London

8-9 September 2013

Mercedes Collection

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Lot 101

1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen Recreation

  • Chassis no. 049

Sold for £39,200


0.88 bhp, 954 cc horizontally mounted single-cylinder engine, belt primary drive and chain final drive, rear leaf-spring suspension, and mechanical transmission brake. Wheelbase: 1,473 mm

Whilst it is a frequently disputed point as to who actually conceived the first motor car powered by an internal combustion engine, there is no contention that Karl Benz created the first truly successful one. By 1880, Benz had created a working two-stroke engine, and within a few years, he had organised Benz und Cie: Rheinische Gasmotorenfabrik at Mannheim in Germany. By the close of 1885, Benz had produced a single-cylinder, four-stroke gasoline engine and fitted it to a three-wheeled carriage that he designed specifically for his engine.



This first Benz had two driven rear wheels powered by a horizontally mounted single-cylinder engine that developed 0.75 horsepower and, amazingly, a speed of eight mph was recorded on one of the very first test runs. As might be expected, the first Benz vehicles were somewhat primitive in design, but nonetheless, they incorporated many revolutionary features, such as an electric ignition, a mechanically operated inlet valve, and a differential gear. Benz patented his car on 30 January 1886, and that spring, the Benz was seen on the streets of Mannheim.



The 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen offered here is an exact replica built by Mercedes-Benz in 2002, and it was later sold through the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center. It is crafted identically to the original in absolutely every detail, save one: the original ran on a petroleum product called ligroin, which is not readily available at one’s local service station, and the modern recreation is designed to operate on standard petrol.



This particular example shows few signs of use, and it is accompanied by an invaluable owner’s guide to this model, which was produced by the Classic Center to aid new owners in learning the operation of this charming machine. Beautifully presented, it is a delightful example of early automotive history. A complete collection of Mercedes-Benz vehicles begins here.

Addendum

Please note that this car is one of the 50 cars that was produced by John Bentley Engineering, manufactured on behalf of Daimler Benz.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
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

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
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

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
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

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
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

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
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

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
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

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
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

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
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

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

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

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
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

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
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

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
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

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
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

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
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