Friday, August 16, 2013

7 Things You Didn't Know About Mercedes-Benz (and if you do, you rule)

7. Pope Francis was recently presented with a Mercedes-Benz M-Class based "Popemobile"
That's right, the big man himself rolls around in a Benz complete with waving booth. And he's not the first. The Vatican has a history of using custom Mercedes-Benz vehicles to transport the Pope. Read more here.

6. Mercedes-Benz produced both a hybrid vehicle AND an electric vehicle in 1906! Whaaaaat?
Yes, that is correct. More than 100 years ago Mercedes-Benz created one of the first hybrid and electric vehicles. The hybrid was marketed as "Mercedes Mixte" and the electric as "Mercedes Electrique." However, production was halted due to the favored gasoline engine. Boy did they miss an opportunity! Could they have single-handedly prevented global warming?? Perhaps. Looks like we'll never know...

5. The unsung hero...or should I say heroine of the Mercedes-Benz name.
Many people associate the name with the famous automobile pioneer Karl Benz (also known as Carl Benz), but few know where "Mercedes" comes from. Well the details are a bit foggy, but a German businessman and racer Emil Jellinek was one of the first buyers of the beloved vehicles and his daughter's name was Mercedes. Apparently Emil loved naming things after his daughter, and it looks like this one stuck.

4. SMARTVILLE...A factory in Hambach, France where smart cars are made.
Smartville was established in 1994 as a joint venture between Daimler-Benz and the Swiss watch manufacturer Swatch. The first smart car (it's all lower-case for branding reasons, i'm not disrespecting its proper-nounness) began it's worldwide journey in 1998 but did not debut in the USA until 2008.

On July 1, 2011, smart became a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz USA (previously distributed in the USA by Penske Automotive Group).

3. Mercedes-Benz on the Silver-Screen.
Steven Spielberg's The Lost World: Jurassic Park featured a version of the first generation M-Class: the W163.
Remember that awesome Batman movie??? Batman and Robin??? Many said it killed the franchise... However, I believe the movie would have been Oscar-worthy had it shown more of this awesome vehicle. Poison Ivy's getaway car was the classic 600 Mercedes Pullman, also known as the "Red Baron."
...And my favorite movie cameo of them all. The 2001 Mercedes-Benz SEL Limited Edition from the future. In the movie Spaceballs (the movie was made in 1987). Featuring one of my favorites Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet. Anyway, the fresh-from-the-future Mercedes-Benz was the whip of spoiled Princess Vespa. It's hard to see in this image, but the license plate says "Spoil'd Rott'n I." Click here to see a larger image.

2. What does the three-pointed star mean? And wait...a FOUR-POINTED star was also registered as a trademark?!?
The Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star is one of the most recognizable brand logos in the world. But what does it mean? According to, the three pointed star symbolizes Daimler's ambition of universal transportation, "on land, on water and in the air." But wait, there's more. A four-pointed star was also registered in 1909, but what would the 4th point represent?
Seems that Daimler really wanted to go "universal" and add space travel as the fourth point. However, it was never used as the official emblem of Mercedes-Benz and instead was used by a Daimler-Benz affiliate, DASA. "The four-pointed star became the emblem of Deutsche Aerospace AG (DASA) in the 1980s and is now the logo of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS)." (

1. "The first car" was invented by Karl Benz...and we have one for sale!
In 1886 Karl Benz was awarded a German patent for the invention of "the first automobile" known as the MotorwagenKarl's endeavor was actually financed by his wife, Bertha, but because she was a married woman, she was not allowed to apply for the patent. As the saying goes, "behind every great man, there's a sugar-momma..." or something like that. Anyway, we have one for sale!

That's right. We have a working replica of Karl Benz's Motorwagen for sale here at EuroMotorcars Bethesda. For $44,000 you can own a piece of automobile history! Or you can come in and snap a few photos during a service appointment (it's sitting in our Service Department at the moment). 

Feel free to share this post, and if you have some interesting Mercedes-Benz trivia of your own, please comment below!

-Mark Halpern