Mercedes Simplex 40/45

The Mercedes Simplex was of decisive significance for the automobile as we know it today. It was the first car with front engine and rear wheel drive, radiator, pedals and steering wheel. Dubstantial contributions to the development of this car were made by Wilhelm Maybach. Its price was immense, 40,000 goldmarks. In relation to this, a Mercedes of the top class would have to cost two million Euros these days.

The Simplex-series was developed from the Mercedes 35 hp, the very first Mercedes. The name "Mercedes" was coined in 1901 by Emile Jellinek, who was the French general importer of Daimler at that time. Since the trade-name "Daimler" sounded unoleasant when pronounced in French he changed it to "Mercedes", the name of his daughter. Later on, this trade-name was adopted by Daimler.

The Simplex from 1905 on exhibit in the Technik Museum Sinsheim is powered by a 6.8 liter 4-cylinder engine with 45 hp. In was acquired first hand from the chauffeur of the Anhäusser-Busch family, the most famous brewery dynasty of America. The family had donated the car to their chauffeur after retirement.