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August 20, 2011 – A Ferrari breaks the record for most expensive car sold at auction
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August 20, 2011 – A Ferrari breaks the record for most expensive car sold at auction

1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa that sold for $16.39 million. (Gooding & Co.) On this day in 2011 a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, the first one to be built, sold at the Gooding & Co. Auction in Monterey for $16.39 million (with premiums), the most ever paid for a vehicle at a public auction up to that date. The car has quite a history, aside from being the first 250 Testa Rossa. It was campaigned by Scuderia Ferrari when new and driven by several infamous racers including Masten Gregory and Phil Hill. Luigi Chinetti bought it to be used as part of the NART team at the 1958 Le Mans where Dan Gurney and Bruce Kessler would be at the wheel. At Le Mans, Kessler almost destroyed the car after a collision with a Jaguar D-Type. The car went through a factory rebuild and Chinetti sold...
July 17, 2007 – Mercedes-Benz announces SLR McLaren Roadster
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July 17, 2007 – Mercedes-Benz announces SLR McLaren Roadster

Just as McLaren was becoming the favorite to win the driver and constructor F1 titles in 2007, Mercedes-Benz announced the release of a roadster edition of its SLR McLaren on this day in 2007. The car would hit the market the following September for a cool £200,000.  The roadster offered astonishing performance for a road-going car. It was built in the same factory as its F1 racing siblings, which allowed for a pleasant mix of F1 technology and the expected comfort features of a true touring car. Carbon fiber can be found throughout the car as a main ingredient, including its body, carbon fiber enforced disk brakes and carbon suspension components. Its AMG V8 kompressor engine produced 626 hp, pushing the car to a top speed of 332 km/h (206 mph).  Above: Mercedes-Benz SLR McLare...
April 19, 1951 – Mercedes-Benz 300 & 220 debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show
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April 19, 1951 – Mercedes-Benz 300 & 220 debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show

Following World War II, Mercedes-Benz seemed to leave its prestige in the past. In the aftermath of the destruction, dated four cylinder passenger cars were all that rolled out of the automaker's Stuttgart, Germany factory. The cars lacked the power and prominence they once held across the world. Of course, in the wake of the war, there was less of a market for fine automobiles in Europe and beyond. Until, of course, there was. In the midst of recovery, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the W186 and W187, models 300 and 220 respectively, on this day in 1951. The two vehicles were the first postwar Mercedes to come equipped with a six-cylinder engine. Mercedes-Benz 300 (W186) Above: Mercedes-Benz 300 (W186) by Rudolf Stricker. Top: Mercedes-Benz 220 (W187) by Lothar Spurzem - Own work, CCB...
April 6, 1853 – Emil Jellinek is born, later takes the name of his daughter Mercedes
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April 6, 1853 – Emil Jellinek is born, later takes the name of his daughter Mercedes

Emil with daughter Mercedes. Emil Jellinek may not ring any bells at first, but add Mercedes to the end and it sure does. Born on this day in 1853 in Leipzig, Germany, Emil found success in the auto industry after partnering with DMG to build a car “not for today or tomorrow, but the day after tomorrow,” as he put it. The automobiles he built were named after his daughter, Mercedes. The success of his vehicles led Emil, at the age of 50, to add her first name to his surname, saying "This is probably the first time that a father has taken his daughter's name."  c. 1901 Mercedes 35 hp From then on he was known as Emil Jellinek-Mercedes and signed his name as EJ Mercedes. The success of the 1900 35 hp Daimler-Mercedes, often regarded as the first modern automobile, sent DMG sal...
February 6, 1954 – Mercedes 300SL goes on sale
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February 6, 1954 – Mercedes 300SL goes on sale

Top: Schloss Dyck Classic Days 2013 - Mercedes Flügeltürer (“Wingdoors”) by Jorbasa Fotografie CC 2.0 In 1952 Mercedes-Benz built a brand new car for the sports car racing season, dubbed the W194. Designed by Friedrich Geiger, the 3 liter straight-6 powered coupe was vicious on the track, placing first at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Bern-Bremgarten, Carrera Panamericana and other high profile races. Though only ten W194s made it to the track, Daimler-Benz’s official US importer Max Hoffman saw the potential of a road going version. He made the case to Mercedes that a production version would be successful and they listened. The resulting Mercedes-Benz 300SL went on sale on this day in 1954.  The 300SL borrowed the same engine as its racing predecessor but received direct fuel inj...
February 4, 1913 – Richard Seaman, British racing great, is born
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February 4, 1913 – Richard Seaman, British racing great, is born

One of the greatest pre-war British Grand Prix racers, Richard Seaman, was born on this day in 1913. Coming from a wealthy family made Seaman's entrance into racing somewhat seamless. At the age of 21 he took his MG to the European mainland to gain experience in the sport. He found himself to be a natural behind the wheel, winning numerous races early in his career, but it would not be long before he out-drove his own skill level. After demonstrating massive success on the race course, Dick, as he went by, was invited to Nürburgring to run a trial for the Mercedes Silver Arrow team. Against his mother's wishes, who did not want her son to race for a "Nazi" team, Dick signed on as a driver. To him, it was a matter of quality. With the German government financing the racing programs ...
October 4, 1928 – Mercedes straight 8 debuts
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October 4, 1928 – Mercedes straight 8 debuts

If you visited the Paris Motor Show on this day in 1928 you would have had the joys of seeing the Mercedes Nurburg 460, the first straight 8 powered automobile from the company. Designated as the Wo8 for factory output, the original car had a 4,622cc straight-8 engine had an output of 79 hp at 3,400 rpm, which allowed for a top speed of only 63 mph. Variations of the car would remain in production through the 1930s, making it Mercedes longest running model of the era. Cover: Mercedes-Benz Nurburg 460
June 13, 1996 – Mercedes 300SL designer dies
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June 13, 1996 – Mercedes 300SL designer dies

German automobile designer Friedrich Geiger, responsible for some of Mercedes’ most memorable cars, passed away on this day in 1996 at the age of 88. Geiger joined Daimler-Benz’s special vehicles manufacturing department in 1933. Within the decade he would head development of the Mercedes 500K and 540K.  Above: Friedrich Geiger at workTop: Design sketches of the Mercedes 300SL He would leave the company in 1948, but make a return just two years later. After designing the iconic 300SL gullwing coupe, he earned a promotion to head of styling. From there he oversaw the development of the late 1950s and early 1960s iconic “Fintails,” the Mercedes SL coupes and convertibles, and numerous other wonderful models. He retired from Mercedes in 1973. Mercedes 500K, designed by Frie...
October 19, 1987 – A controversial Grand Prix winner dies
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October 19, 1987 – A controversial Grand Prix winner dies

German racer Hermann Lang was a promising 30 year old Mercedes driver in 1939 when World War II broke out as Germany invaded Poland, an event that may have handed him a championship trophy. The hostile action took place just two weeks after the 1939 AIACR European Drivers’ Championship held its final event of the season in Switzerland. Due to the outbreak of war, the AIACR never had the chance to officially name the winner, a title that is still disputed because that season began without a clear points distribution system in place. The old points system, which was well known at the time, was to be replaced by the French maximum points system, a relative of the current Grand Prix scoring method.   Lang, who died at age 78 on this day in 1987, was named the the season winner by the presi...

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