The 125th birthday of the automobile is the central focus of the Mercedes-Benz presentation at Rétromobile 2011. This international specialist fair, one of the most important devoted to classic vehicles, will be held in Paris from 2 to 6 February 2011.
The central division Mercedes-Benz Classic will present a small but exclusive number of sale and collection cars for the first time at the fair. They range from the Benz Patent Motor Car of 1886, the world’s first automobile, over a Mercedes-Benz 300 S Cabriolet A of the 1950s right up to the design study Concept Shooting Brake of 2010 pointing the way to the future. The stand in hall 7.3 this year will have an area of about 400 square metres.
Furthermore, a central topic for 2011 of Mercedes-Benz Classic will be Juan Manuel Fangio – the famous racing driver would have had his 100th birthday this year in June. The Rétromobile presents a special exposition of cars that Fangio drove, among them an original Mercedes-Benz W 196 of the Mercedes-Benz Classic collection. The Argentine racing driver won the world championships 1954 and 1955 on that type.
Sale cars round up the appearance on the Retromobile. Among others, Mercedes-Benz Classic will bring a 300 S Cabriolet A (W 188 series). The type was presented in October 1951 – almost 60 years ago – on the Paris motor show as a further top model beside the type 300 (W 186). It was positioned as a most representative car with sporty touch and to meet highest demands concerning road holding and speed. Contemporary press articles confirm that, they judge the model as a “car of the world elite” and a “benchmark for the achieveable in the car industry”.
Milestone Cars at the Rétromobile
The Patent Motor Car by Carl Benz was the first automobile with a high-speed internal combustion engine. Patent registration No. DRP 37 435 of 29. January 1886 is seen as the “birth certificate” of the automobile. Mercedes-Benz is exhibiting an exact replica of this vehicle at Rétromobile. The three-wheeler was the first purpose-designed automobile, and marked a departure from the then conventional horse-drawn coach – the engine, chassis and drive system were precisely coordinated and formed a single unit. This initially put Carl Benz well ahead of any competitors. A replica true to the original is available for collectors at Mercedes-Benz Classic.
Another exhibit at the Rétromobile fair in Paris is a Mercedes-Benz 500 K Luxury Roadster dating from 1936. When the model 500 K (W 29) was first presented at the 1934 Paris Motor Show, it rapidly became a huge public attraction. Then and now, its elegant design in combination with awe-inspiring supercharger technology and the sumptuous interior have a magnetic appeal –this car offered the finest and most expensive of its time. A total of 342 examples were built in all body variants, but the Roadsters are the most sought-after of all.
The Mercedes-Benz W 116 series was the first to be officially known as the S-Class. It appeared in 1975 as the flagship model 450 SEL 6.9, for many years the largest-displacement post-war passenger car produced by Mercedes-Benz and also the largest-displacement European saloon car. This model not only set standards in terms of cubic capacity: its performance figures, level of comfort, variety of appointments and the effortlessness with which it made long, high-speed journeys possible made it one of the best cars in the world.
The Concept Shooting Brake of Mercedes-Benz celebrated its world premiere in April 2010 as an insight by the designers into the possible future development of the Coupé concept. It also represents a clear indication of the further emotional appeal of the Mercedes-Benz design idiom. The public appraisal is enormous – and serial production is already decided. The market launch of the CLS Shooting Brake ist planned for 2012.
Source: Daimler AG