The Mercedes-Benz Club was founded in 1952. As such it was the first Mercedes-Benz Club in the world. Its founding was mainly due to the enthusiasm and efforts of one man – Ronald H Johnson (1913 – 1973). By profession Johnson was a marine architect, but he was also an avid motorist and a long-time enthusiast of Mercedes-Benz cars.
Ronald Johnson bought his first Mercedes, a 1930 38/250 SS, after the war - and from then on there was never a time when he did not own one of his preferred marque. In 1948 Johnson – with other like-minded enthusiasts - formed the Mercedes-Benz Register – with Edward L Meyer (a man who owned 115 Mercedes cars during his lifetime) as its Patron.
Over the next few years some 50 pre-war Mercedes and Benz cars had been enrolled in the Register. In June 1952 the Mercedes-Benz Register organised its inaugural meeting at the Berystede Hotel in Ascot, to which members and their friends were invited.
The event was well attended with 33 members of the Register and 11 guests present. Those attending brought along a wide range pre-war cars and the event was reported on by Autosport Magazine. Daimler-Benz also sent a telegram from Germany wishing the Register every success.
Amongst those attending were many well-known Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts including Mrs Helen Lee Kennard, George Monkhouse, who was effectively ‘team photographer’ for the 1930’s 'Silver Arrows' Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix team and David ‘Bunty’ Scott-Montcrieff, motor dealer and author of the marque history ‘Three Pointed Star’, as well as a representative from Mercedes-Benz (GB) Ltd.
Johnson, as Register secretary, gave the welcome address, in which he told those present that the Register strength was 60 members. He said that plans were being formulated to develop the Register into a Mercedes-Benz Owners’ Club – and that a committee would soon be formed to expedite this move.