10-11 October 2013

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Lot 206

1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen Recreation

  • Production no. R 009

Sold for $41,250

0.88 bhp, 954 cc horizontal single-cylinder engine, belt primary drive and chain final drive, full-elliptic leaf-spring rear suspension, and mechanical transmission brake. Wheelbase: 58 in.

  • Faithful replica of the first Benz model
  • The essence of pioneer motoring

Before the dawn of the 20th century, a number of various inventors and engineers were experimenting with creating a means of personal transportation that was powered by an internal combustion engine. Karl Benz was credited with creating the first truly successful model. Benz had created a functioning two-stroke engine, and shortly thereafter, he had established Benz und Cie: Rheinische Gasmotorenfabrik, which was located in Mannheim, Germany. By the end of 1885, Benz had produced a single-cylinder, four-stroke gasoline engine and fitted it to a three-wheel carriage that was designed specifically for the engine.

With power sent to the rear wheels, the first Benz could attain a speed of eight miles an hour, which was recorded on one of the vehicle’s very first test runs. While they were quite primitive in design, these first Benzes incorporated many innovative features, including an electric ignition, a mechanically operated inlet valve, and a differential gear. The car was officially patented on January 30, 1886, and it was seen out and about on the streets of Mannheim that spring. Benz would continue to develop and refine his design further, making his first sale the following year.

This particular Patent-Motorwagen Recreation was built in Vietnam by Trieu Phuoc Ltd. in November 2012, according to a certificate of production supplied by the manufacturer. Showing very few signs of use, this is a delightful example of early automotive history, and it would prove to be the foundation for the automobile in general.

Regardless of the complexity of their design, all automobiles produced today can trace their roots back to the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, which was constructed only seven years after Thomas Edison had turned on the world’s first light bulb and at a time when Grover Cleveland was the president of the United States of America. Not only does the Benz Patent-Motorwagen represent the first successful production automobile, but it also represents an age of innovation where many scientists, engineers, and inventors created products that would have long-lasting positive effects on mankind. This recreation model strives to keep the spirit of those individuals, Karl Benz in particular, alive.

This lot will be sold on a Bill of Sale only.


Please note this vehicle will be sold on a Bill of Sale only.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more