Today in History: Mercedes-Benz founded in 1924

Today in History: Mercedes-Benz founded in 1924

Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz merged their two companies 96 years ago on this day and created one of the greatest automobile companies in the world. It started with two different ideas for two different cars by two different men: both Daimler and Benz manufactured their own cars for some 30 years until the merger that was largely created out of economic sense. Benz & Co. formed in 1883 and its first motor car rode through the streets of Mannheim in July 1886. Daimler who had been working on his own motor carriage founded the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft in 1890 and marketed the first Mercedes in 1901. Both companies did well until shortly after World War I when the global economic climate of the early 1920s forced the two companies to form an alliance. In 1924, Daimler and Benz began marketing their products jointly while still working under separate trademarks. In June 1926, the two oldest motor manufacturers merged to form Daimler-Benz AG.

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Today in History: Daytona Car Racing Started in 1936

Today in History: Daytona Car Racing Started in 1936

Seeking to replace the lost attention, the City of Daytona Beach sponsored a stock-car race in 1936 – the first-ever car race in Daytona. It was considered an early start of what people now know as the Daytona 500.

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Today in History: First Mercedes Test Drive in 1900

 

Today in History: First Mercedes Test Drive in 1900

119 years ago today, the first Mercedes was taken for its maiden drive in Cannstatt, Germany. The car was specially built for its buyer, Emil Jellinek, an entrepreneur with a passion for luxury cars. Jellinek had ordered cars from Daimler in the late 1890s and sold them to high society customers. But he also used them in racing events, entering them using the pseudonym “Mercedes,” the name of his elder daughter. In 1900, Jellinek entered an agreement with Daimler to sell a new line of 4-cylinder automobiles suggesting they be called Mercedes. The first Mercedes was test-driven on November 22 and delivered in December of 1900. Two years later, the Mercedes brand name registered legally.

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Today in History: Ferdinand Porsche was born in in 1875

Today in History: Ferdinand Porsche was born in in 1875

144 years ago today, the Austrian-German automotive engineer and founder of the Porsche car company was born in Maffersdorf in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Porsche originally introduced the concept for the German Volkswagen with the intent to create a small, easy to build and affordable family car. The first Porsche model sold was the “365,” introduced in 1948.

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Just in: 1936 poster for the V-8 model of the Matford automobile. 

Just in: this beautiful (and quite rare) 1936 art deco poster for the V-8 model of the Matford automobile. 

The French Matford car was a short-lived co-production between American automobile giant Ford and the Alsatian car company Mathis from 1934 through 1940: Ford wanted an entry into the European market – Mathis needed the cash.

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Today in History: One million Beetles in 1955

Today in History: One million Beetles in 1955

64 years ago today, the one millionth VW Beetle came off its assembly line in Wolfsburg, Germany, where it is still on display at the Volkswagen Auto Museum.

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Today in History: First Automobile Grand Prix in France in 1906

Today in History: First Automobile Grand Prix in France in 1906

113 years ago today, the Automobile Club of France hosted the first “Grand Prix” motor race. 32 drivers took to the public roads outside of Le Mans, on June 26, 1906. The race winner was awarded the “Great Prize” (Grand Prix) of 45,000 French francs which at the time was the equivalent of 13 kilos of gold.

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