The birth of the automobile
The 35-hp Mercedes, the first modern automobile (1900 – 1901)
According to the specifications of Emil Jellinek, in 1900 Wilhelm Maybach developed the 35-hp Mercedes, which was the first “real” automobile by present-day standards. This new Daimler caused a revolution in March 1901 and became the worldwide standard for automobiles.
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The Mercedes 35 hp, the first modern automobile, 1901
Its front-mounted four-cylinder in-line engine was bolted directly to the new, pressed-steel frame and had the sensational output of 35 hp (26 kW). The engine speed was regulated between 300 and 1000 rpm by a lever on the steering wheel. The cylinders and cylinder head formed a single unit, and for the first time the crankcase was made of aluminum. The power-to-weight ratio was now only 6.6 kilograms per horsepower, and one year later it fell to just 4.6 kg/hp. The intake valves were no longer controlled automatically, but by camshaft, like the exhaust valves.
Technical highlights
 
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Engine of the 35 hp Mercedes, built between 1901 and 1903.
The car featured a spray-nozzle carburetor, honeycomb radiator, cooling fan, gear-type oil pump, water pump and magneto ignition. Equally new features of the car included a very compact, self-adjusting spring-band clutch, a single gearshift lever moving in a gate to operate the four-speed transmission, and a heavily inclined steering column. The significantly longer wheelbase, wider track and wheels of virtually equal size on both axles gave the car a high level of handling stability. The brakes were matched to the raised engine performance. The Mercedes was fitted with 30 centimeter wide drum brakes on the rear wheels, operated via a linkage by a manual lever. The foot-operated service brake acted on the drive shaft.
The beginning of the "Mercedes era"
 
 
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The Nice Week, 25 - 29.03.1901. Baron Henry de Rothschild’s 35 hp Mercedes Simplex racing car:
The first unit of this innovative car developed by Wilhelm Maybach was supplied to the person who had ordered it – Emil Jellinek – on December 22, 1900. Jellinek’s daughter Mercedes was the inspiration for the new model designation of the vehicles from Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft: Mercedes. In March 1901, the 35-hp Mercedes scored spectacular victories during the Nice Week. The automotive world heralded the beginning of the “Mercedes era.”
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