This is where it all began. Supercars, muscle cars, minivans, Tesla, drive-thus, The Fast and the Furious franchise, Magic Tree air fresheners, and the Pontiac Aztek. All trace their existence back to this, the 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the world’s first commercially-available motorcar.
Designed by German engineer Carl Benz, and financed by his wealthy wife, around twenty-five Patent-Motorwagens were produced, each powered by a 950cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine making between 2⁄3hp and 1.5hp. The car transported Carl’s wife Bertha and their two sons on the first ever long-distance car journey (66 miles) to raise publicity for the machine, a feat that she undertook without Carl’s knowledge or approval from the authorities. Which makes her excellent.
It worked of course, and began Benz’s journey to becoming one of the most well known companies on earth, ushering in the complete dominance of the internal-combustion-engined motorcar too, with all the planetary consequences that followed.
This lovely recreation of the motorcar’s genesis comes from Simon Pickard, who has built and presented the Benz Patent-Motorwagen beautifully in brick form. Click the link above to take a look at where it all began.