Mercedes-Benz brand to affirmation that they invented the auto all the way aback in 1886, and while that affirmation has been heavily disputed, there’s no arguing they’ve fabricated some of the best absurd machines in the automotive apple aback then.
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From terrain-traversing SUVs to ‘Bahn-burning sedans and coupes, there are few types of cars that Mercedes has yet to adept in some form.
Attractive Mercedes-Benz 540K Streamliner at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
With a new bearing of three-pointed stars rolling out in contempo years, we absitively to booty a attending aback at the brand’s history and aces the 10 best from the aftermost 130 years. Unfortunately, no AMG models were included because, well, we ample that wouldn’t be a fair action to the blow of the Benzes.
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How could we possibly disclude “the aboriginal automobile” from the list? In 1886, German agent artist and beard aficionado Karl Benz was awarded German apparent cardinal 37435 for the aboriginal agent advised to be propelled by an centralized agitation engine. It had three wheels, a bank seat, and a crank acclimated for steering, and the two-stroke agent agent went on to set the antecedent for approaching aboriginal automobiles. Alone 25 were fabricated over the advance of 8 years, and anniversary one amount $1,000, agnate to about $27,000 in this day and age. It’s no S-Class, but cars may not be the aforementioned as we apperceive now afterwards it.
This one may be a bit of a head-scratcher, but acquiesce me to elaborate. With the aboriginal CLS-Class in 2004, Mercedes-Benz accepted that sedans could be glassy and sexy, and now about every affluence automaker is scrambling to about-face all their 4-doors into “coupes.” As a result, bags of buyers are sacrificing a little bit of rear allowance for a accomplished lot of barrier appeal. The architecture analysis has alike agitated over to SUVs, which Mercedes has assuredly adopted as able-bodied with the GLE-Class and GLC-Class coupes – but I’ll additional you my animosity on that accurate trend.
It’s adamantine to chase an act like the iconic 300SL Gullwing, but somehow, Mercedes pulled it off with address and amaranthine sophistication. The 2nd bearing (W113) SL-Class is my claimed admired of the bunch, and the ultimate abundance was the aftermost one. Packing a 2.8-liter inline 6-cylinder, the 280SL put out about 170 horsepower, which was absolutely a lot for 1967. Body-colored hubcaps add a tasteful touch, and the 280SL is one of the few cars anytime fabricated that absolutely looks acceptable in any color. “The best or nothing,” indeed.
It may attending unassuming, but the 300SEL 6.3 is the one accurate Benz that every avant-garde Mercedes can trace its roots aback to. By shoe-horning the massive 6.3-liter V8 from the company’s 600 auto into the abundant abate 300 SEL body, Mercedes about created the blueprint for the avant-garde German affluence sedan. On top of the massive ability in a attenuate and august body, the 300SEL arranged air suspension, aerial deejay brakes at all four corners, ability windows, and ability steering. Oh, and it got to 60 mph in aloof over 6 seconds. No admiration AMG took this car antagonism afore any added Benz.
Sure, the Wrangler and Land Cruiser may accept added iconic names, and the Land Rover Defender may be added all-over about the world, but there’s no off-roader that’s backward as accurate to its aboriginal architecture than the Gelandewagen. Staying basically banausic aback 1979, the G-Class has been a aggressive vehicle, carnival companion, and alike a 6-wheeled monster truck. There are actual few countries and terrains that the G-Wagen hasn’t conquered, and admitting it’s now become a agent for the affluent and famous, there’s no blank this truck’s apprehensive roots.
Okay, I’ll accept that the C111 isn’t technically a assembly car, but it’s aloof so air-conditioned that it had to accomplish the list. From 1969 all the way up to 1991, Mercedes toyed about with the abstraction of a mid-engine supercar, and it took the anatomy of the gorgeous, fiberglass-bodied C111. The aboriginal version, completed in 1969, acclimated a three-rotor Wankel agent (take that, Mazda!), while afterwards versions acclimated a turbo-diesel and alike a twin-turbocharged V8. Through its abounding iterations, the C111 captured the absorption of car admirers about the world, and admitting accepting over 700 deposits for the C112 assembly car at the 1991 Frankfurt motor show, Mercedes absitively not to body it at all. It’s still not too backward to alpha now, guys!
The 600 Pullman is about as abutting to the analogue of the chat “Limousine” as a car can get, and there are abounding acceptable affidavit it was a admired of kings, queens, presidents, and dictators throughout the world. About every apparatus on this behemoth was apprenticed by hydraulic components, which were actual cutting-edge at the time but artlessly had a aerial abortion amount as they aged. The ultimate Pullman is the Landaulet, with a convertible bolt top over the rear basement alcove so active of accompaniment could “connect” with their subjects. As absorbing as the Pullman Landaulet is, it’s account of belled rulers is about added impressive, with aloft owners like Saddam Hussein, Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, and Kim Jong-un, and alike the Pope, there are few able cheers that haven’t ridden in a Pullman.
I mean, aloof attending at it! The 540K is one of the best approved and widely-loved pre-war cars anytime made, but alike a car this attractive isn’t afterwards its allotment of controversy. Built from 1936 to 1940, with the aftermost bodies completed in 1944, Mercedes reaped the allowances of pre-WWII Nazi Germany’s able industry, and the 540K became a car for the accomplished baronial admiral in the Reich. But admitting its belled buyer base, the 540K was able-bodied advanced of its time, with a bawl 5.4-liter straight-8 butt that afterwards boasted a supercharger, blame ability achievement to an exceptional (at the time) 180 horsepower. Special copy and custom-bodied 540Ks are some of the best big-ticket collectors cars in the apple – the “Special Roadster” pictured aloft awash for $9.9 actor at the RM Sotheby’s Scottsdale bargain beforehand this year – and it’s bright to see why.
I apperceive what you’re thinking: what is an aboriginal 90s E-Class accomplishing so abutting to the top of the best Benzes list? As it turns out, this is no accustomed E-Class. In fact, it’s the alone Mercedes-Benz in history that was hand-built by Porsche. Why Mercedes would canyon off assembly of one of their best absolute controlling sedans to a bazaar sports car architect (at the time) is above us, but it was the aboriginal 90s, and annihilation was possible! With a 5.0-liter V8 from the 500SL roadster, anniversary 500E was alien aback and alternating amid the two companies’ headquarters, and took 18 canicule to absolutely assemble. Aloof over 1,500 fabricated their way to the U.S., and apple-pie models are added big-ticket than you ability brainstorm for a 25-year-old Mercedes. It’s the ultimate sleeper achievement car, and may aloof be the ultimate E-Class.
How could one accept annihilation else? With its groundbreaking and endlessly-cool “gullwing” doors, the 300SL is acceptable the best iconic Mercedes anytime made, and the acceptable account is that it has aloof as abundant “go” as it has “show.” Powered by a 3.0-liter straight-6, the 300 SL fabricated about 220-horsepower all the way aback in 1954. It was so acknowledged as a chase car in the two years prior, that Mercedes had no best but to put it into assembly in 1954, both in auto and auto form. It was the car that absolutely put Mercedes aback on the map afterwards WWII, abnormally in America, and is still accustomed by car admirers about the apple to this day.
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