Born into the same era, the automobile and the silver screen – the car and the cine camera – were largely parallel developments. At the same time, the cinema came to chronicle in a quite unique fashion the fascination for vehicles from Mercedes-Benz and its predecessor brands shared by international celebrities and the general public alike. Automobiles from Mercedes-Benz have always been stars of the silver screen. No more is this the case, however, than in modern cinema – regardless of whether the film is set in the present, the past or the future.
The way in which the cinema has portrayed cars from Mercedes-Benz has constantly shifted over the years: often fast and elegant, but also classical or visionary, powerful and reliable, and even bourgeois or sinister. And automobiles from Stuttgart have found an ever-developing range of contexts for their on-screen roles; they are four-wheeled heroes that document an almost bewildering iconography of emotions and stereotypes. Cars with the star have made film history as taxis and state limousines, as dangerous or seductive sports cars and as the vehicles of choice for gangsters. Indeed a closer looks reveals that the number and variety of film roles played by Mercedes-Benz is as extensive as the model range of the world’s oldest carmaker itself.