“Winning” – 120 years of the Mercedes-Benz on the world’s greatest race tracks and in India

Posted: March 8, 2016 in Automobiles
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image1 (1)The three-pointed star has remained the most admired symbol of the automobile anywhere in the world. Much before the BMWs, the Audis and Skodas were seen on the streets of Pune, there was the Mercedes-Benz, in its original avatar as a left-hand drive. If you owned a Merc you had arrived.

But coming to motor sport and the role that the iconic Mercedes has played in it, one needs to understand that the brand has been active in that arena since the advent of the automobile, the fact is that no other car has tried to tackle so many diverse mediums of motor racing than the Mercedes-Benz.

The 400-page pictorial view tiled ‘WINNING’ which narrates 120 years of the Mercedes-Benz on the race track and in India, is a very important look not just into the history of Mercedes-Benz but into Indian automotive history as well. The history is profusely illustrated and the book has over 970 images in all, most of them never having seen the light of day before they found their way into this book. To be honest, it is not just a book for the aficionados of the three-pointed star but also for those who love motor sport in all its myriad colours. The book is any Mercedes-Benz fan’s dream.

This book is about Mercedes-Benz winning in an altogether different vein in India and there is a rich history to back it up over the last 120 years.


The beautiful Mercedes Adrienne Ramona Manuela Jellinek at the age of 11.

It is about an Austrian girl named Mercedes Adrienne Ramona Manuela Jellinek after whom the legendary vehicle was named. She was the daughter of Emil Jellinek, diplomat-businessman-socialite and wearer of many other hats. And had it not been for Jellinek, the Mercedes brand would have never emerged to the forefront in the automotive world.

The book is also about Karl Benz, obstinate and obdurate beyond belief, who was not the best advocate for motor racing, because he found it too dangerous given the state of the roads. He might have had a point but it was one that was lost in an era where speed was everything for car makers.

WINNING is replete with details and photographs and written and compiled by Adil Jal Darukhanawala, one of India’s leading motoring journalists.

I’ve known Adil since the mid-1980s when I worked with the Maharashtra Herald and he began editing Car and Bike International magazine in 1987. He would drop in often to say hello or to bring either some press release or a write-up on some motor sports event published. It is to the credit of the genial ‘bawa’ that he was never refused space in the paper. When Harry David, the then chief reporter, and I managed to convince the boss to launch a sports pull-out along with the paper, Adil was one of the few people we approached to write a motor sports column for us. Needless to say, it became quite popular. After leaving Car & Bike in 1998, he set up Overdrive and ran it till 2005. He then did a stint with Car India, Bike India and CV, after which he set up the largest automotive portal in the country www.ZigWheels. From 2014, he launched the Zeegnition division of Zee Media Corporation.

This history of the Mercedes-Benz has never been chronicled so completely and thoroughly and captured as imaginatively as it has been in WINNING.


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