The birth of Mercedes and Nice Week

| 15 May 2017

As part of a recent celebration of the birth of the Mercedes brand – and the importance in that birth of both Emil Jellinek and the French city of Nice – Daimler dug out an astonishing array of fascinating photos. They depict Mercedes’ earliest days as well as the wonders of Nice Week, which attracted the cream of the motoring world to see its sprints along the Promenade des Anglais, 400km races and 17km La Turbie hillclimb. You can read the full story in July’s issue of C&SC (out 24 May).

Nice Week in March 1900, start of the Nice–Marseilles race. A Daimler 23 HP “Phoenix” racing car outside the Hotel des Anglais on the Promenade des Anglais

Mercedes-Simplex 40 HP as a four-seater tonneau variant. Photographed in Nice in 1902 outside the building at no. 57 Promenade des Anglais in which Emil Jellinek lived until 1902.

Mercedes stand at the Paris Motor Show in December 1902, jointly presented by C. L. Charley and Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft. The motor show was described in the press at the time as the “Mercédès Show”, because most manufacturers had adopted key features of the Mercedes 35 HP dating from 1901 for their models.

Nice Week, 25 to 29 March 1901. The Mercedes 35 HP, which won almost all the competitions during the racing week, on the Promenade des Anglais with Wilhelm Werner at the wheel. Emil Jellinek (with sideburns) is standing on the right behind the vehicle inside the barriers.

Nice Week, April 1904. Camille Jenatzy at the wheel of a Mercedes-Simplex 90 HP. Standing on the left behind the vehicle is Wilhelm Werner (with cigarette), while at the front is Hermann Braun. Photographed in the courtyard of the Villa Mercédès, no. 54 Promenade des Anglais in Nice, where Emil Jellinek resided from 1902.

The Mercedes-Simplex 40 HP owned by Henri de Rothschild (alias “Dr. Pascal”) during testing on the stretch from Nice to La Turbie in March 1902.

Nice Week in March 1899. Wilhelm Bauer wins the 85-kilometre Nice–Magagnosc–Nice touring race in a Daimler “Phoenix” racing car on 21 March 1899. Leaning against the vehicle is Hermann Braun, Emil Jellinek’s chauffeur and mechanic.

Camille Jenatzy, winner of the Gordon Bennett race in Ireland on 2 July 1903, in Clarence Gray Dinsmore’s Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP. The American millionaire made his vehicle available to the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft for the race.

Nice Week, 25 to 29 March 1901. Baron Henri de Rothschild’s Mercedes 35 HP racing car in La Turbie after winning the Nice–La Turbie hill climb on 29 March 1901. At the wheel is Wilhelm Werner, who later became the German emperor’s driver.

Nice Week, April 1903. At the start of the Nice–La Turbie hill climb on 1 April 1903: the subsequent winner, Otto Hieronimus, in a Mercedes-Simplex 60 HP. Standing in front of the car on the left is Adolf Spitz, while Ferdinand Porsche is at the rear wheel.

Nice Week in March 1899. The Nice–Magagnosc–Nice touring race over 85 kilometres gets underway on 21 March 1899. The race began outside the Hotel des Anglais on the Promenade des Anglais. On the left with starting number 102 is a two-seater Daimler 12 HP “Phoenix” racing car with Wilhelm Werner at the wheel accompanied by Henri de Rothschild, alias “Dr. Pascal”. On the right with starting number 103 is a four-seater Daimler “Phoenix” with Hermann Braun at the wheel accompanied by Arthur de Rothschild.

Nice Week in April 1902. E. T. Stead in a Mercedes-Simplex 40 HP, winner of the Nice–La Turbie hill climb, photographed on the Promenade des Anglais.