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Mercedes Celebrates 120th Anniversary of First-Ever Motor Race

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/27/2014 Conner Golden
Daimler Racing Anniversary© Provided by MotorTrend Daimler Racing Anniversary

Mercedes is celebrating the 120th anniversary of the first motor race ever, which took place on July 22, 1894. In that race, two Daimler-powered vehicles took the top spots, and a third Benz vehicle took 5th.

Research

The premise of the contest was simple; a 78-mile route was organized from Paris to Rouen, France, organized by the daily Parisian newspaper “Le Petite Journal” to demonstrate the feasibility and supremacy of gasoline-powered vehicles of the time.

While the competition was created to showcase what gasoline-powered vehicles were capable of, electric- and steam-powered vehicles were present along the route as well. Many vehicles of many shapes and sizes participated, but in the end, it was a Daimler-powered Peugeot as well as a Daimler-powered Panhard & Levassor that crossed the finish line together, and split the 5000-franc prize. The object of the race was not just to finish first, but for vehicles to demonstrate their reliability, refinement, and durability over the course of the race.

The winning cars featured the “Système Daimler” powertrain layout, which included fast-running two-cylinder Daimler engines.

Source: Daimler

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