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: 300-series 300sel 6.3 1969 Mercedes Benz 300 Series 300 Sel 6.3 Barn Find Original Collector No ReserveMercedes-benz: S-class 230sl Covertible 1964 Mercedes 230 Sl European Edition Covertible Roadster Pagoda All OriginalMercedes-benz: 200-series Se 1969 Mercedes Benz 280 Se Base 2.8 L Dark Olive Black Leather W 108 No ReserveMercedes-benz: 200-series N/a 1953 Mercedes Benz 4 DoorMercedes-benz: Sl-class 230 Sl Cvt 1967 Mercedes Benz 230 Sl Custom 351 Cid Cleveland V 8 Hard And Soft TopMercedes-benz: Sl-class 1970 Mercedes Benz 280 Sl W 113 Db 158 With A CMercedes-benz: Sl-class 280sl Pagoda Roadster Euro 1969 280sl Pagoda RoadsterMercedes-benz: Sl-class 350 Sl 1974 Mercedez Benz 350 SlMercedes-benz: S-class 280se/9, 3.5 Euro, W108, No Reserve! 1971 Mercedes 280 Se 3.5 Euro Sedan W 108 W 109 4.5 6.3 300 Sel No ReserveMercedes-benz: Sl-class Extremely Original Car, 89k Miles. 1958 Mercedes Benz 190 SlMercedes-benz: 200-series 4 Door 1957 Mercedes 219 Looks Like 220 Ponton 1956 1955 1954 1953 1952 OriginalMercedes-benz: 400-series 6.9 1978 Mercedes Benz 450 Sel 6.9 36 K Orig Miles Project Blk Beige Euro Spec As IsMercedes-benz: 200-series 1967 Mercedes 200 Fin TailMercedes-benz: Sl-class 2 Door Convertible 1971 Mercedes Benz Sl ClassMercedes-benz: 300-series 300 Sel 1971 Mercedes Benz 300 Sel 3.5 Their Competitor To Rolls Royce Silver ShadowMercedes-benz: S-class Pillarless 2-door Coupe 1965 Mercedes W 111 250 Se Coupe 4 Sp Euro Manual SunroofMercedes-benz: 200-series Ponton 1955 Mercedes 220 Ponton No ReserveMercedes-benz: 200-series Coupe 220 Se Mercedes 220 SebMercedes-benz: 200-series Seb 1965 Mercedes Benz 220 Se Coupe 4 Speed Manual Euro Spec Nut Bolt RestorationPocher 1935 Mercedes-benz 500 K/ak Cabriolet 1/8 Scale Model Boxed! Unbuilt!Mercedes-benz: 300-series 1969 Mercedes 300 Sel 6.3 Floor Shift W 109 BeautifulMercedes-benz: 190-series 1955 Mercedes Benz 190 SlMercedes-benz: 200-series 220d 1972 Mercedes Benz Euro Stick DieselMercedes-benz: 200-series 220d 1972 Mercedes Benz 220 DMercedes-benz: 200-series 280sl 1971 280 Sl W 113 Pagoda PagodeMercedes-benz: Sl-class 350sl Roadster 1972 Mercedes Benz 350 Sl Roadster Classic Collectible Antique Status Must SeeAirfix 1960's 723 Mercedes Benz W154 White Clubman Kit Mounted 4 Wheel DriveMercedes-benz: 200-series 280se Mercedes Benz 280 Se , 3.5 ,1971Mercedes-benz: 200-series 1952 Green 220 S Partial Restoration Great Car Rare DesirableCox Thimble Drome Mercedes Benz W-196 RacerMercedes-benz: Sl-class 1976 Mercedes 450 Sl Roadster W Rebuilt Engine And TransmissionJnf Neuhierl Germany Vintage 1950's Tinplate Mercedes Benz W196 Racer Ultra RareMatchbox Lesney No 68b Vintage Mercedes Coach Rare Turquoise Body Mint In BoxBeautiful Franklin Mint 1/24 1911 Mercedes-benz Skiff W/labourdette Coach WorkMercedes-benz: 200-series 220 S 1964 220 S Inline 6 Cyl Fintail Sedan Wood Trim Runs Nicely Nicely RestoredMercedes-benz: 200-series Beautiful Well Serviced Well Documented Long Term Ownership Of A 250se CoupeMercedes-benz: Other Model 1929 Mercedes Gazelle Kit CarMercedes-benz: 200-series 280se 3.5 Cabriolet 1970 Mercedes Benz 280 Se 3.5 CabrioletMercedes-benz: 190-series 1957 Mercedes 190 Sl1990 Mercedes 190e 2.0 (barolo Red) 1/18 Diecast Car Model By Autoart 76135Mercedes-benz: 200-series Base 1974 Mercedes Benz 280 C 2.8 L Good Condition Runs Great Collector CoupeMercedes-benz: Sl-class 450slc 1978 Mercedes Slc Excellent OriginalAltaya Scalextric Mercedes 250sl Green / Black C32 Vg++Altaya Scalextric Mercedes 250sl Soft Top C33 White #12 Vg++1:24 Cmc Mercedes-benz 300 Sls Rare Paul O'shea 1/24 Collector's Item # M-030Mercedes-benz: 400-series 1976 Mercedes Benz 450 Sl Used Automatic ConvertibleMercedes Benz G500 Hot Wheels 1/18 Scale Diecast Car Suv BlackAutoart 1/18 Lorinser MercedesMercedes-benz: 200-series 280se Coupe Low Grill Floor Shift / Ac 1970 Mercedes 280 Se Coupe Low Grill Floor Shift Behr Ac Completely RestoredLego Technic Power Functions Pneumatic 42043 Mercedes-benz Arocs 3245Lionel 1960's Ford Galaxy Convertible/mercedes Benz Ho Slot Cars- Vintage-2 CarsMercedes-benz: 450 Slc 450 Slc 1975 Mercedes Benz 450 SlcUsed 1/32 Slot Car Custom Made Mercedes Saauber C9 Ca06z Le Mans Mercedes-benz: 500k Marlene Replica Convertible Roadster 1934 Mercedes Benz Marlene 500 K Convertible Roadster Replica 2.8 V 6 Auto A CPocher K74 1/8 Scale 1935 Mercedes 500 K-ak Cabriolet Model Car KitRare Vintage Scalextric Mercedes Benz 250 Sl Exinmex Verde Green 70sMarui Mt-48 1/35 Mercedes-benz Type G4/w31 Motorized Model Kit, No MotorMinichamps 1/43 Mercedes-benz W128 Break 200t 'red' Min.032210Matchbox Lesney Mercedes Coach 68 B1 Turquois 7.5 Mm Seats Sc1 Exc+ &crafted BoxMercedes-benz: 300-series 300 Cd Diesel Coupe Power Sunroof Recent Engine And Transmission A C Updated