1907 Mercedes

1907 Mercedes when owned by H.C. Wing Jr.
Listing for the new American Mercedes of 1907 (photo credit: Automobile Topics)
This is an image of what I believe is a 1907 Mercedes – either the 45 hp (4-cylinder) or possibly the larger 37/70 hp (6-cylinder) car. Noted on the back of the image is “Mercedes, H. Wing Jr.”. Henry Chauncey Wing Sr., and his son Henry Jr., were early collectors involved with the VMCCA and helped found the Connecticut Valley Region Chapter of the AACA. The Wings were known to be Stanley enthusiasts, but also had other vehicles such as a Clement Bayard, restored by Henry Wing Jr., and this Mercedes. I’m not sure if there is any relation, but there was a F.E. (Frank) Wing who was the Boston based traveling salesman for the Pope Mfg. Company and the Waltham Mfg. Company (around 1905).

1907 Mercedes in Sinsheim, Germany (photo credit: Auto & Technik Museum)
The Mercedes, produced by the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft, derived its name from Emil Jellinek who had request Wilhelm Maybach (Daimler’s brilliant engineer) to design a more sporting car for him to race in 1900. By 1902, the cars designed to Jellinek’s specifications took the name “Mercedes” after his daughter (the name is Spanish for “godsend”). In 1905, Daimler established the Daimler manufacturing Co. in Long Island City, NY in association with Steinway (who had been building Daimler engines under license for the American market since before 1900).  This was a popular technique for a number of luxury European makes to avoid importation duties. The American Mercedes, as it was called, was short lived – when the factory burned in 1907 (destroying eight completed cars and 40 in the process of construction), the enterprise was not resumed.

I’ve not been able to locate the ex-Henry Wing Jr car, however there is a very similar example located in the Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim, Germany.

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