Here’s a List Of Nine Non-Exotic Rare Cars That Hide In Plain Sight
When you talk about rare cars, you probably think of high-end Bugattis, Ferraris, Porsches, etc. No one would think of a regular production car to be a rare one, unless it is a vintage. But, surprisingly, many cars are actually quite rare and get lost in the crowd without getting noticed. Unless you have a keen eye or you’re a diehard petrol head, you too may not have noticed them. Doug DeMuro lists nine such rare cars that you might have walked or driven by without giving it a second look.
The Mercedes-Benz Logo - A Complete History
Budget Direct Renders the Evolution of 7 Timeless Models
There is no shortage of car models in the auto industry these days. Some models have gained followings while others have become flashes in the pan. Then there are the titans of the business, the models that have lasted the test of time and have been around, literally, for generations. In the course of their respective lifetimes, these models have evolved in more ways than one, none more evident than their designs. These seven models have been around for so long their designs have evolved considerably from when they first came out. Knowing their place in the business, these models are unlikely to go away anytime soon.
A Look Back at the Mercedes Utility Vehicles that Preceded the X-Class Truck
Mercedes-Benz just unveiled the X-Class, its first mass-produced pickup truck, and while it may seem weird for a premium company to build a car like this, the German brand is actually a big producer of utility vehicles. And it all started more than 100 years ago!
Long before his company developed into a luxury car manufacturer in the 1930s, Karl Benz actually built buses. He unveiled the world’s first motorized bus back in 1895 and actually competed against Gottlieb Daimler, soon to become his partner, in this field, with both exporting vehicles to England and Wales. Daimler and Benz merged into one company in 1926 and the success story of Mercedes-Benz began.
Continue reading for the full story.
As Mercedes’ flagship model since roughly the beginning of time, the Mercedes S-Class has always been at the forefront of the automaker’s technological advancements. In a lot of ways, it was ahead of the curve and contained features that would eventually move down to the company’s other models.
At last month’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Mercedes took the unprecedented step of showcasing all of its S-Class models, including a number of iconic models that have since been given the classic treatment.
But the best part about this showcase was that Mercedes was able to capture it on video, giving all of us a chance to relive the legendary history of the company’s flagship model dating back to its infancy. There are a lot in there that were released way before any of us were born, so you can understand how reverential we treat some of these models.
Click past the jump to read about the latest model to be bestowed the S-Class designation, the recently revealed 2013 Mercedes S-Class Coupe Concept
A Formula One racecar belonging to arguably the greatest F1 driver in history is apparently such a collector’s item that people will deep pockets are willing to pay a moon’s price for it.
That much was made very clear at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed after Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 sold for a staggering $29.6 million, making it the most expensive car to be sold at a public auction, the most expensive F1 race car ever and, as a cherry on top of the proverbial sundae, the most expensive Mercedes in history.
Lots of "expensive" there, huh?
The racecar, which was sold at a Bonhams auction late last week, is the same one Fangio used to win his second Formula One title in what became an illustrious and now legendary career. It’s noted for being the racecar that introduced a bevy of new technologies into F1, including the use of a fuel-injected engine, an all-independent suspension from Mercedes, a multi-tubular ’spaceframe’ lightweight chassis design, all-round inboard-mounted brakes, and the ’straight-8’ engine ’laydown’ configuration that reduces the car’s overall height.
Suffice to say, this Mercedes racecar is that rare gem in automotive history that commands a price depending on how deep the pockets of the bidders are.
And apparently, "deep" meant to the tune of $29.6 million.
Click past the jump to read about Juan Manuel Fangio
Between 1994 and 2004, Michael Schumacher was the driver to beat, as he won seven F1 Driver’s Championships during that span. After retiring following the 2006 season, Schumacher took a cushy “Advisor” position with Ferrari. It was clear that racing was not out of Schumacher’s system yet and he returned in the 2010 season to race for Mercedes GP. Schumacher never regained his form and endured very rough 2010, 2011, and, thus far, 2012 seasons.
Well, after finding out that Lewis Hamilton was taking over his slot at Mercedes in 2013, we all pretty much assumed he would fade off into retirement. It didn’t take long for Schumacher to confirm our assumptions, as he just announced this morning that he will retire (again) following the 2012 racing season. There was some speculation that he would head to Sauber to take the place of Sergio Perez, but that is apparently a no-go.
Schumacher, in a cheeky manner, poked fun at himself via the Associated Press, by saying “…at some point it’s time to say goodbye and this time it might be forever.” Well, we wish Michael all of the best and we thank him for his 18 years of involvement with F1. We’re sure he’ll back his way into management somewhere – possibly even with Mercedes, who just signed the new Concorde Agreement. Regardless of the last three years, he will forever go down as one of the best drivers to ever grace open-wheel racing.
We’ll keep an eye on Schumacher’s movement and let you know if he is considering moving back behind the scenes as he did with Ferrari.
Click past the jump to read Michael Schumacher’s press release.
AMG has been around since 1967 – we bet you didn’t know that – and its success story is amazingly interesting, mostly due to the immediate success it had. The AMG project actually began as a side job for Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher. The two gained notoriety by modifying the 300 SE’s engine into quite the racer, by installing direct fuel injection back in the mid-1960s.
In 1967, Aufrecht and Melcher left Benz-Daimler and started AMG in a small workshop in a barn. The real success came in the 1970s when AMG developed a 300 SEL 6.8 like no one had ever seen before. It was tuned up to 320 ponies at 4,750 rpm and 541 Nm (399 pound-feet) of torque at 3,500. This allowed the heavy 300 SEL to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 6.5 seconds, and easily win its class at the 24-hour race in Spa Francorchamps and take a second place overall finish.
The history lesson that Mercedes-Benz gives us on the AMG brand is available online in its fullest and progresses through each decade and even gives us a look at what the future holds for AMG. It outlines the AMG E-Cell and talks about its racing future too, which continues to look rather promising.
So head on over to Mercedes-Benz’s site and have a look at the history of AMG. It’s a pretty easy read and is broken down into small, easy-to-understand sections. Happy B-day, AMG, we hope to see 45 more from you!
The history of the Mercedes G-Class began back in 1979 and thirty four years later, a new generation will be arriving for the 2013 model year. With such a long history backing up this heavy duty utility vehicle, Mercedes has released an informative video in which they explain the history of the G-Class in just 3 minutes.
The G-class was first developed as a military vehicle, but since then, it has become one of the most iconic Mercedes models of all time. The 2013 model will be offered in two standard models - the G 350 BlueTEC and the G500 - and two AMG models - the G63 AMG and the G65 AMG. Check out the video to see the difference between these new models and the original.
In this video, Volker Leutz, Mercedes-Benz Designer, and Michael Bock, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Classic, also discuss the challenges faced when updating the G-Class. Namely, continuously improving the vehicle while remaining true to the original idea.
The history of Mercedes’ high performance arm, AMG, began back in 1967, and since then, they have created some of the fastest, coolest, and most innovative models on the market. To show just how much work is put into preparing these vehicles, the company has released a video featuring a virtual guided tour through the headquarters of Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach with exclusive insights to the engineering and development of the performance brand of Mercedes-Benz. If you ever wanted to know how history is written, but haven’t had the chance to actually take a ride trip to Affalterbach, this video is the closest you will get to finding out how an AMG model is developed.
The video also shows off some of the most amazing cars being built, including the SLS AMG.
Anytime you come from a lineage that traces its roots back to the Mercedes 300 SL Roadster, the shoes you’re filling are about as big as the craters on the moon.
The new Mercedes SL Roadster is part of that family and while the jury is still out on how the car will be looked at years from now, it’s safe to say that its heritage will play a big part in determining whether the car turns out to be a classic.
To give us an idea on the family tree the new SL Roadster comes from, Mercedes-Benz reporter, Matthew K, dives into the six decades of the SL’s lineage, all the way back to when the 300 SL was the unquestioned king of the road.
True to fashion, Mercedes even added a slice of Hollywood into the video, further accentuating the kind of car the Mercedes SL was...and still is.
Mercedes just released the new generation SL-Class out on the market, but the road to this moment has been really long. The history of the Mercedes SL began in 1954 and has lasted through six generations. A history that long deserves recognition, so Mercedes has released this video that explains the many years of the SL-Class’ success.
The first Mercedes SL-Class was powered by a four-cylinder engine, but a lot has evolved since then and now the SL is powered by a V8 engine that pushes out a total of 429 HP and 516 lb-ft of torque (top version).
While describing the video, Mercedes said: "For 60 years the Mercedes-Benz SL has been an automotive icon, synonymous with outstanding innovation and refined athleticism. Take a look through the evolution of a car that continues to set standards for what a car should be."
The automotive factories of today utilize computers and robots in order to produce different combinations of cars in short order. The buyer is able to choose different options, colors, and accessories that can all be changed at a moment’s notice on the assembly line. Some may consider this customization, but having a specially ordered car in the 1930s was a much different scenario.
In 1936, Mercedes Benz introduced its new 540K model at the Paris Motor Show. Subsequent years would see this car be called on as the most striking Mercedes model ever built. When it came out, this car was not simply sitting on dealers lots to be test driven and sold to the first person with enough money. It was specially ordered and built once the customer had made payment. Recently, one of the rarest models came to auction at RM’s Villa d’Este event.
The Cabriolet A model was built for the 14th Maharajah of Indore whom was an avid car collector. More recently, the car was fully restored and has won its fare share of concours events across the country. The rare and beautiful 540K Cabriolet was auctioned for the price of $2,013,000 to one lucky bidder that will undoubtedly be satisfied with his purchase.
Hit the jump for more details on the 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A
It’s 1984 and you’re a wealthy individual looking to spend some dough. Clearly the run of the mill BMW or Audi is not going to do the trick so you start looking into the Ferrari Testarossa and Lamborghini Countach. Both were the fastest sports cars of their day and since price is not a concern to you, the only thing that matters is making the best impression on your other rich friends. The thing is, your next door neighbor has a red Testarossa and you see your business partner pull up and squeeze out of his tiny Lamborghini every morning. You need something special. Enter the Hammer.
The W124 Mercedes-Benz is a classically proportioned luxury saloon. The three-box shape, with its clearly defined lines, looks so simple and pure compared to the edgier, more obviously styled lines of its E 63 AMG relative. AMG’s detailing was remarkably low key, especially for the 1980’s. This is going to be a perfect fit for your lifestyle and you can even haul the kids in the back seat if you had too. Can the Merc really hold its own against the Italian thoroughbred racing machines?
You better bet your bottom dollar, because this machine is no joke even when compared with the newest technology from these companies. The 396hp Hammer is going to be more expensive than a Testarossa, but not only will you be the only person that you know who owns one; you will also be doing 190mph which is more than the Ferrari.
Hit the jump for more details on 1984 AMG HAMMER.
Believe it or not, once upon a time Mercedes was not producing more powerful and agile versions of its best sedans. AMG was a separate tuning company not exclusively owned by Mercedes Benz. They operated much the same as any other tuner, such as Brabus or Lorinser. Most automotive manufacturers dismiss the aftermarket world and few would ever market an aftermarket design through its own dealership network.
The relationship between Mercedes and AMG was different and the two brothers from Großaspach, Germany were able to catch their biggest break in the early 1990s. Mercedes Benz realized that it needed to compete in the sports sedan market and its down right boring C280 model was just not enough when up against a BMW M3. The two companies soon signed a contract allowing AMG to use the extensive worldwide dealer network that was at Mercedes’ disposal to market and sell their cars. The first was to be called the C36 AMG. There is some debate as to what was actually the first AMG car, but this was certainly the first to be sold by Mercedes as an AMG model. Racing collaborations had taken place in previous years, but never sold to the public in this fashion.
The C36 proved to be a success, even though many AMG enthusiasts may dismiss it. The car was more powerful than an M3 and the limited production run made it desirable to Mercedes buyers looking for a special vehicle. Production of the C36 stopped in 1998, but Mercedes would soon after take a controlling 51% share in AMG and begin using it as an exclusive tuning arm.
Hit the jump for more details on 1995 C36 AMG.
The AMG side of Mercedes Benz began as something completely different than it has grown into today. Essentially two Daimler engineers were sitting at home late at night and tinkering with various Mercedes models to make them faster and more powerful. These grease monkeys were eventually recognized by Mercedes and began to collaborate for racing and eventually production models. The first of these was a C36 model that sold in Europe. It was a fantastic car that packed 276hp, but AMG did not find real traction in the United States market until the introduction of the E55.
For starters, theE-class was already a best-selling model for Mercedes and its combination of size, luxury, and price fell directly in the middle of the Mercedes demographic. When AMG began to tune this model, it was clear that a V8 would need to be used and the standard 5.0-liter from the E500 would be the starting point. After being completely bored out and reconfigured, the 5.4-liter legend was born.
As competition in the entry-level segment began to heat up during the 1990s, Mercedes and AMG saw the opportunity to up the ante in the C-Class and include the same 5.4-liter V8. It was not the first time a V8 would be used in a C-Class, but the new platform introduced in 2005 gave engineers and designers the opportunity to create a model that would rival the other German brands.
Hit the jump for more details on 2005 Mercedes C55 AMG.
In 1998, if you were growing out of your boy racer faze and becoming a man that was still looking for driving excitement to go with his morning coffee, then your options were slim. Entry level luxury sedans were still in their infancy and BMW had utter dominance in the segment. The E36 M3 models were the enthusiast’s weapon of choice and they also offered luxury coupled with everyday drivability.
Other manufacturers such as Audi began to use displacement as their weapon of choice and the horsepower wars began. It started with each manufacturer utilizing the specialties of their in house tuning shops more and more, but it has progressed to epic proportions today. Consider that most of these small sedans have changed little in overall size and the “performance” models of the 1990s were powered by small and efficient engines pushing under or just above 300hp. Today, 300hp in a sports sedan would be laughed right off the autobahn by cars pushing at least 400hp with V8s or twin turbo V6s.
Nonetheless, this was the beginning and Mercedes was poised to take things to a new level. A new engine had been developed for use in theML, CLK, and S-class models as an entry-level V8. It was the 4.3-liter model that was coded 430 on the badges of the vehicles. Before it even made an appearance in those other models for standard duty, AMG was able to get their hands on it and make some major improvements. The beast that emerged would be forced into the C43 AMG in order to take on the other German brands.
Hit the jump for more details on the 1998 Mercedes C43 AMG.
Mercedes just turned 125 years old recently – hard to believe they’ve been around that long – and in a celebration befitting their status as one of the pre-eminent automakers in the world, the German company decided it was time to reveal the Aesthetics 125 sculpture.
Similar to the Aesthetics 2 sculpture that was unveiled at the just-concluded 2011 Detroit Auto Show, the Aesthetics 125 is more than just a fancy and shiny ivory sculpture. According to Mercedes, the Aesthetics 125 is actually a sample – a preview, shall we say – of the company’s future design language. The sculpture, in so many words, will be the inspiration of what the company’s future models are going to look like.
See what we meant by being more than just a fancy work of art?
The Aesthetics 125 was created using a new rapid-prototyping technology, which allows digital data to be directly transferred to a design object, thus making all the tech workings and application in fine layers work as seamlessly and as efficiently as possible.
The result is an amazing sculpture that points both to the company’s historical importance in the industry and it’s continued emphasis on breaking through new barriers in its continued pursuit of being one of the auto industry’s trailblazers.
This is who Mercedes-Benz is and if the Aesthetics 125 sculpture is any indication, this is who they’re going to continue to be.
As Mercedes-Benz celebrates its 125th anniversary, the automotive world as a whole should take the time to step back and look at its roots. With the technological wonders that roll out of a Mercedes factory day to day it would be hard for any of us to fully understand a time when a short trip into town would be a true journey. A horse and buggy, as well as the Railroad reigned supreme before the turn of the century and Karl Benz was about to change everything. The brilliance of an aspiring inventor and the realization of a dream led to the creation of the first automobile.
The mating of the internal combustion engine to a chassis built from the ground up was the basic formula for creating an automobile. New creations beyond the engine itself and obstacles that were not able to be overcome in the initial product - both came together to become the Benz Patent-Motorwagen.
Mercedes corporate has been celebrating in style, “Exactly 125 years to the day after Carl Benz registered his “vehicle with gas-engine drive” in 1886, Daimler AG has celebrated the anniversary of the automobile. Approximately 1,400 invited guests were hosted by the inventor of the automobile at the Mercedes-Benz World in Stuttgart, with guests of honor including the German Federal Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel.”
Hit the jump for more details on the 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen.
These days 200 km/h doesn’t seem like such a big deal, after all even a Hyundai with its long gearing can go 120 MPH. However 100 years ago, back when the automotive industry was in its infancy, achieving a milestone like that was quite an impressive feat. The car that made the enormous leap in performance motoring was the Lightning Benz, powered by a 21.5 Liter four cylinder engine that developed a maximum output of 200 HP and on November 8, 1909 reached a top speed of 200 km/h on the concrete paved Brooklands circuit in the United Kingdom.
Over the half mile oblong oval, starting off with a flying start, the driver of the Lightning Benz achieved an average speed of 205.666 km/h, and 202.648 km/h over one kilometer loop. The brave pilot covered the one kilometer distance from a standing start in just 31.326 seconds, the half mile was eclipsed in 25.566 seconds and the mile came in only 41.268 seconds. These new performance achievements bested the previously set records by Darracq. The Lightning Benz continued life with much success and became an international attraction as it continued chasing new records. On 23 April 1911 Bob Burman drove the car on the sand at Daytona Beach, the location of the original land speed record course in the U.S. Burman was able to achieve an average speed of 228.1 km/h for the flying kilometer and 225.7 km/h over the flying mile, a record that would remain unbroken until 1919.