Discovery Channel


Mercedes-Benz Facts

Journey back in time with us to the beginning of a motoring dynasty with these 10 illuminating Mercedes-Benz facts.


Discovery ED.

on the 18 Nov, 2011

Our Wheeler Dealers, Mike and Edd, have travelled the world in search of the finest motors. A trip to Germany led our boys to the legendary pioneers of automotive engineering, Mercedes-Benz.

Fact 1: In 1888, Karl Benz successfully developed what is generally known as the world’s first petrol powered automobile, the Benz-Patent Motorwagen.

Fact 2: Karl Benz’s wife, Bertha, went on to prove how reliable the Benz-Patent Motorwagen was by taking her children on a cross country journey through Germany. During this journey she utilised her resourceful nature by stopping at an apothecary to buy ligroin (petroleum ether) to fuel the car and also by using a hairpin to clean the carburettor.

Fact 3: Bertha Benz also invented brake lining by using shoe leather from a shoesmith to compensate for the vehicles worn brakes.

Fact 4: Businessman, Emil Jellinek, originally used the name Mercedes as a pet name for his daughter Adrienne.

Fact 5: In 1900 Jellinek agreed with motoring company Daimler Motor Corporation to produce an engine under the name “Damiler-Mercedes.” This engine would find its way into the first car to bear the Mercedes name the Mercedes HP 35.

Fact 6: In 1926, financial problems in Germany caused DMG and Karl Benz’s company, Benz & CIE, to merge, forming Daimler-Benz. Products from this conglomerate would sell under the Mercedes-Benz insignia.

Fact 7: The Mercedes brand name was also partly created to clear up a licensing issue throughout Europe. In 1890 German-born Brit, Frederick Simms purchased the right to manufacture Daimler Motor Corporation’s patents in the British Empire. However this caused problems for Emil Jellinek who encountered legal issues selling his cars in France. German made Daimler cars would use the Mercedes name to avoid confusion

Fact 8: One of Mercedes-Benz’s first products, the Mercedes SSK, was designed by the visionary automotive engineer, Ferdinand Porsche, who would go on to found Porsche AG in 1930.

Fact 9:In 1936, Mercedes-Benz released the first ever diesel powered car, the Mercedes-Benz 260 D.

Fact 10: The Mercedes-Benz Fintail was the first car to utilise a "crumple zone" in 1959.

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