January 29 marks an important milestone in the history of Mercedes-Benz, inventor of the motor car and the world's most famous marque – on that day back in 1886 Carl Benz filed an application in Berlin for a patent on his three-wheeled "horseless carriage". Early critics claimed the contraption had no future; 125 years and over 80,000 patent applications later they couldn't be more wrong. Tomorrow night the company will mark the historic occasion with a gala at Mercedes-Benz World in Stuttgart featuring German Chancellor Angela Merkel as the guest of honor. "The invention of Daimler and Benz changed the world for the better - and it will continue to do so," states Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "As the inventor we also have the claim to shape the future of mobility: with fascinating brands, green technologies and new business opportunities."
The central anchor point for the celebrations is the Mercedes-Benz Museum, which in 2011 celebrates its 5th anniversary at its new home in the Mercedes-Strasse in Stuttgart. In addition to the museum's incredible collection of classics, an exhibition from the company's collection of modern and contemporary art will be on display from May through September. Many of the works feature the history, models or design of Mercedes-Benz motor cars, such as Andy Warhol's legendary series of paintings CARS, created by the artist 25 years ago on the occasion of the marque's 100th anniversary, along with new work commissioned for this latest milestone. Along with various other events and commemorations meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz is donating and planting 125 trees in New Orleans City Park to aid in the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort.
Gallery: 125 Years of Mercedes-Benz