Mercedes – The Founding Father

Mercedes is rich in history

First Mercedes Automobile

Mercedes created the first automobile in 1886. It was a three wheel bicycle looking contraption that consisted of a steel tube frame, wooden panels and a small gasoline powered engine that produced 2/3 horsepower. It was slower than a horse and the horse was it’s biggest competition at the time. From there they went on to create W15 and W136 in the 30’s, the 190 and 300SL in the 50’s, W110 and the famous 600 in the 60’s, the SL and SLC 107 series in the 70’s. Mercedes proves over and over again that they are one of the top companies in the industry to date. Not many can compete with the engineering and luxury that is a standard in their vehicles.

Two guys in a garage

AMG Performance Car

In 1967 Erhard Melcher and Hans Werner Aufrecht, former Mercedes engineers, founded AMG to start a separate high performance division for Mercedes. AMG started out as an independent engineering company specializing in performance improvements on Mercedes vehicles. In 1971 they were able to introduce the famous 300SEL 6.3 V8 salon, a.k.a the “Red Sow.” AMG models are typically more aggressive looking with higher performance, better stability, better handling and the use of carbon fiber extensively to reduce weight. AMG engines are all handcrafted by a single engineer. Piece by piece one of about 50 AMG Master Engine Builders puts together an engine from start to finish. One man, One engine. The final step the engine-maker takes is to attach an engraved signature plaque to the engine cover. You can’t get that kind of quality anywhere these days. Everything is mass produced with so many hands touching each product it’s hard to find the heart behind it all. NOT in this case. You can even meet the person who built your engine.

The 80’s and 90’s

In the 80’s Mercedes actually built the first self driving vehicle with the help of funding from the European Union. 800 million euros and a few years of development later, an S-Class drove itself from Germany to Denmark and back hitting speeds up to 109 mph. Time is what you make of it; Mercedes teamed up with Swatch the watch company of the 80’s to build a car and you have probably seen one driving around today! Swatch CEO Nicholas Haynek wanted to build a funky car that could be stylized like his watches creating the Smart Car; Smart = Swatch Mercedes ART.

Swatch and Mercedes

What does the future hold for Mercedes?

Don’t ask us! We’re no mind readers. However, we do think they are probably working on some pretty incredible things. Look out for the self driving hydrogen electric F 015 Concept Car! This shows they are working toward the future of autonomous vehicles. With such a rich history who knows what marvels they will come up with. They can only go up from here, and we don’t mean spaceships!
Mercedes Spaceship

Written by Adam Kalb

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