The Benz Patent-Motorwagen, built in 1885 by the German Carl Benz, is widely regarded as the world's first practical modern automobileand was the first car put into series production.It was patented and unveiled in 1886. The original cost of the vehicle in 1886 was 600 imperial German marks, approximately 150 US dollars (equivalent to $4,524 in 2021).
Karl's wife Bertha demonstrated its feasibility in a trip from Mannheimto Pforzheimin August 1888, shortly before it became the first commercially available automobile in history in the late summer of 1888.
Due to the creation of the Patent-Motorwagen, Benz has been hailed as the father and inventor of the automobile.
After developing a successful gasoline-powered two-strokepiston enginein 1873, Benz focused on developing a motorised vehicle while maintaining a career as a designer and manufacturer of stationary engines and their associated parts.
The Benz Patent-Motorwagen was a motor tricyclewith a rear-mounted engine. The vehicle contained many new inventions. It was constructed of steel tubing with woodwork panels. The steel-spoked wheels and solid rubber tires were Benz's own design. Steering was by way of a toothed rackthat pivoted the unsprung front wheel. Fully elliptic springswere used at the back along with a beam axle and chain driveon both sides.
A simple belt system served as a single-speedtransmission, varying torque between anopen disc and drivedisc.
The first Motor-wagen used the Benz 954 cc (58.2 cu in) single-cylinder four-stroke engine with trembler-coil ignition.This new engine produced 500 watts (2⁄3 hp) at 250 rpm in the Patent-Motorwagen, although later tests by the University of Mannheim showed it to be capable of 670 W (0.9 hp) at 400 rpm.
It was an extremely light engine for the time, weighing about 100 kg (220 lb). Although its open crankcase and drip oiling system would be alien to a modern mechanic, its use of a pushrod-operated poppet valve for exhaust would be quite familiar.
A large horizontal flywheel stabilised the single-cylinder engine's power output. An evaporative carburettor was controlled by a sleeve valve to regulate power and engine speed. The first model of the Motor-wagen had not been built with a carburettor, rather a basin of fuel-soaked fibres that supplied fuel to the cylinder by evaporation.
The vehicle was awarded the Germanpatentnumber 37435, for which Karl Benz applied on 29 January 1886. Following official procedures, the date of the application became the patent date for the invention once the patent was granted, which occurred in November of that year. Benz unveiled his invention to the public on 3 July 1886, on the Ring Strasse in Mannheim.
Benz later made more models of the Motor-wagen: model number 2 had 1.1 kW (1.5 hp) engine, and model number 3 had 1.5 kW (2 hp) engine, allowing the vehicle to reach a maximum speed of approximately 16 km/h (10 mph). The chassis was improved in 1887 with the introduction of wooden-spoke wheels, a fuel tank, and a manualleather shoe brakeon the rear wheels.
Bertha Benz, Karl's wife, whose dowry financed the development of the Patent-Motorwagen,was aware of the need for publicity. She took the Patent-Motorwagen No. 3 and drove it on the first long-distance internal combustion automobile road trip to demonstrate its feasibility.
That trip occurred in early August 1888, when she took her sons Eugen and Richard, fifteen and fourteen years old, respectively, on a ride from Mannheim through Heidelberg, and Wiesloch, to her maternal hometown of Pforzheim.
In Germany, a parade of antique automobiles celebrates this historic trip of Bertha Benz every two years. On February 25, 2008, the Bertha Benz Memorial Route,following the route of Benz's journey, was officially approved as a Tourist or Scenic Route by the German authorities as a route of industrial heritage of mankind.
The 194 km (121 mi) of signposted route leads from Mannheim via Heidelberg to Pforzheim (Black Forest)And back.
Fastest street-legal production car
19 km/h (11.81 mph)
This Benz Patent-Motorwagen is a beautifully, running and driving prepared replica of the real thing.