Mercedes-Benz Classic and Henry Poole & Co celebrate craftsmanship excellence

Excellent craftsmanship and skilful handling of high-quality materials – this is what bespoke tailoring and historic automobiles have in common. The Concours on Savile Row, on Wednesday May 22 and Thursday May 23, 2024, brings the two together, and rolls out the red carpet: it presents noble vehicles in combination with the famous tailoring of Savile Row.

Mercedes-Benz Classic is taking part in this prestigious event, hosted by tailor Henry Poole & Co, and is showing a Mercedes 75 PS Spider from 1907 – a highly exclusive sporty vehicle. Also on display is an authentic replica of the first-ever motorbike – the Daimler Reitwagen (Riding Car) from 1885, as well as exhibits around the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (W 198). Mercedes-Benz is also displaying the S680 GUARD 4MATIC with integrated protection concept and MANUFAKTUR elements, an exclusive equipment programme for individual customer wishes.

“The presentation of our 1907 75 PS Spider on Savile Row is a tribute to the precision craftsmanship and passion that are expressed in both our vehicles and high-quality tailoring,” says Marcus Breitschwerdt, head of Mercedes-Benz Heritage (pictured left). “It is this attention to detail and the pursuit of perfection that unite Mercedes-Benz and Savile Row. Both inspire us to keep our heritage alive, and to take it indefatigably into the future.”

“We are looking forward to celebrating the heritage of our brands: Henry Poole since 1806 and Mercedes-Benz with its roots in 1886,” says Simon Cundey, managing director, Henry Poole & Co (pictured right). “Over the years, we’ve both combined the very best of luxury, quality and craftsmanship with expertise and service to our clients.”

Mercedes-Benz Classic preserves the tradition and history of the brand through a wide range of activities. The Mercedes-Benz Classic Centres, with their workshops, are leading centres of excellence. They offer owners of classic Mercedes-Benz automobiles a comprehensive range of services, from maintenance and repair to factory restoration – all in accordance with the highest manufacturer standards. Originality and authenticity are the top priorities in all activities.

Mercedes-Benz Classic significantly expanded its workshop capacities in Germany in spring 2024. Among other things, additional qualified specialists have joined the team, so that now, for example, an in-house saddlery and an extended metalworking department complete the portfolio. The Classic Center combines technical expertise with historical authenticity in all activities and craftsmanship at the highest level. Likewise, this applies to the reproduction of interior fittings, body parts and other components. In addition to the two locations near Stuttgart in Germany, Mercedes-Benz Classic maintains another Classic Center in Long Beach, California, US.

Henry Poole & Co: Pure bespoke for generations
Generations of the Poole family are proud to have been serving customers since James Poole started stitching military uniforms during the Napoleonic Wars. His son, Henry Poole, is still seen as the founding figure of Savile Row, over 200 years ago. To this day, Henry Poole & Co continues to offer a bespoke service that is cut and made on site. During its illustrious history, Henry Poole & Co has earned 45 royal warrants, and has dressed many distinguished clients including Sir Winston Churchill, King Edward VII and Charles Dickens. Providing quality tailoring to clients from across the globe, every item is hand-made by a master craftsman.

As a purely bespoke tailor, Henry Poole & Co makes every garment on site at 15 Savile Row, using techniques and traditions passed down through the generations. Each piece is carefully designed, drafted, cut and made precisely to suit individual clients and meet the demands of their lifestyle. This process includes the three fittings required for new customers. Each garment is marked up with readjustments, taken apart and recut. The garment is then given to the tailor to be prepared for the next fitting. The paper pattern is then adjusted so it can be used for future orders.

The vehicles at Concours on Savile Row 2024

1885 Daimler Reitwagen (Riding Car)
In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach advanced the development of the four-stroke engine for vehicle propulsion. Compared to Nicolaus August Otto’s unit, the engine speed was significantly increased, and the automotive pioneers had at the same time greatly reduced the size and weight of the motor. The compact engine with an upright cylinder was called ‘grandfather clock’ because of its characteristic appearance. Now it was time to test it in a vehicle.

The choice fell on a two-wheeler with a wooden frame and wooden wheels. This is how the Daimler Reitwagen, in fact the first-ever motorcycle, was created. The single-cylinder engine developed 0.37kW (0.5hp) at 600rpm from a displacement of 264cc. Power was transmitted by a leather belt that could be placed on two differently sized pulleys when stationary – a simple form of two-speed transmission. On August 29, 1885, Gottlieb Daimler had this Riding Car with a gas or petroleum engine patented (DRP 36423). In November, his younger son made his first trip from Cannstatt to Untertürkheim, reaching speeds of up to 12km/h.

1907 Mercedes 75 PS Spider
The Mercedes 75 PS Spider is an outstanding example of automotive history and brand history at the same time. The highly exclusive vehicle documents the innovative strength and high level of quality for which Mercedes-Benz has always stood. The Mercedes 75 PS, presented at the end of 1906, was the first production car from Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) with a six-cylinder engine. Its inline engine, consisting of three cast pairs of cylinders, has a displacement of 10.2 litres. The Mercedes top model from 1907 to 1911, it was offered in various body variants. The two-seater Spider body underlined the sporty appearance of the high-performance car. In 1909, the designation of the top model was changed to Mercedes 39/80 PS.

This corresponded to the actual output of 59 kW (80hp) and followed an agreement between the German car manufacturers: after the introduction of the luxury tax for automobiles on July 1, 1906, prospective buyers were to be able to recognise the displacement-related tax class by the type designation. For four-stroke engines, one ‘tax hp’ corresponded to a displacement of 261.8cc, so that the 10.2-litre engine had 39 tax hp.

2024 Mercedes-Benz S 680 GUARD 4MATIC
Luxurious comfort, extensive individualisation options and integrated maximum protection ex factory: this is what Mercedes-Benz GUARD stands for – with a tradition reaching back more than nine decades. MANUFAKTUR represents the pinnacle of customisation and personalisation across selected Mercedes-Benz vehicles, showcasing modern craftsmanship for the current product range. It allows customers to go far beyond standard options to create a tailor-made Mercedes-Benz vehicle with even more individuality and exclusivity: selected materials and craftsmanship perfect the design and ensure sensual experiences of a special kind.

The first Mercedes-Benz automobile with special protection was a prestigious Pullman Saloon in the Nürburg 460 (W 08) series introduced in 1928. Since then, governments, crowned heads and companies have placed their confidence in special protection vehicles bearing the world-renowned star. The Mercedes-Benz S 680 GUARD’s protection class of VPAM VR10 fulfils (currently as the only civilian vehicle) the highest ballistic-test level for civilian vehicles in transparent as well as non-transparent areas, in accordance with applicable VPAM guidelines.

The integrated protection system (iPS) includes a dedicated body-in-white made from protective elements. The aluminium outer skin serves as a design shell, and ensures an inconspicuous appearance. As well as armour plating, the iPS also incorporates adaptations to the chassis, engine and transmission. This ensures handling as close as possible to that of the regular production variant.

Thanks to this concept, the occupants of the S-GUARD enjoy the luxury, comfort and conveniences of a series-production S-Class, as well as an almost identical sense of spaciousness. The GUARD manufactory also makes numerous individualisation options available. It is also traditional for Mercedes-Benz to supply GUARD vehicles for international occasions such as state receptions, summit meetings and social events of great importance.

For more information on Mercedes-Benz Classic, head here, and for more information on Henry Poole & Co, head here.