The name Mercedes-Benz is known and respected by many Canadians, but remarkably few are aware that the founders of Mercedes-Benz share credit for inventing the automobile in 1886.

Daimler and Benz were not financial wizards nor industrial tycoons, but hardheaded mechanical engineers. They insisted on technical perfection and flawless workmanship above all else.

Besides pioneering technical advances ranging from fuel-injected engines to the world's first diesel passenger car, Mercedes-Benz has played a preeminent role in motor racing. No other car maker can match the Mercedes-Benz record of over 4,400 competition victories -- a glittering heritage that stretches back to the winner of history's first auto race in 1894.

Many past Mercedes-Benz models are among the most coveted classics on wheels. And it does not seem surprising to find such phrases as "alone in the field," "pinnacle in safe car engineering," or "world's best car" in the appraisals that automotive experts write about current Mercedes-Benz models.

Its reputation, today as in the past, rests on the way it performs.

300SEL 6.3
"Merely the greatest sedan in the world"

300SEL 6.3

That was Road & Track's verdict after putting the 6.3 through an extensive road test. Automotive expert Tom McCahill drove the 6.3 coast to coast and back in a Mechanix Illustrated test, and took issue with Road & Trackís appraisal. "World's best car," he corrected.

What is it that makes the 6.3 worthy of such accolades? Road & Track asked the same question. And then supplied the answer: "Whatever it is asked to do, it does better than almost any other car.... The handling is excellent by any standards; not only is it far superior to any other sedan you can name but better than most sports cars. It has brakes so good you have to experience them to appreciate them.... On rough roads, the 6.3 is simply miles and years ahead of anything built in America, and most of Europe. But the one single characteristic of the car that makes the 6.3 outstanding even among Mercedes is, you're right, the power!"

Material provided by Steve Dragffy