Mercedes-Benz then and now

Over 130 years of history


The Benz Patent

On January 29, 1886, Carl Benz submitted the patent for a three-wheeled vehicle with gas engine to the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin. It had the number "DRP 37435". The patent specification for the world's first vehicle with an internal combustion engine and electric ignition is regarded today as the birth certificate of the automobile. The text of the patent specification begins with the words: "The present construction is intended mainly for the operation of light carts and small boats, such as are used to transport one to four persons.… The driving power is provided by a small gas engine, of any system. The latter is supplied with its gas from an accompanying apparatus, in which gas is made from ligroin or some other gasifying substance. The engine cylinder is kept at a steady temperature by the evaporation of water." The filing of the patent in France followed on 25 March of the same year. Prof. Dr. Hartwig Lüdtke, member of the German nominations committee of Memory of the World, stresses the importance which the document still possesses today: "The Benz bundle of documents possesses global relevance and symbolizes the origin of our present-day mobile society."


This invention is considered to be the birth of the automobile. It has changed and formed individual mobility worldwide to this day. UNESCO is keeping a record of this symbol of mobile society by its admission of the Benz Patent into UNESCO's "Memory of the World" International Documentary Heritage Register.


Just one horsepower moves the whole world

The Benz Patent Motor Car - the world's first automobile - was a sensation. Introduced in 1886 with an output of barely one horsepower, it changed human mobility for ever. At the time, only true pioneers could contemplate the switch from four legs to three wheels. Today, five generations on, Carl Benz' stroke of genius is for sale once again, this time in replica-model form. Built by the people who still bear not only his name but also his aspirations: Mercedes-Benz.


For all lovers of innovation

Over 125 years old and still as revolutionary as it was on the day it was born. What began as the vision of an all-new, stand-alone vehicle model is the reason why we now all reach our destinations more quickly. Carl Benz' ingenious development of a small, light internal combustion engine moved a car seemingly on its own for the first time in the history of humankind. The first automobile - and a completely new notion of what it means to be on the road - is down to the legendary resolve of this exceptional inventor.


You mount the car rather than getting into it. The finest leather, lovingly hand-stitched, invites you to lean back. A combination of sculpted iron and wood makes the cockpit a delight for purists. At one metre high, the wire-spoke wheels with solid rubber tyres really catch the eye. For all the innovative technology, the appointments are limited to the bare essentials: the only place to put a hat is on the head of the driver or passenger.