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Imagine owning a finely detailed replica of the first steamship, or the first computer, or the first spaceship to land on the moon. Those world-changing artifacts are too unwieldy to park in a driveway, but not so with this remarkable – and driveable – vehicle, a replica of the 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen, which is considered to be the world’s first motorcar.
The original three-wheeler built by Karl Benz was the first car designed to be propelled by an internal combustion engine. The pioneering vehicle was unveiled to the public on July 3, 1886, on the Ringstrasse in Mannheim, Germany. More than a hundred years later, in 1990, this replica Benz was completed by the John Bentley Engineering Company in Batley, England, and was immediately delivered to the Matsuda Collection in Gotemba, Japan. According to Mr. Bentley, this car was the first of a very limited run to be delivered.
The Benz stayed at the Matsuda museum for 20 years. In March 2010, it was acquired by a new owner in California, who reports that it runs very well.
This magnificent Benz replica was driven by Sir Stirling Moss at the start of the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance® in 2011. As a usable tribute to an automotive icon, this machine will be a welcomed addition to the most esteemed collections.