The three-pointed star on the hood is undoubtedly the most recognizable symbol in the automobile world. We are talking, of course, about Mercedes – the favorite of celebrities, politicians and businessmen.
The German giant has been building cars since the 1800s and during that time it has become a symbol of sophistication, reliability, power and high status. As one of the largest and oldest automobile concerns, it has created many fine cars that have become legends in the automotive community.
The following models have a rich history and are some of the best cars ever produced by the respected German company.
1954 – 1963 300SL “Gullwing” (W 198)
If we talk about the most iconic Mercedes model, this title belongs to the 300SL “Gullwing” (“Seagull Wing”), whose success story began in 1954. The car was powered by a powerful 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, producing 215 horsepower, and was available in coupe and roadster variants.
The incredible power of the 158-kilowatt engine, combined with a 4-speed manual transmission and a rear-wheel-drive platform, delivered speeds of up to 260 km/h and acceleration to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds, one of the best results in the 1950s. In December 1999, a jury of industry journalists recognized it as the sports car of the century.
A model with an exceptional level of comfort and stunning looks that exuded elegance and innovation in equal measure. It was the world’s first production four-stroke passenger car equipped with direct fuel injection for improved efficiency, and its exterior hallmark and calling card were the upward-folding doors.
“Seagull wings” were not a purely aesthetic solution: high sills had to be used to keep the body rigid. The 300SL featured a lightweight design and a space frame that supported the engine, transmission, axles, etc. and left no room for the conventional doors.
1963 – 1981 600 Pullman Landaulet
“Pullmans have always been favorites of leaders, kings, dictators and presidents around the world. One of the things that made this car stand out was its hydraulic components. At the time, it was one of the best technologies that attracted status buyers. It also had a folding fabric roof that allowed leaders to wave to their subjects.
1968 – 1972 300SEL 6.3
Another iconic classic model. Not only were modern Mercedes based on it, it also had some of the best features of any car of the time: among them an advanced 6.3-liter V8, power windows, packaged air suspension, power steering and ventilated disc brakes.
1886 – 1893 Benz Patent Motorwagen
It would be remiss not to introduce the first car produced by Mercedes. The Benz Patent Motorwagen of 1886-1893 was the first car with an internal combustion engine. Unlike today’s familiar designs, this vehicle had three wheels, a handle for steering and a bench seat.
1967 – 1971 280SL Pagoda
If you’re a roadster fan, you’ll love the 280SL Pagoda. It’s one of the most beautiful cars ever built, with its seamless design and amazing attention to detail. It also boasts a number of unique features like a 2.8-liter inline 6-cylinder engine and body-color hubcaps
1936 – 1940 540K
If you’ve been to one of the glamorous automotive events, you may have seen the 540K, one of the most unique and beautiful cars of all time. This rarity is not only iconic and fabulously expensive, but also impressively powerful for its era, as it is powered by a 5.4-liter 8-cylinder engine with up to 180 horsepower.
1991 – 1994 500Е
One of the most reliable Mercedes-Benz models of all time is the 1991-1994 500E. Hand-built by Porsche, it is not only well-made, but also beautiful. In addition, it is an enviable success with collectors, so it falls into the category of some of the most desirable and sought-after classic cars in the world.
1983 190E Cosworth
It’s safe to say that the 190E Cosworth is one of Mercedes’ most amazing models. This sportier version of the regular W201 sedan with modifications from the famous racing company was born to compete with the BMW M3 introduced earlier, and is now a dream for many collectors. At the time of its debut, the car was equipped with a 185-horsepower 2.3-liter engine that transmitted power to the rear wheels via a 5-speed manual transmission.
Not surprisingly, Ayrton Senna and Niki Lauda were some of the first buyers of the 190 Cosworth, which set a record at the Nardo circuit in the endurance race.
You ask, what is a 2004 car doing on this list? Despite being less than 25 years old, the CLS-Class is considered a Mercedes classic. It’s all thanks to its superior design, which has forced competitors to actively pursue a coupe to compete with it.
Of course, our list wouldn’t be complete without the famous Gelandwagen, which has maintained its design without major changes since mass production began in 1979. Designed for military purposes, this powerful and reliable all-terrain vehicle was and remains one of the best SUVs on the market.
The ’90s saw facelifted versions with increased comfort, leather trim and advanced safety features. In the 2000s, even more luxurious versions began to be produced, favored by businessmen and movie stars. Changing the interior and introducing modern technology, the G-Class continues to retain its signature, recognizable look.