Mercedes-Benz Classic: 125 years of motorsport with Mercedes

In July 1894 the world’s first car race takes place from Paris to Rouen. And so begins the successful motorsport history of Mercedes-Benz. The two winning vehicles are powered by an engine developed by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach.

Großer Preis von Frankreich in Reims, 4. Juli 1954. Der spätere Sieger Juan Manuel Fangio auf Mercedes-Benz Formel-1-Rennwagen W 196 R mit Stromlinienkarosserie, Startnummer 18.
French Grand Prix in Rheims, 4 July 1954. Later winner Juan Manuel Fangio in a Mercedes-Benz Formula One racing car W 196 R with streamlined body, start number 18.

For 125 years engines and vehicles by Mercedes-Benz and its predecessor brands have ensured countless triumphs. In this anniversary year Mercedes-Benz Classic is publishing newsletters dedicated to the various formats of motorsport at regular intervals.

From the first ever car race in July 1894 to the latest involvement in motorsport: the racing activities of Mercedes-Benz and its predecessor brands tell a success story that has its roots at the early time of the car. Since the 19th century the racing and rally cars have always been right at the forefront of sporting competition. 

photo caption:  The first car race from Paris to Rouen, 22 July 1894. The Peugeot from Albert Lemaître (starting number 65), pictured on the left-hand rear seat Adolphe Clément. The Peugeot with an engine manufactured under licence from Daimler was the first vehicle with a combustion engine to finish the race, crossing the line in second.

Their successes exemplify innovative technology, the irrepressible will to win of the drivers and excellent teamwork. No other brand has had the topic of motorsport enshrined in its DNA for as long or as intensively as Mercedes-Benz.

Outstanding moments in racing history of the brand include the successes in the world’s first car competitions in 1894 and 1895, the win of the first Mercedes at the Nice Week in 1901, the triple-win of Mercedes at the Grand Prix of Lyon in 1914, the successful time after the introduction of compressor cars in 1922 and, above all, the era of the Silver Arrows in the 1930s and 1950s as well as many successes at rallies and record drives.

photo caption:  At the International Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring on 3 June 1934 the new Mercedes-Benz W 25 racing car starts for the first time. The unique success story of the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows begins with the win by Manfred von Brauchitsch

Current wins such as the five consecutive Formula 1 Drivers’  and Constructors’ World Championships or the win of the Drivers’, Teams’ and Manufacturers’ Championship in the DTM 2018 as well as regular wins in customer sport continue the success story.

2019 will be a strong motorsport season – in both a current and historic context. A glance at the calendar:

photo caption:  Nice Week, 25 to 29 March 1901. Baron Henri de Rothschild’s Mercedes 35 HP racing car in La Turbie after winning the Nice–La Turbie hill climb on 29 March 1901. At the wheel is Wilhelm Werner, who later became the German emperor’s driver.

    In Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz is taking part in the tried and tested constellation. The new vehicle will be celebrating its world premiere on 13 February 2019.

    In Formula E two fully electrical Silver Arrows will be starting as of the 2019/20 season.

Mercedes-Benz Classic will, amongst other things, be taking part in these top-class events with vehicles from the company’s own collection:

        1000 Miglia (15 to 18 May 2019)
        Silvretta Classic (4 to 6 July 2019)
        Goodwood Festival of Speed (4 to 7 July 2019)
        Grand Prix of Germany (26 to 28 July 2019)
        Classic Days Schloss Dyck (2 to 4 August 2019)

        Hamburg-Berlin-Klassik (September 2019)
        Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run (31 October to 3 November 2019)

photo caption:  Mexican Grand Prix, 28 October 2018. Lewis Hamilton wins the Formula 1 World Championship ahead of time. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team secures the 2018 Constructors’ World Championship two weeks later at the Brazilian Grand Prix.