First Mercedes-Benz, the 35 hpEnlarge Photo
Usually, it's far less dramatic, and we consumers are the affected parties. Our test drives reinforce whether to buy or keep searching.
Such was the case with businessman Emil Jellinek. He had a thing for cars and even raced them. In other words, he knew his stuff and wasn't a pushover to take whatever vehicle was presented for his consideration.
In fact, a standard model just wasn't going to pass muster. Jellinek had decided to commission a bespoke model. Like any customer with the proper influence and means, his input was taken seriously and he got the car he wanted from the developer himself, Gottlieb Daimler.
Emil Jellinek and daughter MercedesEnlarge Photo
Automakers tend to notice things like that and respond in kind.
Daimler honored Jellinek by incorporating the name of the customer's daughter into the cars--and the millions of Mercedes-Benz vehicles that would follow.
You see, Jellinek’s daughter named Adriana, though to everyone who knew her it was “Mercedes”.
In fact Jellinek used the Mercedes name as the moniker for nearly every business he owned and venture he was involved in. And that's how, 111 years ago this week in 1900, a simple test drive became automotive history.