1886 Patent Motorwagen

When Karl Benz was awarded a patent for his "vehicle with gas engine operation" in 1886, it was unlikely that he realized thut his invention would change the world. German Patent #DRP 37435 is regarded as the birth certificate of the automobile. With its 954cc engine producing u modest .75 horsepower, the Patent Motorwagen was proven to be both capable of long voyages and captivating to the public when Karl's wife Bertha drove the Patent Motorwagen 112 miles on a trip to visit her mother in 1888.

1886 Patent Motorwagen

1931 Mercedes 370S Mannheim

The 370S Mannheim was one of the first Mercedes-Benz automobiles built following the merger of Daimler and Benz in 1928. It is a Benz design engineered by Ferdinand Porsche and one of only three Mercedes-Benz models to feature a flat radiator as opposed to Mercedes' V-shaped radiator that remains the standard today. This Mannheim is one of only 183 built and an estimated twelve that remain today.

1931 Mercedes 370S Mannheim

1950 Mercedes 170S

Amid the destruction left by Allied bombs in the wake of WWII, it seemed that there was nothing left of the Daimler-Benz headquarters or factories, Yet, miraculously, the tooling for the humble 170 model which was first introduced in 1936 had survived, and so a new factory was built and production of the prewar car began again in 1946. The 170S is often credited with being the model that saved Mercedes-Benz after the war, as there otherwise would have been nothing left to build on.

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1954 Mercedes 300SL

With its impressive list of racing victories, pioneering use of fuel injection, and unique tube frame design prompting the use of the famous Gullwing doors, the Mercedes 300SL is one of the most famous and instantly recognizable cars in the history of the automobile. Initially designed strictly as a race car and not a roadgoing model, the 300SL's high-strung nature and price tag of $6,800 ensured that it remained a rare sight on the roads even when new: just 1400 were built

1954 Mercedes 300SL

1960 Mercedes 220SE Cabriolet

The most exclusive of Mercedes' "Ponton" model range of the 1950s was the 220SE Cabriolet Setting it apart from the lesser four-door and diesel models was its unique coachwork and its 134 horsepower fuel-injected engine. The fuel injected engine produced 18% more power and used 8% less fuel than the carbureted version; however this technology was not inexpensive and only 1,112 examples of this car were built before it was replaced by the "Heckflosse" model in 1961.

1960 Mercedes 220SE Cabriolet

1972 Mercedes 600

The 600's sole design criterion was to be the world's ultimate luxury car, without regard to cost or compromise. The 600 was also a technical marvel, with its fully pneumatic suspension, hydraulic accessory drives, and Mercedes' first-ever V8 engine producing 250 horsepower. At a cost of $29,000 in 1972, the 600 quickly became popular with celebrities and world leaders; owners include Hugh Hefner, Leonid Brezhnev, Elizabeth Taylor, Kim Jung II, Elvis Presley, and Idi Amin.

1972 Mercedes 600

Step inside the Kemp Auto Museum and explore one of the finest collections of Mercedes Benz in the world.

The Kemp Auto Museum displays historically significant and artistically inspired automobiles from the very earliest to the contemporary for public enjoyment and educational enrichment.

The Kemp collection includes rare and vintage European automobiles from the turn of the century to modern day. Home to one of North America's finest private collections of Mercedes Benz ever displayed in one location; the Kemp Auto Museum exhibition was 30 year process that began when our Fred M. Kemp, Sr. purchased his first Mercedes Benz.

Kemp spent many years researching and acquiring the 40+ rare and classic automobiles currently found in our collection and in 2004, after his passing, he donated his collection to the museum for exhibition and education. Today, the Kemp Auto Museum displays automobiles from all over the world, each carefully selected and artfully displayed in our gallery for our visitors to learn from and enjoy!

To find out more about the Kemp collection click on the list of automobiles currently on display in our gallery or contact our curator at 636.537.1718 x 15.