Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach left their positions of engineers at Deutz AG Gasmotorenfabrik to found Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG), an independent engine company. They would later move into automobile production, initially producing motorcars to individual order. Their first chassis was delivered to the Sultan of Morocco in 1892. In 1984, Maybach designed a new 4-cylinder motor arranged in pairs of two. It design and mechanical components were rather advanced for the era, including a patented spray-nozzle carburetor and camshaft exhaust values. The engine was called the Phoenix and was used for many different applications, from automobiles to commercial trucks and even marine applications.
One of their customers named Emil Jellinek, an Austrian businessman, provided Daimler with much needed financial help in 1897. He was interested in racing, and ordered two Daimler competition cars to be equipped with the Phoenix engine, resulting in the first appearance of the 4-cylinder in a DMG automobile. Jellinek's investment in the company paid off, as he was able to find a lucrative side business of buying DMG cars and re-selling to them to high-profile racing clients on the French Riviera. By 1900 he had purchased 29 such chassis.
After Gottlieb Daimler passed away in 1900, Maybach seriously considered a proposal by Jellinek for the company to build a new sub-brand of sports cars. The suggested company name was Mercedes, after Jellinek's daughter. A deal was struck in April of 1900 and DMG began building the Mercedes powered by a new Maybach-designed engine called the Daimler-Mercedes motor. It was a development of the Phoenix 4-cylinder unit and had a 5.-liter displacement and a rating of 35 horsepower.
In 1901 at Nice Week, Wilhelm Werner's Mercedes won the Nice-Salon-Nice race with an average speed of 58.1 kph. Werner also won in the two-seater racecar class at the Nice-La Turbie Hillclimb. Many competition highlights for Mercedes would follow, including a victory at the 1903 Gordon Bennett Cup with Belgian driver Camille Jenatzy.
Wilhelm Maybach left DMG in 1909, leaving the company to struggle for market-share in Great Britain and France as competition continued to escalate. Nevertheless, the company continued to create benchmark designs that would ensure their technical supremacy during the brass era. After Rolls-Royce had introduced the shaft-drive system in the Silver Ghost model, many other companies began experimenting on their own. In 1908 Daimler offered a version on its entry-level 21/35 model. It was called the Cardan drive, named for the Italian mathematician Gerolamo Cardano, and was a forerunner of the universal-joint drive shaft architecture that is still used in modern vehicles.
The Cardan drive was initially offered on smaller displacement Mercedes models, until around 1910 when it was offered on the new 28/60, which had a 7.2-liter version of the 4-cylinder Daimler-Mercedes engine. The name '28/60' followed the common German nomenclature of listing both the taxable and true metric horsepower ratings.
DMG offered three forms of factory coachwork which was built at the company's Unterturkheim plant. The list included a two-seater sports car, a landaulet and a phaeton. They also offered the car as a rolling chassis so clients could have the coachbuilder of their choice cloth the vehicle to fit their needs.
Production of the 28/60 would continue through 1920.
This particular Mercedes 28/60 Phaeton was delivered to London on June 27th of 1913. It is believed to have been sold through the official British distributor, Milnes-Daimler-Mercedes, Ltd. in London. Around the mid-1950s, the car was purchased in London - along with several other cars - by Norm Viney of Cleveland, Ohio, and he may have commissioned some restoration work in the UK. In the early 1960s, it was sent to Tom Lester of ester Tires and Lester Restorations in Florida, for additional work. This included rebuilding a section of the rear end bodywork as it had been partially removed for unknown reasons.
In the mid-1970s, the car was sold to Solon Sprinchorn who had it shipped to Jamestown, New York. It would see little use for the next two decades until Mr. Sprinchorn decided to make the car operational for some touring. The work was completed by mid-1997 and it ran the VMCCA's 30-day Trans-Continental Reliability Tour, stretching over 2,500 miles from El Paso, Texas, to Banff, Canada, and on to Spokane, Washington. After the trip, the car was sent to Mr. Sprinchorn's son-in-law's home in Santa Maria, California. The car officially passed into his possession in 1998. He would drive the Mercedes on many Horseless Carriage Club of America (HCCA) tours on the West Coast.
In 2007, the original T-head Daimler-Mercedes engine was professionally rebuilt. A more comprehensive refurbishment followed, including a complete chassis freshening. The coachwork was stripped and refinished in a two-tone scheme of black and red. The stop top was rebuilt and the black leather seats were reupholstered.
The restoration was completed in 2008 and the car was used on at least another 12 tours.
Although mostly original, the car now has a modern starter, a single switch for the magneto, battery, and buzz-coil, and an alternator for an electric fuel pump, electric lights in the acetylene headlamps, and electric taillights with a directional signal.
The car has Ducellier brass headlamps, wood-spoke artillery wheels, wicker-woven rear luggage piece, side curtains, tonneau cover, and spare parts. The 7,240cc T-Head 4-cylidner engine is cast in pairs with Lateral Camshafts. There is a single Daimler carburetor which helps the engine produce 60 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual gearbox and 2-wheel pedal operated mechanical drum brakes.By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2018