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In its hundred-plus years of business, Mercedes-Benz has been able to redefine how cars are supposed to look, ride, and drive. The company blazed a trail since the very first modern car, and now, they're still leading the pack. It's a company known for excellence, plain and simple.
Over the years, Mercedes made a lot of famous cars that kept the company afloat, and even changed the way we buy cars. If you're a fan of antique cars that look amazing, then you already know this. Chances are, you probably have an old school car of your own.
As an avid car fan, it's hard to pick out the best vintage Mercedes-Benz cars in history. That doesn't mean I won't try though! Here are my personal picks of the most badass Benzes of yesteryear.
1885 Benz Patent Motorwagen
We can't talk about vintage Mercedes-Benz cars without mentioning the first modern car ever made. Back before this company was known as Mercedes-Benz, it was just Benz.
This was the first horseless carriage to make a major trip, and proved to everyone that cars were a winning concept. It put Benz on the map, and paved the way for all the other companies we now love. If that isn't amazing, I don't know what is.
1955 Mercedes Benz 190SL
It's hard, real hard, not to fall in love with vintage Mercedes-Benz cars from the 1950s. The 1955 Mercedes Benz 190SL might just be one of the most celebrated of the decade—and rightfully so.
I mean, look at this. Look at it. The lines of the body. The gorgeous replacement to the Mercedes-Benz 300SL cost a pretty penny, but it really knew how to turn heads. Those who drove it regularly noted its excellent steering and wonderful turning ability. It was a breeze to drive, and a dream to be in.
1961 Mercedes-Benz 300D Adenauer
The Adenauer was a machine meant for greatness, and the designers behind it knew it. This wasn't a daily drive car; it was a classy limo that set the tune for limousines of the 1960s.
An amazing fact about Mercedes-Benz you probably didn't know is that this particular model was known for being the choice car of German chancellor Konrad Adenaur, who bought six of these machines before they even hit the market. It seems Adenauer had a really nice sense of style.
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR
When you're looking for an iconic race car from the 50s, nothing is quite as memorable as the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR. This car had all the makings of something that'd hit the history books: a beautiful design, a straight-eight engine capable of pushing out 310 horsepower, and a ton of wins at the track.
This amazing car became the model that inspired several concept cars that never made it to production. The reason why? Well, several 300 SLRs were involved in a major pileup on the racetracks. The stigma attached to the machine killed off production.
The disaster even spelled doom for the 300 SL Gullwing edition meant for street driving. Too soon, too soon...
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K
Most car experts consider the 500K to be one of the most beautiful vintage Mercedes-Benz cars you can see in a museum. It's understandable; even Duesenberg took a page from the Benz design school after seeing this one.
Its beautiful design isn't the only reason why it got so much love from the press. The Benz 500K was also a very powerful car for its time, making plenty of appearances on racetracks across the country in its heyday.
1979 Mercedes-Benz W123
When you look at all these gorgeous Benzes, it's kind of hard to imagine the Mercedes-Benz W123 to rank among the best vintage Mercedes-Benzes of all time. But, hear me out.
What made this machine so great wasn't its appearance or its horsepower. Rather, it was the popularity that made it iconic. During the late 1970s and mid 1980s, everyone wanted to have a W123.
This Mercedes proved that the company could make an amazing family car. It was useful, roomy, durable, and yet, still classy.
1980 Mercedes-Benz G Class
Most people assume that Mercedes is all about petite sports cars favored by politicians and dignitaries. The G Class brought that belief down, and had a 38 year long run before it was given a design overhaul.
The G Class is known for being a boxy, Jeep-like wagon that is both sporty and rugged. Despite the rugged appearance, it still carried the elegance people expected from Mercedes.
Jeep, eat your heart out. You'll never be a G Class.
1960 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
The SLS AMG line was pretty much the stuff of dreams, and while just about every AMG Mercedes-Benz car ever made is known as a collector's item, the real peak for SLS came during the 1960s.
This decade heralded a time of sleek lines, incredible horsepower, gullwing doors, and design upgrades that broke records. These vintage Mercedes-Benz cars are so highly regarded, it's not unusual to hear of them selling for upwards of $300,000.
1951 Mercedes-Benz 220
The full name of this car is the W187 220, but most people just think of this car as the classic "220" model. During the 1950s, you couldn't throw a stone at a luxury car show without hitting a W187 model. It was just that popular compared to the most powerful, luxury, classic muscle cars on the road at the time.
These classic cars are now considered to be a major attention-getter at car shows. As one of the first six-cylinder luxury cars to be produced after World War II, it's easy to see why the 220 is such a popular pick.
1936 Mercedes-Benz W25 Silver Arrow
Finally, I'm going to talk about one of my favorite cars of all time: the Silver Arrow. This is considered to be one of the most beautiful, vintage Mercedes-Benz cars ever made, not to mention a serious source of inspiration for car designers everywhere.
Don't be fooled by its pretty visage; it was a car that had a lot of power for its time. This mean machine won quite a few races too, and held its reputation for the long term among gearheads.