automobiles. More >>
Mercedes 300S  

Mercedes Benz 300S

1951 - 1958
Simply put, these were not just good automobiles, they were great. The 170 may have helped re-establish Mercedes as a manufacturer, but it was the 300S that re-established it as the world's best automotive marque. More >>
Mercedes 180  

Mercedes Benz 180

1953 - 1962
When the 180 was introduced in 1953, its main feature was the new chassis design - one that used sectional steel side members tied into the floorpan - resulting in improved rigidity and noise reduction. More >>
Mercedes 180D  

Mercedes Benz 180D

1953 - 1962
The 180D used a four door unitary bodyshell which formed the basis for many other Mercedes saloon models. As with all Mercedes cars the 180 was well built and offered excellent reliability. More >>
Mercedes 190  

Mercedes Benz 190

1956 - 1965
The new look 190 was vastly more modern in appearance, the Mercedes designers incorporated fins for the first time, of course fins being almost mandatory on cars built in the early 1960's. More >>
Mercedes 219  

Mercedes Benz 219

1956 - 1959
The 219 represented an evolution rather than an evolution, and as is still the case with cars of today such an evolution involved increasing the length of the wheelbase and the power output of the motor. More >>
Mercedes 220S  

Mercedes Benz 220S

1956 - 1959
The 220S sedan was the third of the new generation models shown to the public at the Frankfurt Show in 1956. It was also the most powerful one of the trio and the most expensive one as well. More >>
Mercedes 220SE  

Mercedes Benz 220SE

1958 - 1960
While production of the 220SE began in April of 1958, the model would not come to market until September, and even then the Mercedes regular production lines would not get underway until October. More >>
Mercedes 190D  

Mercedes Benz 190D

1958 - 1965
While it was usual for the Mercedes diesel model to follow the release of the petrol driven variety, it would take an astonishing 2 years for the 190D to debut. More >>
Mercedes 220S "Fintail"  

Mercedes Benz 220S Fintail

1958 - 1968
Today there are still many "Finnies" on the road, such was the high build quality of these cars, and because the fins that were to date the design of the car so quickly are now seen as an excercise in design and beauty the 220 and 220S are appreciating in value. More >>
Mercedes 220 "Fintail"  

Mercedes Benz 220 Fintail

1959 - 1965
As with the model it was replacing (the 219), the new 220 was available with the "Hydrak" transmission until 1961. In fact for almost a year, between 1961 and 1962, the 220 was available in manual form only until Mercedes introduced a new "Auto" transmission as an option. More >>
Mercedes 600 "Pullman"  

Mercedes Benz 600 Pullman

1963 - 1981
In 1961 Mercedes built the 600 to be the world's ultimate saloon car, a luxurious Rolls Royce type car that had no regard to cost or compromise. It offered affluent members of society a 320 cm wheelbase and 5.5 metre four door saloon. More >>
Mercedes 200  

Mercedes Benz 200

1965 - 1968
Production of the "Fintail" 200 lasted until 1968 and, during the first year of its life, was the smallest of the seventeen models of passenger cars manufactured by Mercedes. More >>
Mercedes 200D  

Mercedes Benz 200D

1965 - 1968
It was during the production run of the 200D that the 500,000 Mercedes Diesel was manufactured - attesting to the popularity of Diesel even back in the 1950's and 1960's. More >>
Mercedes-Benz 250  

Mercedes Benz 250

1968 - 1974
The new model 250 broke fresh ground for Mercedes in having a new independent rear suspension using semi-trailing links instead of their famous low-pivot swing-axle. More >>
Mercedes 250CE  

Mercedes Benz 250C/CE

1968 - 1974
Mercedes coupes have always been eye-catchers, the two door design and resultant window shape making for sleek sophistication. More >>
Mercedes 280 SE 3.5

Mercedes Benz 280SE 3.5

1969 - 1971
The 280SE 3.5 luxury coupe and convertible were introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1969. The basic body style actually dated back to the 1961 220SE model, and it was only slightly altered. More >>
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