Lot 316

Dare to Dream Collection

1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen Replica


$67,200 USD | Sold

Canada | Toronto, Ontario



Engine No.
Bill of Sale Only
  • A painstaking recreation of the first successful internal combustion automobile
  • Beautifully built by John Bentley Engineering to very authentic standards
  • Excellent overall presentation throughout
Please note, this lot is located in Canada and import duty will be applicable to all countries outside of Canada, including the United States. RM Sotheby’s will be available to assist buyers with importation to the United States.

By the close of 1885, Carl Benz had produced a single-cylinder, four-stroke gasoline engine and fitted it to a three-wheeled carriage designed specifically for the engine. Running on an ethanol-type fuel, the horizontally mounted powerplant sent ¾ horsepower to the rear wheels, enabling a top speed of 8 mph recorded on one of the very first test runs. Benz had created what is generally considered to be the first internal-combustion motor car—and while primitive in many aspects, as would be expected, it was also advanced in numerous features, such as electric ignition, a mechanically operated inlet valve, and a differential gear. He patented its design on 30 January 1886 and further developed it throughout 1886 and 1887, eventually selling versions to the public—creating the automotive industry.

With the original Patent-Motorwagen long lost to history, enthusiasts fall back on the superb recreations manufactured by the British firm of John Bentley Engineering. Considered to be the most authentic and painstaking recreations of the original working Benz design, these vehicles have been produced in several runs since 1986, with support from the factory—indeed, Daimler-Benz itself acquired one of the groups of the cars produced.

The Bentley-built Patent-Motorwagen offered here was acquired for the Dare to Dream Collection from a seller in the United Kingdom in 2016 and remains as-acquired. It could be gently recommissioned, at which point it would be a fascinating machine to demonstrate to friends and onlookers, or would be a wonderful display piece for any Mercedes-Benz collection or gathering of important Veteran motor cars. When it comes to motorized transportation, everything comes back to this machine and its design—arguably the most significant in automotive history.