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March 25: Mercedes makes its public debut on this date in 1901

March 25, 2013

"If I cannot obtain more from an automobile than from a coach and horses," said businessman Emile Jellinek at the turn of the 20th century, "I might as well go back to horses!" This insight came courtesy of Jellinek's fascination with the machines of Gottlieb Daimler, which the wealthy traveler thought could become the transport of choice for Europe's gentry. On this date in 1901, the car Jellinek urged Daimler to design and build was unveiled at a week's race in Nice, France — bearing the name of Jellinek's daughter, Mercedes. The 1910 Mercedes 35-hp car broke completely from carriage building, and became the car that launched Daimler's reputation.