The history of Mercedes-Benz began with the birth of the automobile 125 years ago – an anniversary which is being celebrated at various events this year.

“Mercedes-Benz Classic is marking what was a defining moment in the both the history of engineering and the broader social context. An invention that continues to influence the world to this day – as demonstrated at the Schloss Dyck Classic Days 2011”, notes Michael Bock, head of Mercedes-Benz Classic and Mercedes-Benz Museum GmbH.“I am particularly delighted that Jutta Benz, great-granddaughter of Bertha and Carl Benz will be attending the event in this anniversary year.” The event will take place in Jüchen in the Rhine district of Neuss on 6 and 7 August 2011.

Mercedes-Benz Classic will be celebrating the invention of the automobile at this event with an exhibition of automotive milestones from the company’s own collection. Another focus of the event is Juan Manuel Fangio, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year.

Born in Balcarce (Argentina) on 24 June 1911, racing driver and record world champion Juan Manuel Fangio shaped the era of the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows in 1954 and 1955. He won the Formula 1 world championship on both years, and was also successful in sports car racing.

Mercedes-Benz Classic will be reviving this era at Schloss Dyck with a presentation of Fangio’s two legendary Silver Arrows: the W 196 Grand Prix racing car, which will be exhibited on the famous Mercedes-Benz racing transporter that is also known as the “Blue Wonder”, and the 300 SLR racing sports car (model series W 196 S) with the starting number 658, which will also be doing the rounds on the circuit at Schloss Dyck.

Fangio contested the 1955 Mille Miglia in this vehicle. In contrast to most other drivers, he completed the race without a co-pilot, nevertheless taking second place behind his team-mate, Stirling Moss. The ‘658’ derives from his starting time of 6.58 a.m.

Mercedes-Benz Classic has also invited racing drivers Hans Herrmann and Jochen Mass to this top-class weekend devoted to automobile culture. The two will take turns driving this historic car at the Schloss Dyck Classic Days.

As part of the “125! years of the automobile” exhibition, Mercedes-Benz Classic will be showing milestones of automobile history at the Schlosspark which illustrate the brand’s unflagging innovative drive since 1886. The centrepiece will be Benz’s patented motor car from 1886 – the world’s first automobile. Also on show will be an SSK supercharged touring sports car, a Mercedes-Benz 500 K luxury roadster, a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé with its characteristic gull-wing doors, a pontoon-style saloon from the era of the ‘economic miracle’ and the stunning Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6.9. Finally, the cutting-edge B-Class F-CELL, recently returned from its circumnavigation of the globe on the “F-CELL World Drive” in June 2011, provides an insight into the future of automotive engineering and technology as a state-of-the-art automobile running on zero emissions.

Mercedes-Benz Rhine-Ruhr will be providing an exclusive chauffeur service for the Classic Days from the branches in Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Krefeld, Mönchengladbach and Neuss, enabling classic car enthusiasts to arrive at one of the world’s leading classic car events in consummate style. To underscore the character of the Classic Days as a family occasion, Mercedes-Benz Rhine-Ruhr director Jürgen Herrmann has been keen to assist the Schloss Dyck foundation in organising the event by providing an additional shuttle service. “Organising such a festival calls for mobility. We are happy to help the foundation by providing eight Mercedes-Benz vehicles from our branch,” he says.

Launched in 2006, the Schloss Dyck Classic Days provide a perfect setting in which to present the fascinating history of Mercedes-Benz and its predecessor companies. The brand clubs will once again help to boost the event’s special appeal, presenting more than 200 vehicles at the Classic Days Schloss Dyck. The actual level of interest among the clubs was even greater – the number of inquiries in 2011 once again exceeded the capacity of the historical site surrounding the moated castle.

The Classic Days Schloss Dyck came into being in 2006 to commemorate racing driver Wolfgang Alexander Reichsgraf Berghe von Trips, who suffered a fatal accident in Monza in 1961. Von Trips contested sports car races in cars from Mercedes-Benz, while in Formula 1 he raced for Ferrari and Porsche. The “Count Trips Sculpture” by Pierre Habets also commemorates the legendary driver and is awarded to the overall winner of the Schloss Dyck Classic Days.

The Classic Days, which draw enthusiasts and collectors from all over Europe to the Rhineland with their exclusive vehicles, boasts a rich and varied agenda. The “Racing Legends” offer circuit races for historical competition vehicles built up to 1961. Motorcycles and car/trailer combinations dating from 1940 and earlier also race against the clock. These circuits combine with the demonstration trips on the almost three kilometre-long circuit around the moated castle and the 1/4-mile sprint competition over 402.36 metres to produce a kaleidoscope focusing on the highlights of classic motor racing which truly brings this special variant of automotive engineering to life.

The action kicks off with racing and sports cars in the categories “Classic” (1910 to 1925), “Historic” (1926 to 1949) and “Modern” (1950 to 1961). There will also be special races under the banner “125 years of the automobile” for large-displacement, sporty vehicles from the beginnings of motorsport spanning the period from 1905 to 1920, for monoposti used in Formula racing which date from the years between 1930 and 1961 and “Great British Marques” for vehicles from Riley, Lagonda, Bentley, Alvis, Invicta and Sunbeam built between 1925 and 1950.

The second dazzling highlight of the festival will once again be the “Concours d’Elegance at Schloss Dyck – “Jewels in the Park”. This presentation of vehicles has received a category A rating as a top event from FIVA once again – on a par with the Villa d’Este and Pebble Beach. The presentation in front of the moated castle and at other unusual locations around the grounds of this site dating back to the 11th century is expected to draw a crowd of more than 40,000.

Various special exhibitions and themed presentations will round off the programme of events at the Schloss Dyck Classic Days. One such special item on the agenda will be the presentation of classic vehicles at the Miscanthus Field – named after the decorative Chinese reed grass which grows there – which will be transformed for two days into a vast open-air museum presenting the history of the automobile, with many hundreds of vehicles on show.

Source: Daimler AG