Benz Motor-Wagen

The world's first automobile




HISTORY

The Original Benz Patent-Motorwagen, built in 1886, is widely regarded as the first automobile; that is, a vehicle designed to be propelled by a motor.

The vehicle was awarded the German patent, number 37435, for which Karl Benz applied on January 29, 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 officially unveiled his invention to the public on July 3, 1886, on the Ringstrasse in Manheim, Germany.

There are 25 original Patent Motorwagens were built between 1886 and 1893.

The Benz Patent-Motorwagen was a three-wheeled automobile with 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 rack that pivoted the unsprung front wheel. Fully elliptic springs were used at the back along with a live axle and chain drive on both sides. A simple belt system served as a single-speed transmission, varying torque between an open disc and drive disc.

The first Motorwagen used the Benz 954 cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine, this new engine produced 0.74 horsepower at 250 rpm in the Patent-Motorwagen. It was an extremely light engine for the time, weighing about 100 kg. Although it's 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 stabilized 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 Motorwagen had not been built with a carburettor, rather a basin of fuel soaked fibers that supplied fuel to the cylinder by evaporation.

Benz later built more models of the Motorwagen, model number 2 boasting 1.5 hp, and model number 3 with 2 hp, allowing the vehicle to reach a maximum speed of approximately 16 km/h. The chassis was improved in 1887 with the introduction of wooden-spoke wheels, a fuel tank, and a manual leather shoe brake on the rear wheels.



      
 
 

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