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 : 190-series 190sl 190 Sl 1961 Mercedes Benz Barn FindMercedes-benz : Sl-class 250sl 1968 Merecedes 250 Sl Project Factory Silver Car With Blue LeatherMercedes-benz : 200-series 250se 1968 Mercedes Benz 250 SeMercedes-benz : 200-series 250se 1966 Mercedes 250 Se Coupe Bmw Vintage Classic Barn Find 250 Se BenzMercedes-benz : 200-series 280se 1972 Mercedes 280 Se W 108 4.5 66 K MilesMercedes-benz : Other Green 1968 Mercedes Benz Unimog 404 Swiss Army TruckMercedes-benz : 200-series 2 Door 1966 Mercedes Benz 230 SlMercedes-benz : 200-series 220d 1970 Mercedes Benz 220 D The Original 240 D 300 D 300 Sd 300 Td Diesel 4 SpdMercedes-benz : 600-series 600 1967 Mercedes 600 Same Owner For 30 YearsMercedes-benz : 200-series 4 Door Sedan 1955 Mercedes 220 SedanMercedes-benz : 200-series 280c 1976 Mercedes 280 CMercedes-benz : 200-series 220 1957 Mercedes 220 PontonVintage Mercedes Benz 190 Sl Cherry Red Metal Body Pedal CarMercedes-benz : Sl-class Mercedes Benz Concours D'elegance Winner 1969 Mercedes Benz 280 Sl Roadster Concours D Elegance In Class Winner Come SeeLego Technic Mercedes-benz Unimog U 400 (8110)Mercedes-benz : 200-series 280e 1977 Mercedes Benz 280 E 4 Door 2.8 L With Collector Plates Excellent ConditionMercedes-benz : Other Only 42,655 Actual Miles! 1972 Mercedes Benz 280 Sel 4.5 Sedan Gorgeous Color CombinationMercedes-benz : 200-series 1975 Mb 230 Mercedes Benz Sedan Runs Great W Protecto Plate 48 964 MilesMercedes-benz : 200-series 1973 Mercedes Benz 280 Ce Fuel Injected Coupe Power Windows We Ship World WideMercedes-benz : Sl-class 450 Sl 1972 Mercedes 450 SlMercedes-benz : 190-series 280sl Convertible 1968 Mercedes Benz 280 Sl 24 400 Actual Miles 2 Tops Euro Spec RestoredMercedes-benz : Sl-class Sport Leight 1975 Mercedes Benz 450 SlAutoart 1/18 Mercedes-benz C63 Amg Black With Leather Seats #76268Mercedes-benz : Other 2 Door 1923 Mercedes Benz Gazelle Kit Car 303 Original Miles No Reserve LookVintage Aurora? Lot Of Slot Cars And Parts Must See!!!! Mercedes And MoreCmc 1/18 1954 Mercedes Benz Race Car Transporter Renntransporter No BoxScalextric Mercedes 300 Slr & Jaguar D Type 1955 Le Mans Set C3058a MbMercedes-benz : 400-series 450 Sel 1978 Mercedes Benz 450 Sel Low Mileage Excellent Original ConditionMercedes-benz : Sl-class 450sl 2 Mercedes Benz 1974 459 Slc 1977 450 Sl Both For 16000.00Pocher Mercedes Benz 500k-ak Cabriolet 1935 Kit Ages 15 And UpPocher Mercedes Benz 500k Sport Roadster 1935 Model KitMonogram Realistic Slot Car / Racing Mercedes 540-k /1/24 / Sr2407-698 Model1950's Japanese Tin Battery Operated Mercedes Racer Marked Marusan KosugeMercedes-benz : Sl-class Roadster 1967 Mercedes Benz 250 SlMercedes-benz : Sl-class Roadster 1971 Mercedes Benz 280 Sl Automatic Air Conditioning Original UnrestoredMercedes-benz : Sl-class Slc 1973 Mercedes Benz 450 SlcLego Technic Mercedes-benz Unimog U 400 (8110) LooseMercedes Benz W165 1939 1:18 Model Car Nr.2 By Cmc Gmbh, Perfect ConditionCmc 1:18 1937 Mercedes Benz W125, Donington Gp, #2 Hermann Lang, Bad Box M-114Lot Of 2: 1954 Mercedes Benz Franklin Mint Die-cast Replica Classic Cars1961 Cox Mercedes Benz Thimble Drome W-196 Grand Prix Racer NmibMercedes-benz : Sl-class 2 Door 1976 Mercedes 450 Sl Hardtop Convertible With Soft Cover Good Shape For A 76Lot Of 2: Mercedes Benz Franklin Mint Die-cast Replica Classic CarsTomy Tomica Japan Mercedes Benz 450 Sel 1/67 Th ScaleCorgi Toys, 230 Mercedes Benz 220 Se Lego Garage With Car Mercedes 190 Sl VintageNew Scalextric 1/32 F1 Formula One Vodafone Mclaren Mercedes Slot Car Sweeet Cox Mercedes-benz Thimble Drome W-196 Grand Prix RacerCmc 1/18 Mercedes Slr 2003~silverTamiya Built 1/10 Xbs Mercedes Benz 190e Tt-01es Rtr New Radio Controlled1958 Bandai Mercedes Benz 219 Tin Friction Sedan Near Mint In BoxLot Of 3: Mercedes Benz Franklin Mint Die-cast Replica Classic CarsMercedes-benz : 200-series 250c 1972 Mercedes Benz 250 C Two Door Runs GoodKit Tamiya Amg-mercedes 600 Sel 1/24 Scale 600selRare Minichamps 1968 Mercedes-benz 300 Sel 6.3 (w109) 1:43 Nla Schuco 1050 The Steerable Driving School Car Red Mercedes W/ Tools/box/insertSchuco Micro Racer 1043/2 Mercedes Made In Western Germany, Excellent Condition5 Corgi Cars / Batmobile / Mercedes Benz 350 / 2 Ambulances & Small Red Car NiceObsolete Minichamps 1990 Mercedes-benz 190e 2.5-16 Evo 1 Street (w201) 1:43 NlaScalextric Pair Mercedes Porsche Daytona Prototype 1:32 Slot Cars