Benz & Co. “Modell 1” – 1886
In 1885 Karl Benz (Germany 1844-1929), almost at the same time of the other German technician Gottlieb Daimler, built a tricycle with a petrol fuelled engine which he was testing himself, along the roads of Mannheim, arousing surprise in the people. The “without horses” carriage was about to be invented. The “Velociped”, considered the first car moved by a petrol fuelled engine in the world, was designed in three different versions from 1886 to 1888. The third model became famous because of Benz’s wife, who road tested it, driving, on August 1888, from Mannheim to Pforzheim, with her two sons. The example shown in the Museum is a perfect replica of Modell 1, named “velociped”, patented with number “37 435” on 29th January, 1886. Benz didn’t only fit the engine to a carriage, replacing the horses, but he was the first who imagined a purpose built chassis. The 1-speed “Velociped” working was very simple: the four-stroke horizontal monocylinder engine, without carter, lubricated by oilers and with ignition by Ruhmkorff nipper and evaporation carburettor, transmitted the power to a secondary shaft with differential through a leather belt. The motion was transmitted to the wheels through the chains. This first model, with 0.75 bhp at 400 rpm, could reach the incredible speed of 16 kph.