Even in the early years of the 20th century, the luxury brand Mercedes, still in its early days, offered its customers a collection of exclusive motorcars. The Mercedes-Simplex 60 PS touring car, used by Emil Jellinek, who also initiated the Mercedes brand name, for holidays and touring, is a real show-piece.
Luxury motorcar and yacht: the family of Emil Jellinek in 1914 with their Mercedes-Simplex 60 PS touring car (centre) at the harbour in Nice beside their steam yacht "Mercédès II".
This advertisement by Benz & Cie. from 1923 shows a Benz 39/100 PS travelling along beside the Rhine with a romantic view of a castle in the background.
Going on holiday by car is a particularly popular pastime in 2020: in your own car you can keep your (social) distance, you are flexible and can take your luggage, bicycles and sports equipment with you.
In the brand heritage of Mercedes-Benz, the history of motoring holiday travel goes back an entire century. Right back in the early 1920s, the Mercedes-Benz predecessor brand, Benz, was already using trips along the romantic Middle Rhine in its advertising.
Comfortable car journeys for holidays involved clearly and efficiently organised luggage storage. Mercedes-Benz had been aware of this for many decades and offered tailor-made luggage sets for various categories of vehicles.
For the 170 Saloon (W 15) built between 1931 and 1936, the brand offered its own luggage set.
Time for a break at the Grimsel Pass: this couple travelled through Switzerland in their 170 V Saloon (W 136, built from 1950 to 1952).
Even in the post-war period, which was characterised by privation, people dreamed of being able to go on holiday by car. This was made possible in part because Mercedes-Benz resumed passenger car production as early as 1947, initially with the 170 V (W 136) and models derived from it.
Nice, on the Côte d’Azur, has been closely associated with Mercedes-Benz from the outset. This is where the Mercedes 35 PS achieved great motor sport successes in 1901. And at the start of the 20th century, it was home to Mercédès Jellinek, the namesake of the brand. A dream destination with true wanderlust factor was “Port Lympia” and its harbour.
Stylish travel by road and sea in 1952: a Mercedes-Benz 220 luxury saloon in the W 187 model series in Nice against a harbour scene backdrop.
Lifestyle on a dream island: in the mid-1950s, a 190 SL (W 121) sports car undertakes a vacation journey to Sylt.
The elegant, but sporty 190 SL (W 121) was launched in 1954 together with the 300 SL standard-production sports car (W 198), which radiated the unmitigated joie de vivre of the Economic Miracle era. It was, therefore, the ideal car for a pleasurable beach holiday by the sea.
Around the middle of the 20th century, Italy was the dream destination for numerous German holidaymakers. This included not only towns of historical interest and the beaches of the Adriatic Sea, but also the impressive Dolomite mountain vistas.
Tips for scenic routes, places of interest and more could be found in the “Sternfahrten” (journeys with the stars) book series, among others, published by Mercedes-Benz. The daily “Die Welt” newspaper later wrote that these aids to holiday trips by car had established “a new, modern style of travel literature”.
Ponton in front of mountain scenery: time for a break with a breathtaking view while driving through the mountains of South Tirol in a 180 (W 120), built between 1959 and 1961.
Luxury camping in the mid-1960s with a 600 Pullman limousine and an exclusively equipped Eiffelland caravan – even with a roof terrace.
From 1964, the prestigious Mercedes-Benz 600 (W 100) represented the ultimate in motorcar production. However, its extremely high standards appealed not only for use as the state limousine or a vehicle for entrepreneurs and stars: the “600” Pullman limousine was also an unbeatable choice as a towing vehicle for a highly exclusive camping holiday.
A vacation in the snow? In the 1960s, this meant skiing holidays for increasing numbers of people. An SL of the W 113 model series was just right for a stylish, sporty journey. And with the hardtop with its characteristic concave shape in place, it is understandable that this sports car was called the Pagoda.
Skiing and the SL: skis could be mounted in a special rack on the hardtop of the Pagoda SL of the W 113 model series.
Travelling in style: Mercedes-Benz coupé of the W 114 model series and, in the background, the castle of Hornberg near Neckarzimmern.
The “Stroke 8” coupés of the 1968 W 114 model series established a new tradition in sporty but elegant two-door touring cars in the upper medium-size category of Mercedes-Benz. They cut a good figure both on long holiday trips and on romantic day trips.
The G-Class was the dream car for globetrotters and the vehicle of choice for holiday travel off the beaten track. The legendary off-road vehicle premiered in 1979. Until September 2020, the Mercedes-Benz Museum is hosting a special exhibition to celebrate its 40th birthday.
Up hill and down dale or through the deep snow: the G-Class is perfectly at home even well away from the road.
Mercedes-Benz L 207 D model T 1 Bremer Transporter as a mobile home for a surfing holiday.
Take a bed, wet cell and kitchen with you in your own vehicle and go out and explore the world. This is the reasoning behind mobile homes and motor caravans. Various Mercedes-Benz vans are a popular basis for the construction of such vehicles.