Benz single-cylinder 3 hp motor car, 1900.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Benz cars were produced for sale from 1888. For more than ten years from 1888, the firm established by Karl Benz (1844-1929) was the world's leading car manufacturer, and in 1896 their output exceeded that of all the car makers in Britain and the United States of America combined. This model, of which over 4000 were produced between 1893 and 1900, retains many of the design features of Benz's first car, designed in 1885. Its mechanism consists of a single-cylinder horizontal motor, with a transverse shaft, placed over the rear axle. By means of pulleys and belts, this drives a counter-shaft with spocket wheels on its ends, which are connected with the driving wheels by chains. The car was capable of a maximum speed of 18 mph.