Only the richest can buy cars. The first Phönix is provided to Emil Jellinek, Austro-Hungarian consul in Nice and motor sport fan. A pioneer in automotive marketing, Jellinek endeavors to study the needs of the wealthy residents of the French Riviera and becomes the exclusive distributor of DMG in the area.
Customers do not call for a technical feat. They wish a user friendly vehicle, reliable, stable, comfortable. Jellinek understands that the manufacturer must lighten the engine and the body, increase the wheelbase and lower the center of gravity. He forwards these specifications to Wilhelm Maybach, the designer of the Phönix. Jellinek creates in 1901 and deposits in 1902 the name of the first model produced by DMG for his needs : Mercedes.
Again with the technical involvement of Maybach, an improved model appears from 1902. This luxury car is named Mercedes Simplex, which looks anachronistic today for a luxury vehicle but the high society of that time appreciated that the use of an automobile became simple. The operation performed by Jellinek is a great success : customers are accepting to pay an expensive price if they get quality and easiness.
A range of Mercedes Simplex is offered. The top power is increased to 60 hp in 1903. The 28-32 hp is among the high end. A Mercedes Simplex 28-32 hp made in 1904 is estimated $ 2.5M for sale on August 19 by Bonhams at Quail Lodge, Carmel CA, lot 27.
After its rediscovery in the mid-1970s, this vehicle has undergone many changes made necessary after half a century of storage in an English farm. It is now a frequent entrant of the London To Brighton Veteran Car Runs. It is offered in a five seat rear entrance tonneau body.
SOLD for $ 2.8M including premium