Victor Hemery was born in France on 18 November 1876. He joined Automobiles Darracq as a test driver and mechanic in the early 1900’s. Hemery was also a successful racer in the early days of Grand Prix racing. In 1905 he won the Vanderbilt Cup Race driving Darracq. That same year he set a new land speed record of 176,46 km/h (109.65 mph) on 30 December 1905 at Arles, France driving a Darracq.
Development of the record-breaking Benz 200 hp started in 1909 at Benz & Cie. in Mannheim under the guidance of Victor Hemery. The starting point for the new vehicle was the Benz 150 hp racing car. By enlarging the bore to 185 mm, the displacement of the 15.1-litre engine was increased to a substantial 21.5 litres. The unit produced up to 147 kW (200 hp) at 1600 rpm. The four-cylinder in-line engine consisted of cylinders cast together in pairs, and weighed 407 kg. It had overhead inlet and outlet valves as well as two spark plugs per cylinder. The engine’s power was transferred to the rear axle by a four-speed manual transmission via an idler shaft and chain.