The German companies that eventually became Daimler A.G., as Mercedes-Benz has been known since 2007, date to the late 19th century. Carl Benz founded Benz & Cie. in October, 1883. His company’s open-air Benz Patent Motorwagen from 1886 is considered the first automobile, despite having only three wheels. In 1894, Benz released the Velo, which was the world's first mass-produced car.

Gottlieb Daimler founded Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) in November, 1890. The first car to bear the Mercedes brand was produced in 1901—the vehicle took its name from the 10-year-old daughter of an early salesman for Daimler, an Austrian businessman named Emil Jellinek. This first Mercedes, designed by Daimler’s Wilhelm Maybach, had a 35 horsepower, 5193cc, four-cylinder engine.

Prior to and during World War I, both firms focused on manufacturing aircraft engines and trucks for the German war effort. After the war, stung by inexpensive Ford imports, Daimler attempted to diversify its product line by make bicycles and typewriters. But the Treaty of Versailles played havoc on the German economy, and by 1926, the two auto companies had merged as Daimler-Benz. Touring convertibles, sports cars, boxy sedans, and trucks filled out the list of models from the late 1920s until the mid-1930s. By the end of the decade, the company was back in the military-truck and aircraft-engine business. During World War II itself, Daimler-Benz relied on forced labor to fill roughly half its workforce.

The 1950s saw the reintroduction of the Mercedes-Benz brand into international automotive markets, as well as the dawn of a new look for the car company’s products. Up first was the 300SL (for “sport" and "leicht" in German, or “sporty" and "light” in English), which was released in 1954 as a Gullwing. The car’s name referred to the way in which the doors resembled bird wings when fully opened (they were hinged on the car’s roof). The visual effect was impressive, but from a practical standpoint, the Gullwing left a lot to be desired. The body leaked, the frame was difficult to repair if damaged (dealers hated it), and if the car rolled in an accident and landed on its roof, the doors were next to impossible to open. After 1,400 Gullwings, the 300SL was redesigned in 1957 as a roadster convertible, 1,858 of which were produced until 1963.

During the 1960s, Mercedes mostly devoted itself to its 200-series SLs. The 230s had a removable steel roof, known as a Pagoda, and proved popular with customers—almost 20,000 of the 230 models were sold between 1963 and 1967. The 250SL was a transitional model (just over 5,000 units were shipped), while the 280L was the best of the bunch, with enough power (170bhp vs. 150) to give the vehicle a sports-car feel, even with an automatic transmission. Just under 24,000 280SLs were purchased, making it the best-selling Mercedes of the decade.

Although Mercedes-Benz also produced convertibles and coupes in the 1960s, one of its most famous cars was a luxury sedan, which is known as a saloon in England, called the 600. Owned by everyone from John Lennon to Fidel Castro, the 600 had a big, 300bhp V-8 engine, which it needed to move the 5,000-pound vehicle (6-door models with 8 seats, known as Pullmans, weighed almost another half ton, but even those beasts could do zero to 60 in just 10 seconds and cruise at 120mph). From 1963 to 1981, a mere 2,190 600s were built, while only 487 Pullman versions were manufactured during the same period.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Hemmings Auto Blogs

Hemmings Auto Blogs

This great (and frequently updated) blog from the folks at Hemmings Motor News is a visual feast of old and new pho… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Mercedes-benz : Sl-class 280sl Pagoda 1969 Mercedes Benz 280 Sl Pagoda Convertible W 113 Driver Or Restore No ReserveMercedes-benz : 400-series 6.9 Sedan 4-door 1978 Mercedes Benz 450 Sel 6.9 The Bankers Hot Rod 76 K Miles Must SeeMercedes-benz : 200-series Mercedes Benz 250se Coupe 1967Mercedes-benz : Sl-class Mercedes Benz 230sl 1965 Mercedes Benz 230 Sl Factory Pagoda Roof Dry Climate Car 4 Speed ManualMercedes-benz : 200-series 280 Se 1972 Mercedes Benz 280 Se W 108Mercedes-benz : 200-series 280se Conv. 1969 Mercedes Benz 280 Se Cabriolet 64 795 Original MilesMercedes-benz : 200-series Coupe 1970 Mercedes 280 Se Coupe CaliforniaMercedes-benz : Sl-class 280sl 1968 Mercedes Benz 280 Sl PagodaMercedes-benz : Other 1937 Mercedes Benz 170 VMercedes-benz : 200-series 240d Diesel 1974 Mercedes 240 D Diesel Looks Runs Drives GreatMercedes-benz : Sl-class 1967 250 Sl Euro Version1:18 Cmc 2003 Mercedes-benz Slr Mclaren Supercar In Silver 1/18 Item # M-045eMercedes-benz : Other 1953 Mercedes Benz Diesel Sedan 170 Ds 170 Ds1/20 Scale Metal Revival Model Kit 1939 Mercedes Benz W163 Grand Prix #77101Mercedes-benz : Sl-class Sl 1976 Mercedes Benz 450 Sl Roadster CoupeMercedes-benz : Sl-class 1973 Mercedes 450 Sl Original V 8 Convertible ClassicMercedes-benz : Sl-class N/a 1972 Mecedes Benz 350 SlWedico Mercedes 3-axle Artic Unit Complete With Battery, Lights & RemoteMercedes-benz : 200-series 280 Ce Coupe 81k Original Mi's All Records 1978 Mercedes Benz 280 ClassMercedes-benz : 190-series 1958 Mercedes 190 Sl1:18 Cmc 1937 Mercedes-benz W125 Silver Arrow Lang Caracciola 1/18 Item # M-031Used Tamiya 1/10 Rc F103 Carbon Chassis '98 F1 Mclaren Mercedes Mp4/13 W/m Body Mercedes-benz : 300-series Clode 1972 Mercedes Benz 300 Sel 6.51989 Exoto Sauber-mercedes C9 *very Rare*Used Tamiya 1/10 Rc F103 Chassis Mclaren Mercedes Mp4/13 F1 1998 #8 M.hakkinenMercedes-benz : Sl-class 450sl Roadster 1974 Mercedes Benz 450 Sl With 58000 Miles Rare Green Metallic A Must SeeMercedes-benz : 200-series 280ce 1978 280 Ce Coupe No Reserve1:18 Cmc Mercedes-benz Sskl Mille Miglia Win 1931 Rudolf Caracciola 1/18 M-055Lego Technic Mercedes-benz Arocs 3245 Truck (42043) No Reserve! Must See!Mercedes-benz : Sl-class 450 Sl 1978 Mercedes 450 Sl 37 Year Old Car Please Read1:18 Rare Exoto 1987 Michelin Sauber-mercedes C9 #63 Michelin Thackwell Rlg18191Mercedes-benz : 200-series 280 Sel 1970 Mercedes Benz 280 SelMercedes-benz : 400-series Sl 78 1978 Mercedes 450 SlMercedes-benz : Sl-class Sl190 1961 190 SlMercedes-benz : Sl-class 250 Model 114 1970 Mercedes Benz 250 Convertible Power Top Rare Collectible Classic Must SeeMercedes-benz : Sl-class 1978 Mercedes 450 Sl Convertible Low Reserve Original Custom Red InteriorMercedes-benz : 190-series Convertible 1962 Mercedes Benz 190 Sl Ownership History Since New Complete Restoration1:18 Cmc Mercedes-benz 1924 Targa Florio Winner #10 Werner/sailer 1/18 No. M-048Mercedes-benz : Sl-class Convertible 1971 Mercedes Benz 280 SlMercedes-benz : 200-series 250s 1966 Mercedes 250 S 2.5 L Inline 6 Twin Carbs Ice Cold Air Recent RestorationPocher Rivarossi Mercedes Benz 540k 1/8 Scale ModelMercedes-benz : Sl-class Sl450 1977 Mercedes 450 Sl Convertible Rare 4 Seater Good Looking And Good ConditionMercedes-benz : 300-series Base Sedan 4 Door 1976 Mercedes Benz 300 D Yellow Green Clean Title 73956 Orig Miles Runs WellPocher Mercedes Benz 500k Sport Roadster 1935 1/8 Scale Model KitMercedes-benz : 200-series Diesel 1975 Mercedes 240 DMercedes-benz : Other 1929 Mercedes Gazelle ReplicaNew Lego Technic 42043 Mercedes-benz Arocs 3245 Building Kit Amazing Best DealMercedes-benz : Other Mercedes 250 Se Classic 250se Coupe Longtime Ownership With Superb Records And Run And DriveMercedes-benz : Sl-class Sl 1976 Mercedes Sl 450 Original Owner Since New1/32 Cartrix 1955 Mercedes W196 Karl Kling #14Mercedes-benz : Sl-class 1975 Mercedes 450 Sl Convertible No ReserveMercedes-benz : Sl-class 190sl 1961 Mb 190 Sl Red With Tan Interior And Top Exceptional ConditionAuto Art 1/18 Th Scale Later Mercedes-benz 's' Class Lhd Excellent/boxed C TextMercedes-benz : 400-series 450 Sl 1974 Mercedes 450 Sl ConvetbleLego Technic 42043 Mercedes-benz Arocs 3245 Building Kit Brand New1:18 Rare Cmc Mercedes-benz W154 1938 Gp Of France #24 Caracciola 1/18 # M-038Scalextric Conversion Articulated Mercedes Box Truck / Lorry / Car Superb Sica06a Mercedes Sauber C9 Le Mans '87 Pescarolo-thackwell-okada SealedDte Old Vintage France Majorette Twin Pack 338 Mercedes Benz 280 + Sailboat NiopAutoart 1/18 Scale Mercedes Benz Maybach 57