8. Mercedes Is Named After An Austrian Girl – Mercédès Jellinek.
Adrienne Ramona Manuela Mercédès Jellinek was born in 1889 in Vienna. She lost her mother when she was four. Her father was the representative of Franz Joseph I of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in Nice.
Jellinek, accompanied by his daughter Mercedes, often traveled to Stuttgart to persuade Gottlieb Daimler and chief engineer Wilhelm Maybach to build faster cars.
The Mercedes 35 is considered the first modern car ever built. Daimler developed this car for Emil Jellinek in 1901. This sports car marked the beginning of a new era in the auto industry by bringing a different design to automobile structures. It put an end to carriage usage in motor vehicle manufacture.
The Mercedes 35 hp was a sports car developed by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft after Emil Jellinek had ordered a new type of car in dozens of copies on April 2, 1900, as the successor to the Daimler Phoenix. On December 22, the factory delivered the model to Jellinek.
Emil Jellinek was a motorsport enthusiast and the largest Daimler dealer of his time. He sold cars in France, Italy, Switzerland, and the USA to wealthy clients such as the Rockefeller, Morgan, Rothschild, and Astor families.
Mercédès Jellinek married the Austrian nobleman Freiherr von Schlosser at the age of 19. They had two children, Elfriede (born 1912) and Hans-Peter (born 1916). The couple separated in 1926, and Mercedes then married the sculptor Rudolf Baron von Weigl, who died a short time later of tuberculosis.
Mercedes von Weigl died of bone cancer in 1929 at only 39. She spent the last years of her life in extreme poverty. She never owned her car.
Jellinek became aware of Daimler vehicles in 1896 at 43 through an advertisement in a German weekly humor magazine Fliegende Blätter. Soon afterward, he visited the DMG factory and ordered a Daimler car. In the photo, Jellinek was at the wheel of his Daimler Phoenix 16 hp along with his mechanic, secretary, nephew, and brother. The photograph was from 1899.
In June 1903, Emil Jellinek officially changed his surname to Jellinek-Mercedes. In his famous quote, he emphasized the unusual situation: Probably for the first time, the father bears his daughter’s name.
The oldest original Mercedes, a Simplex 40 hp from 1902, has found a place of honor in the Mercedes Museum.
Two-seater Mercedes-Simplex 40 hp from 1903 is one of the oldest surviving vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz Classic collection.
Austrian sculptor Josef Valentin Kassin gave the facial features of Mercédès Jellinek to the main character in Undine Fountain in Baden Kurpark. It was created in 1903 to commemorate the completion of the municipal water pipe. Baden bei Wien was the birthplace of Emil Jellinek, and his family had a summer residence there.
Lastly, Mercedes is originally a Spanish maiden name derived from Maria de las Mercedes, one of the Roman Catholic titles for the Virgin Mary – Our Lady of Mercy. The word Merced means mercy or grace in Spanish.