Tommy drives an 1885 Series I Patent Motorwagen, a replica built by Mercedes Benz. Its actual name is the Benz Patent Motorwagen.
Argued to be the first practical production motorcar, the Benz Patent Motorwagen was unveiled in 1886. According to Tommy, is a remarkably easy vehicle to drive. The tri-wheeled vehicle used the Benz 954 cc,. single-cylinder four-stroke engine. Depending on who you speak to, it made between 2/3 and one-horsepower. Maximum horsepower comes in at about 400 rpm, and it has a massive flywheel rotates in the open, horizontally.
It has a rear beam axle that feeds the rear wheels with two chains. The transmission is a belt that tightens, feeding power to the axle based on the amount of tension provided. A lever next to the driver controls the belt, and the steering is done via a tiller mounted to a single front wheel.
Approximately 25 Benz Patent-Motorwagen were built between 1886 and 1893.
The vehicle’s inventor, Carl Friedrich Benz’s wife, Bertha Benz, took a Patent-Motorwagen and drove it on the first long-distance internal combustion automobile road trip. Flanked by her two teen sons, she drove the car approximately from Mannheim via Heidelberg to Pforzheim which is about 121 miles.
In this video, Tommy with a representative from Mercedes-Benz explore the vehicle. While it is a replica, it copies the original in every detail. We get to see exactly how is runs, and we go for a ride!