If you recently drove a silver Mercedes Benz out of a Sandown Group lot, you probably think you know everything about that luxurious powerhouse on wheels. But did you know that it’s signature silver colour was a result of a necessity-based improvisation? Read on to find out five other things you did not know about Mercedes Benz:
Karl Benz Did Not Drive the First Mercedes Benz:
A lot of people know that the three-wheeled, petrol-powered Benz Motorwagen that Karl Benz patented in 1886 was the first Mercedes Benz and the first automobile in the world. But did you know that the inventor of the car did not get to be the first person to take it for a drive? That honour belonged to Karl Benz’s wife, Bertha Benz. Apparently, after he patented the vehicle, Bertha snuck the Motorwagen out of the house without Karl’s knowledge and went on a 120-mile tour of Germany with their sons.
The High-Performance AMG Line Was Not a Mercedes Benz Original
These days, the letters AMG have come to signify raw power and race-level handling inside an already elegant Mercedes Benz. However, that did not happen until two Mercedes engineers – Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher – founded AMG (which stood for “Aufrecht, Melcher, and Großaspach”) and started modifying the engines of existing models, for racing purposes, in their garages in 1967. In 1971, their heavily modified 300 SEL 6.8 sedan – also known as “The Red Pig” – placed second at the 24 Hour Spa and by 1990, Mercedes Benz officially bought over the AMG line.
The First Four-Door Coupe
Speaking of AMG, the Mercedes CLS AMG – along with the rest of the CLS line – signalled a new class of vehicles which brought together the beauty and power of a coupé in combination with the spaciousness and functionality of a saloon. Launched in 2004, the seductively appealing CLS four-door coupe line was immediately welcomed by Mercedes fans who had previously found it difficult to choose between sports coupes and four-door sedans.
Transporters of the Holy Father
Since 1930, Mercedes Benz has regularly gifted custom made vehicles to the Pope. The first of these Popemobiles (yes, that is what they are called) was a Mercedes Benz Nürburg 460, which was given to Pope Pius XI by Daimler-Benz AG. Pope Pius loved the gift from Daimler-Benz, and it went down in history as the first car to be regularly used by a Pope. Since then, Mercedes Benz has created at least eight different Popemobiles for the supreme pontiff, including the 1967 Mercedes Benz 300 SEL, the 1980 Mercedes Benz 230 G with a special superstructure, and, most recently, the 2002 Mercedes-Benz ML 430 with special bodywork.
As Safe as It Gets
Since inception, Mercedes Benz has consistently researched and developed new and innovative ways to safeguard drivers of their prestigious vehicles. In 1924, Mercedes Benz became the first automobile maker to have brakes on all four tires of its vehicles, and in 1959, it also became the first automobile maker to install “crumple zones” in its cars, which would redistribute the force of impact in a car crash and possibly save the driver’s life.
Now, these are five new things you know about your Mercedes-Benz. Next time you meet a fellow Benz owner, run these facts by them, and maybe they will share something else you did not know about your favourite cars.
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