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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 230.4  

Mercedes Benz 230.4

1972 - 1976
Overall a good, dependable and economical car, the four cylinder motor did not have the performance of the larger 6 and V8 powered cars. More >>
Mercedes 280SEL  

Mercedes Benz 280SEL

1973 - 1980
Information being compiled. More >>
Mercedes 280E  

Mercedes Benz 280E

1975 - 1985
The 280E was enormously popular, thanks largely to the sweet 6 cylinder being equipped with the Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection system with air volume control (first seen in the 6.9 liter monster 450SEL). More >>
Mercedes 450SEL  

Mercedes Benz 450SEL

1975 - 1980
First offered in 1975, it shared the grand 600s 6.3 liter V8 but had it bored out to 417ci/6.835Ltrs to produce an appreciable 286hp and highway pounding 550Nm of torque.  It was and remains the biggest postwar engine mercedes ever made. More >>
Mercedes 300GD Gelandewagen  

Mercedes Benz 300GD Gelandewagen

1981 - 1989
The 300GD Gelandewagen four wheel drive model was Mercedes answer to the Range Rover. Nobody had anticipated the demand for a luxury four wheel drive, however the "Rangie" was to prove far more successful in the showroom. Why?, perhaps that the 300GD was such a good off-road performer but lacked a little of the on road finesse of the Range Rover says more about the type of people buying these cars than the cars themselves. More >>
Mercedes 190E  

Mercedes Benz 190E

1988 - 1990
The Mercedes Benz 190E, quickly dubbed the 'Baby Benz', brought the prestigous marque within the purchasing reach of many. While this model featured nearly all the safety features of its bigger brothers, and corresponding build quality, the one model everyone seeks today is the 2.3-16. More >>
Mercedes 560SEL  

Mercedes Benz 560SEL

1988 - 1991
The mighty 560SEL, the Mercedes "S" class (Sonderklasse) flagship for 1988. Powered by the fearsome 5.6 liter V8 producing 300bhp (220kw) the car could do 0 - 100kmh in 7.2 seconds, presumably with the executive in the back remaining blisfully unaware that his chauffer was having a fang! More >>
Mercedes A-Class  

Mercedes Benz A-Class Series 1

1997 - 2005
Mercedes' decision to apply its engineering genius to totally new formats - rather than the further refinement of established designs saw its ultimate realization with the A-class. More >>
Mercedes M-Class

Mercedes Benz M-Class

1997 -
The M-class, another part of Mercedes' dash for diversification, was designed to enter the booming 4x4 (SUV) sector and to succeed by addressing the problems inherent in the majority of 4x4 designs. More >>
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