The pioneering work carried out by Béla Barényi enabled Mercedes-Benz to develop the basic principles of passenger-car safety in the 1940s and 1950s. And these principles still apply to this day. Barényi's ideas first came to fruition in the "Ponton" (three-box body) Mercedes (model series W 120) around 56 years ago in autumn 1953. This precursor to the E-Class was the world's first car to feature a crash-stable floor assembly, which enhanced occupant safety in the event of a frontal or side impact. Model series W 111/112 with the distinctive tail fins provided the next milestone in the field of safety technology. From 1959 onwards, these Saloons were the first models into which Mercedes-Benz incorporated front and rear crumple zones. In the event of an accident, these zones absorb energy in a predetermined manner and distribute the impact forces, thus greatly reducing the forces exerted on the occupants. The precursor to the E-Class from the 1960s, the "tail fin" Mercedes (W 110), likewise featured this safety body.