Siegfried Marcus petrol motor car, 1875.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Scale model. In 1875, the Austrian engineer Siegfried Marcus (1831-1898) made this petrol-driven motor car. The oak framed car was very compact, storing the petrol behind the driver's seat, and the internal combustion engine between the rear wheels. With a top speed of 6 km/h (4 mph), the car worked well. Unfortunately, Marcus did not realise the commercial potential of his invention. It was another 11 years before Karl Benz produced the first commercial motor car.