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.
He would leave the company in 1948, but make a return just two years later. After designing the iconic 300SL gullwing coupe he would be promoted to the 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 integral models. He retired from Mercedes in 1973.