Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz, independently of each other, invented the motorcar in 1886. The salesmanship of Jellinek coupled with the genius of Maybach catapulted Daimler into the top echelons of motor car manufacturing, marketed under the non Germanic name of Mercedes. Much later on in 1926 due to the struggling German economic situation, the Daimler and Benz companies merged. The Benz side specialiised in heavy truck side of he manufacturing and the motorcars produced thereafter were called Mercedes-Benz, from top of the range S, SS and SSK, to the later 500K and 540K's of the 1930's as well as their smaller cars. Post war started with the small prewar 170 which was slowly modernised in petrol and diesel formats. By 1951 a 6 cylinder type 300 was introduced. The same year the 170 became a 180 while a new 4 cylinder 190 was the first to have a overhead cam and valves. This 190 was developed into the 220, while the 300 series was improved year on year. By 1964 the V8 6.3 Mercedes 600 was available, mostly to heads of state, and in various body specifications including armour plate.
From the Adenauer 300 was developed the 300SL (1954) with its low pivot swing axle rear end, and later the smaller and more affordable 190SL (1956), Fintail (1959) and the rage of cars spawned from the 220SE W111 in 1960 (280SE, 300SE), then the their to the 190SL successor the "Pagoda" 230SL in 1963. The S Class started in 1965. The next big jump was the 350SL W107 that came in 1972 and 500SEL and off road G Class in 1979 and the list goes on!