logo

History and Background

The history of Mercedes-Benz in South Africa by far outstretches the history of the marque's club here. Although the enthusiasm, interest and involvement of "fans" of the marque throughout it's history here, cannot be denied and underplayed, it was not until the late 1970's that this was harnessed and organised into the beginnings of the Mercedes-Benz Club.

The first car that ever set wheel on South-African soil was a Benz Velo. The car was demonstrated to the then President Paul Kruger on 4 January 1897 at Berea Park, Pretoria. Since then history records Mercedes-Benz as it is known today, undergoing a name change.

The history of Mercedes-Benz in South Africa by far outstretches the history of the marque's club here. Although the enthusiasm, interest and involvement of "fans" of the marque throughout it's history here, cannot be denied and underplayed, it was not until the late 1970's that this was harnessed and organised into the beginnings of the Mercedes-Benz Club.

The first car that ever set wheel on South-African soil was a Benz Velo. The car was demonstrated to the then President Paul Kruger on 4 January 1897 at Berea Park, Pretoria. Since then history records Mercedes-Benz as it is known today, undergoing a name change.

It was in 1952 at the Van Riebeeck festival in Cape Town where an impressive array of post-war Mercedes cars, commercial vehicles and trucks, including Unimogs were displayed. This event led to the establishment of Mercedes-Benz dealerships throughout the country and eventually to the local manufacture of the marque.

In 1978, a loose arrangement of interested supporters and owners of Mercedes-Benz cars got together appointed a chairman and formed a club. One newsletter named the "Merc-nut" saw the light. Sadly, no formal structure and constitution was introduced, and although they had monthly meeting it soon ran aground.

In 1981, with the assistance and guidance of H von Eisenhart of Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA), the energies and enthusiasm of a few loyal to the marque owners, once again attempted afresh to establish a formal Mercedes-Benz Club. Under the chairmanship of Steve Rademeyer; this attempt was to succeed. This time an official Constitution was drafted and submitted to Daimler-Benz AG for approval. Legal assistance with the use of trademarks and logos was sought, and under the guidance of MBSA established a club logo.

On 23. November 1985, the inaugural meeting of the club was held at the Hotel Hamsin, in Pretoria. 75 guests attended this meeting and the club got underway with Steve Rademeyer at the helm, assisted by P de Villiers as Vice Chairman. 11 Committee members held portfolio.

Since this event, the club has experienced rough rides and good times, ever increasingly strengthening, growing and being enjoyed by its members. The addition of specialised registers had to be a natural development and today the club boasts with a central National Management committee and six active Regional committees.