Lot 346

The Guyton Collection

1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen Replica


$39,200 USD | Sold

United States Flag | St. Louis, Missouri



Chassis No.
Bill of Sale Only
  • Exacting re-creation of first Benz model
  • The essence of pioneer motoring
  • Suitable for static museum display
Please note that this lot is offered on a Bill of Sale only.

It is generally recognized that Carl Benz is the father of the internal combustion motor car. Certainly, he was the first to market a successful automobile, although its sales success would come initially in France. By the close of 1885, Benz had produced a single-cylinder, four-stroke gasoline engine and fitted it to a three-wheel carriage designed specifically for his engine. This first Benz had two driven rear wheels powered by a horizontally mounted single-cylinder engine that developed 3/4 hp, and a speed of eight mph was recorded on one of the very first test runs.

Although somewhat primitive in design, the Benz Motorwagen incorporated many innovative features, like electric ignition, a mechanically operated inlet valve, and a differential gear. Benz patented his car on 30 January 1886, and that spring, it was seen on the streets of Mannheim. Throughout 1886 and 1887, Benz further developed his design, making his first sale in 1887.

The 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen offered here is an exacting replica produced by John Bentley Engineering in the UK. Considered the most authentic and painstaking recreation of the first working Benz design, these vehicles were made between 1986 and 1997. Bentley and his team were granted access to the original Benz in preparation for the project, and the rendition was so faithful that Daimler-Benz acquired the final group of cars.

This example was acquired by the Guyton Collection in 2007, from Peter Harper of Warrington, Cheshire, England. It is reported as having been part of the former Donington Collection at the museum founded in 1973 by the late Thomas Wheatcroft, prior to his re-establishing a race course at the site in 1977. It is believed to be one of the early Bentley-built cars.

The car is presently inoperable, as a large section of the water jacket has separated, requiring significant repair. It is in other ways intact and presents well as a fascinating display of motoring at its earliest.