You've probably never heard of Béla Barényi, but you've almost certainly been impacted by him in some way, shape or form. The Austro-Hungarian engineer had a huge effect on the automotive industry, most notably during his 33-year tenure as the head of pre-development for Mercedes-Benz, where he helped revolutionize and popularize the idea of passive safety.

Crumple zones, collapsible steering columns and the idea of a passenger cell can all be credited to Barényi while he was at Mercedes, as this fascinating historical video from the German manufacturer points out. Besides detailing Barényi's successes, it includes some great video of the testing processes used for old Silver Arrows - you'll be amazed by how many times an old, boat-like Mercedes sails through the air or crashes into something in this three-minute video.

Take a look below, and let us know what you think.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      chad.pattyson
      • 10 Months Ago
      Nice video. My father has a 92 500SEL. With 276000 miles on it, I am amazed at the quality of the car. Everything stills works. including the self latching door function. Makes new cars (even Lexus) really look shoddy in comparison. Like someone else already said, proper pride in engineering seems to be a thing of the past.
      Aurio Salimonne
      • 10 Months Ago
      Great old cars and a reminder of how good Mercedes used to be,they used to make awesome cars with over the top quality.....now gone in the name of volumen sales and technology from other ventures and not in house like I used to be,Sad!
        Ron
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Aurio Salimonne
        IMO, they still make a quality product, but things went downhill when they had to compete with the likes of Lexus on price (and when it went from engineering-driven to marketing-driven)...
        Matt Mossberg
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Aurio Salimonne
        Benz still makes over the top quality in many of their cars. Look at the CL, sl, cls, and new s AMGs in the showroom sometimes. The attention to detail and quality is there
      PiCASSO
      • 10 Months Ago
      Cool... nice 3-minute tour.
      BipDBo
      • 10 Months Ago
      I don't understand why it took them so long to decide that headrests were a good idea. BTW, looks like the best job in the world.
      vc-10
      • 10 Months Ago
      Lets face it... MB of that era was the dog's b*ll*cks. I want a fintail or a pagoda so badly