* January 29, 1886: Karl Benz applied for a patent for his Motor Car
* The vehicle’s holistic design makes it the first automobile
* Mercedes-Benz remains oriented to this originality even today
Stuttgart, Dec 30, 2005
The automobile celebrates its 120th birthday on January 29. On this date in 1886 Karl Benz applied for a patent for his motorized vehicle. With the German Reich Patent No. 37435a, granted in November of the same year, his Patent Motor Car, as this three-wheeled vehicle has since been known, received official recognition as the world’s first automobile.
It was the individualized technology that secured the Benz Patent Motor Car this status. Unlike other inventors, Benz did not merely install an internal combustion engine into an existing coach chassis, thereby making it capable of autonomous motion (Greek/latin: auto/mobil). His design extended to the entire vehicle: It was quite clear to him that a vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine was subject to engineering principles quite different from those applying to a horse-drawn carriage.
Benz created innovative technology with classic engineering methods: a small horizontal, single-cylinder four-stroke engine running on gasoline, electric ignition, carburetor, water-cooled radiator, steering and a tubular frame. With these features, the first motor car came into being in 1886.