Auctions and Brokerage
Please note that this vehicle is sold on a Bill of Sale. Please also note that Gooding & Company has an ownership interest in this vehicle. In addition, the photographs for this lot were taken of a vehicle that is identical except in color. This vehicle is black.
This fascinating vehicle is an exacting replica of the first self-propelled, four-stroke, internal-combustion-engine-powered motor vehicle. The original, designed and built by Karl Benz, was granted patent no. 37435 in Mannheim, Germany, on November 2, 1886, and exhibits numerous engine-design principles still in widespread use. Taking its place alongside the Duryea in America as well as Gottlieb Daimler’s four-wheeled carriage, the Motorwagen represents the dawn of motoring as we know it today.
Karl Benz’s wife, Bertha, famously drove a Motorwagen from Mannheim to Pforzheim and back, acting as driver, navigator, and mechanic on what has come to be known as the first road trip. News of her 100-plus-mile accomplishment spread quickly and gained her husband’s invention valuable and well-timed publicity.
British firm John Bentley Engineering created a small run of extremely accurate, functional 1:1 scale replicas beginning in 1986. The Motorwagen presented here is a fresh, unused example, seldom seeing the light of day, until less than two months ago, when it was uncrated and its final assembly completed.
The historical significance of the Motorwagen is a matter of undisputed fact. These replicas make for great conversation during any collection tour, and would delight spectators with its operation and performance.