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The best Mercedes models of all time header image with an original mercedes

Mercedes-Benz are one of the most iconic car brands of all time. A common sight on our roads, Mercedes are synonymous with great engineering, style and luxury.

Over the years, Mercedes have produced some great cars and have garnered themselves a loyal following of car enthusiasts.

But which Mercedes models are the best?

In this article, we look at the best Mercedes models of all time.

A quick history of Mercedes-Benz

Before we begin, let’s have a look at the origins of the iconic German brand. Our story starts in 1886, where the internal combustion vehicle was being produced in two separate locations, just 60 miles apart in Southwestern Germany. Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler were both producing vehicles, both unaware of each other’s work.

They didn’t actually start working together until 1924. It was only due to the economic ramifications of World War One that they began cooperating. In 1926, they finally became Daimler-Benz AG and their products were therefore under the name Mercedes-Benz.

They quickly became industry leaders, launching the world’s first diesel-run passenger vehicle in 1936, the 260 D Model.

The Second World War was a dark period for Mercedes-Benz, as they relied on forced labour for their war effort. During the war, almost half of their 63,610 employees were forced labourers, prisoners of war or concentration camp detainees. They stopped making cars to help with the war effort but they did produce the Mercedes-Benz 770. This was a large luxury car that was driven by high-ranking Nazi officials including Himmler, Heydrich and Hitler himself.

After the war, Daimler-Benz became involved with the “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” initiative and paid $12 million in reparations.

Mercedes-Benz recovered from World War Two with huge strength and soon after produced some of their best looking cars. Since then, Mercedes have gone from strength to strength.

They were approached by the creator of Swatch watches in the late 1970s, leading to the creation of the Smart Car and in 1967, Mercedes-AMG was launched.

It’s been pretty plain-sailing for Mercedes-Benz since then, and their cars are famous throughout the world.

So Mercedes have been around a long time and they’ve made some pretty impressive models. But, which ones are the best?

The Best Mercedes Models of All Time

Okay, so what are the best Mercedes models of all time? It should be noted that this isn’t fact, this is opinion and we would love to hear your favourite Mercedes models are, and you can do that in the comments below.

Anyway, in no particular order…

SSK (1928-1932)

This was Mercedes’ first real sports car, and was designed by Ferdinand Porsche. Interestingly, Porsche went onto create his own car brand…

The SS was a shorter version of the S roadster and had a 7.0 litre, six-cylinder engine that could produce anywhere between 200-300hp depending on the vehicle’s tune. This was an incredible amount of horsepower for a car of this era. It could also produce more than 500lb-ft of torque.

It was an impressive car at the time, and it’s an impressive car now.

Red Mercedes-Benz SSK at a car exhibition
Image: shutterstock.com

600 Pullman Landaulet (1963-1981)

Black Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman with a country house and trees in the background in colour
Image: Shutterstock.com

The Pullman was a luxury sedan that was available in short and long wheelbases. This means it was essentially a limousine. The limo version of the car had a fifth and sixth seat installed behind the front row facing rearward.

The car itself was huge and heavy, and came with a brand new 6.3-litre V8 engine to power it. It also had a hydraulic system that controlled the seats, doors, windows and the sunroof.

Of course, Mercedes couldn’t just build a limo, they had to build a convertible one at that.

540K (1936-1940)

This model is on the list due to the fact it has a history like no other. It was one of the most sought-after and widely-loved pre-war vehicles, but it also became a popular car for high-ranking Nazi officials.

The car itself was ahead of its time, with a 5.4-litre straight-8 cylinder that pushed 18 horsepower. There were also special edition and custom bodied versions of the car, with the “Special Roadster” selling for $9.9 million not too long ago in an auction.

Black Mercedes-Benz 540K in a museum in Italy
Image: Shutterstock.com

SLR McLaren (2003)

Silver Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren on a white background

Considered one of the most capable supercars ever made, the SLR McLaren boasted a 617 horsepower engine. It also had a state-of-the-art traction control system and turbine-shaped wheels that sucked in extra air to cool the brakes.

And at $450,000, it was worth the money.

300SL Gullwing (1954-1963)

The Gullwing looks like something straight out of a James Bond film, which could be why everyone loves it. Powered by a 3.0 litre, straight-6 engine, the model made around 220-horsepower. Which was a lot at the time it was made.

Originally a race car, the Gullwing was so popular that Mercedes brought it into production in coupe and roadster form. The model saw Mercedes increase in popularity after World War Two, particularly in America.

black Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing at an exhibition
image: Shutterstock.com

SSK Trossi Roadster (1930)

Black 1930 Mercedes SSK Trossi Roadster front view on a white background
Image: hemmings.com

I’m not saying it looks like a vintage Batmobile, but the Trossi Roadster certainly looks like a vintage Batmobile.

The model came with a 7.0-litre supercharged V8 engine and is an intimidating piece of art. Which I’m sure was the aim. Interestingly, Ralph Lauren now owns one.

CLK GTR (1998-1999)

Due to FIA GT1 rules, top tier sports cars had to be based on actual road cars. This mean that the 90s were full of weird and wacky limited-production vehicles, including the CLK GTR.

Only 26 of these were actually produced for the road, and featured a V12 engine, 604 horsepower and 572 lb-ft of torque. It also came with a hefty price tag. So hefty, in fact, that it was recorded as the most expensive production car ever built at the time, with a price of $1,547,620.

One went on sale in 2012 for $1.4 million, so it’s still as valuable now.  

White Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR on a white background
Image: Shutterstock.com

Benz Patent Motorwagen (1886-1893)

Benz Patent Motorwagen in New Dehli, India
Image: Shutterstock.com

We couldn’t write about the greatest Mercedes models of all time and not include the car that made it all possible. Karl Benz was awarded German patent number 37435 for the first vehicle designed that was propelled by an internal combustion engine. It had three wheels, a bench seat and a crank used for steering. Only 25 of them were made over 8 years and they retailed at $1,000, which is the equivalent of about $27,000 today.

We owe a lot to this car, and goodness knows where we would be without it.

So those are our top Mercedes models of all time. As we said, this is a matter of opinion, but I think we can all agree that Mercedes-Benz have created some of the greatest cars of our time, and will continue to do so for the near and distant future. Do you agree with us? Or are there other models you think we should have included on this list? We would love to hear your opinion so comment below!

We've counted down our top Mercedes of all time,  but how do their latest models compare? Read our latest Mercedes reviews  here! 

Holly Martin

Content Co-ordinator at OSV Ltd
Holly enjoys: Reading, music and spending time with friends.

Within a week of Holly starting work at OSV she became an indispensable part of the marketing team. She's very intuitive and gets on with the whole office effortlessly.
Holly Martin

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