What Was the First Car in the World

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The first car ever was created 134 years ago. The history of cars is quite intriguing, particularly because a wide variety of inventions were an integral part of creating the technology needed to create the first working car. Many inventors came up with their own car designs in the 18th and 19th century, however, analysts universally refer Karl Benz’s car model of 1885 as the very first automobile.



Carl Benz als Student, ca. 1860.
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While sifting through history books of automobiles, it may seem that there were several car-like inventions that preceded the first car in the world and that’s not wrong. In the 18th century, the invention of steam engines proved to be a huge turning point—it led to the manufacturing of steam-engine cars. Steam cars were hard to handle, especially due to their weight. While steam vehicles did not prove to be successful for normal use, they paved the way for the future of cars with fuel engines in the next century.


The First Car in the World

In 1885, Karl Benz invented a car that is credited as the first car in the world to be powered by fuel. The complete structure of the car was created in accordance with the dimensions of the internal machinery. Benz’s car became the model for the cars made after it.

The design of the car was based on a horse carriage—the difference was that instead of a horse, he put an engine. The car consisted of three tires and ran without needing any additional force.


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The rear wheels of the automobile were bigger and heavier than the front wheel. This helped the car to drive better on hill-like terrains.

The car’s engine weighed around 220 pounds. Despite its weight, it was one of the more efficient engines of the 19th century, generating a 0.75 horsepower.

Steel and woodwork were used to build the structure of the vehicle and its panels. The steering served to pivot and it controlled the movement of the front wheels. The first model of the car had a collision in its public demonstration.

Undeterred, Benz continued with extensive experimentation and introduced a wide range of modifications. As a result, soon, he was able to get his car to travel more than 62 miles with his family—two sons and a wife.

After this, the car peaked in popularity, so Benz proceeded with commercial production of these cars. He sold them with high pricing and earned large profits because of its heavy demand. By 1886, Benz had begun the procedure to get a patent for his “vehicle powered by a gas engine.” His patent number: 37435 can be referred to as the birth certificate of the automobile.

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