Saturday, September 22, 2007


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Friday, September 21, 2007

Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG Black Series Test Drive

Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG Black Series Test Drive

Various Models of Mercedes


Mercedes-Benz has been successful in motor racing throughout their history. The Mercedes Simplex of the early 1900s was the first purpose built race car, much lower than the usual designs that were similar to horse carriages; it dominated racing for years.

In 1914, just before the beginning of the war, Mercedes won the French Grand Prix, which was a blow to the French at that time. Benz raced an aerodynamically shaped Tropfenwagen in the 1920s. In the 1930s, with their mighty Silver Arrows, they dominated Grand Prix racing in Europe (together with rivals Auto Union), while setting speed records up to 435 km/h (270 mph). The team was guided by the big Rennleiter Alfred Neubauer.

In 1952, Mercedes-Benz returned to racing with their small and underpowered gullwinged 300 SL, which won the 24 hours of Le Mans, the Carrera Panamericana, and other important races of that time. On July 4, 1954, Mercedes-Benz returned to Formula One racing with a one-two win at the French Grand Prix. This was a very important victory, especially as later that day, the German football team won the Soccer world championship. Until the end of the 1955 season, Mercedes dominated Grand Prix and sports car racing before retiring its teams after a terrible 1955 crash at Le Mans, where a Mercedes 300 SLR collided with another car and killed over 80 spectators.

Mercedes entered some big limousines in Rallying in the 1960s and late 1980s. They returned to sportscar and touring car racing in the late 1980s. In 1994, a car won the Indianapolis 500 with an engine from Mercedes who, realizing that the loophole in the rules for production-based engines would include any pushrod engine, therefore built a very unusual purpose-built for the race pushrod engine with a significant power advantage, knowing that the loophole would be closed immediately after they took advantage of it and so the engine would in fact be usable for only the single race.

Also in the 1990s, Mercedes made its return to Formula One as an engine supplier (with McLaren), winning one constructors' championship and two drivers' championships. However, recent years have seen a significant decline in Mercedes' F1 success, as they have won just four races over the last three years, while suffering numerous engine failures and retirements. Still teamed with McLaren, they hope to improve upon a dismal 2004 season, which saw McLaren-Mercedes finish a distant fifth in the championship, a staggering 193 points behind world champion Ferrari.

More recently, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren has become available for purchase, the 2005 model coming out with a base price of $452,750.00. The new model will have a top speed of 207 MPH and a 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds

Mercedes-Benz: 1930 and beyond for Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz launched their biggest and most prestigious car to date in 1930. The 770 Grosser was powered by an 8 cylinder, 7.6 liter engine. A car for the truly wealthy of the world, it was quite an automobile for showing off in a world economy still reeling from the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

The cars of the 1930s produced great racing success for Mercedes-Benz. The silver metal bodywork gave rise to the name Silver Arrows when the W25 racer (of Rudolph Caracciola fame) had the white paint removed to lower its weight.

W125 (200 mph top speed) won seven out of thirteen races in 1937 followed by the successful W154. In 1939 Mercedes-Benz built a small V8 races specifically to win the Tripoli GP It did win! The Mercedes-Benz 170V gave Mercedes the capability of surviving and then recovering from WW II.

For instance, there's the 300SL Gullwing from the 50's with doors that open like wings from the center, or the Mercedes-Benz 600, the car that carried several popes, speedsters that look like batman, or the racing car that had such a snug seat the driver had to be lifted in by a crane. This is the stuff that makes you a car junkie.

The New Mercedes-Benz museum, which has design elements of New York's Guggenheim, will open the spring of 2006 along with the world soccer championships in Germany. This museum will hold up to 250 classic cars.

Mercedes-Benz: From the Mercedes-Benz Merger Through the 20s.

A symbol was chosen for the combined products of DMG and Benz. The new insignia was a three-pointed star wreathed with laurel. The word "Mercedes" was at the top and the word "Benz" was at the bottom.

Then merger did the new company well. Production of Mercedes-Benz rose to 7,918 Mercedes-Benz automobiles in 1927. The Mercedes-Benz diesel truck was put into production in 1927, also.

The first two automobiles to sport the Mercedes-Benz name were the Stuttgart and the Mannheim. Then in 1928 the Mercedes SS was introduced by Mercedes-Benz. This graceful body was made possible by a hood line that barely cleared the engine.

Mercedes-Benz: From WWI's End to the Mercedes-Benz Merger.

Social unrest and a falling economy characterized post-war Germany. Little or no fuel for cars and a 15% luxury tax made automobile production increasingly disastrous. This market sent Benz and Cie. seeking a strong partner. The only one the board considered worthy of Benz and Cie was DMG.

Thus, in 1919, Karl Jahn, a Benz board member since 1910, approached Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschat about a possible merger. The merger attempt looked promising, then was abandoned in December of 1919. The German economy continued to worse and a new Benz automobile eventually cost 25 million marks.

Although nearly 15 million cars were registered in the world in 1923, over 80% of them were registered in the US and over 1/2 were Fords. Benz and Cie. built 1,382 cars in 1923 while DMG only built 1,020. German auto makers were at a low point although racing success for the companies continued.

In 1924, from sheer economic necessity, Benz and DMG signed an "Agreement of Mutual Interest." Although both companies retained their identities, the agreement was valid until the year 2000. The two companies merged with relative ease on June 28, 1926.