The Original Mercedes: Mercedes 35 HP
The very first Mercedes ever produced was the Mercedes 35 HP. It was produced by the company Daimler Motor Group, and really set Mercedes up for success. The Mercedes 35 HP became world renowned almost since it’s inception. Due to it’s popularity, the Mercedes 35 HP became the first of many and although the Mercedes went through many changes since the 1900s, is still produced in new and varying models today.
Emil Jellinek’s Request
The man behind idea for the earliest Mercedes was Emil Jellinek. Emil Jellinek was a successful businessman and racing enthusiast. He found success racing his Daimler Phoenix but wanted to excel on the track even more. So pleased with his current Daimler automobile, Jellinek naturally turned to Daimler with his thoughts for his custom project. Not only did Jellinek want one for himself, but he wanted to multiple automobiles to sell to wealthy aristocrats. Part of Emil Jellinek’s stipulations were that the automobile must be designed by Wilhem Maybach(who worked for Daimler), for Jellinek to become a member of the board of directors at Daimler Motor Group, and the automobile would bear the name of Jellinek’s daughter, Mercedes. The deal was agreed upon in 1900 and in that year the very first Mercedes was produced.
The Mercedes 35 HP was Born
In accordance with Jellinek’s specifications, the Mercedes 35 HP was a new breed of vehicle. The previous vehicles produced by Daimler and other car companies were not designed for high speed use. This all changed because the Mercedes 35 HP had a long wheelbase and wide track making it less prone to toppling over. The engine was also installed in a lower location than other automobiles, making the center of gravity lower and further reducing the possibility of flipping over. It also had the convenient improvement of a steering wheel.
The Mercedes 35 HP Engine
The Mercedes 35 HP engine was nothing to laugh at in the early 1900s. It was a 4 cylinder with a displacement of 5918 cc. It had 2 carburetors, one for each pair of cylinders, controlled intake valves and a pair of cam shafts. It had low voltage ignition magnetos, aluminum crankcase, and a honeycomb radiator. The Mercedes 35 HP was capable of reaching 45 mph.
Mercedes Excites The World
In 1901, Wilhelm Werner win the Nices race riding in his Mercedes. He beat his competition in every event. This includes speed and hill climbing. The entire world took notice and Mercedes laid the foundation for growing into the legendary company it has become. Over the next three years, the Daimler Motor group increased in size by more than five times.
Mercedes 35 HP Paves The Way
Due to the great success of the Mercedes 35 HP, it was extremely clear to Daimler that the Mercedes name was gaining traction. After the Mercedes 35 HP was produced Daimler decided to use the Mercedes name for all of cars, titling them Daimler-Mercedes. This nomenclature lasted up until 1926 when Daimler Motor Group merged with Benz & Cie. After the merger the name was changed from Daimler-Mercedes to Mercedes-Benz.