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1904 Mercedes
1904 Mercedes 28/32 Sports

2832 Mercedes Engine
2832 Engine


John Surtees signing the Mercedes, Goodwood Festival of Speed 2004

1910 Mercedes Tourer
1910 Mercedes Tourer 14/30 hp

Mercedes 1430 Engine
1430 Engine

MERCEDES

Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900) and his partner Wilhelm Maybach (1846-1929) developed a compact high-speed petrol engine at their workshop in Bad Cannstatt, Germany which they fitted to a type of 'motorcycle' in 1885 and to a carriage the next year. Most early Daimler engines were used to power boats, but a v-twin version made in 1889 was specifically designed for a small motorcar and examples bulit under licence by Panhard-Levassor in Paris powered the first cars from this firm and those of Peugeot. A vertical two-cylinder engine was made in 1893 and a four-cylinder in 1896/7 and some of these found their way into Daimler motorcars, but few were made as the overall design of the vehicles was outdated.

In 1900 an Austrian businessman living in Nice, Emil Jellinek, who had bought a Daimler in 1896 and then sold a few to his friends, persuaded Daimler to design a new type of motorcar. Jellinek outlined the concept and Maybach (assisted by Gottlieb's son Paul) turned this concept into reality. When the car was shown to the public at the motoring festival known as 'Nice Week' in March 1901, it created a sensation, and, it was no longer called a Daimler, but was a Mercedes, named after Jellinek's daughter. The Mercedes had a pressed-steel chassis giving a low build, mechanically-operated inlet-valves to give smoothness and better control of the engine, magneto ignition, a gate-gearchange for ease of use and a honeycomb radiator. As the French car makers recognised at once, the overall refinement of the Mercedes, and its performance, made their own designs appear old fashioned.

With a reputation for quality established and publicity coming from a successful racing policy the Mercedes name rapidly achieved worldwide recognition, which has been retained to this day.


The 28/32 in Montreaux


Miss Mercedes

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