On this day in auto history – April 5th

Mon 5th Apr 2021

It was on this day in 1929 that the death was announced of pioneering German inventor Karl Benz - the man widely recognised as the inventor of the motorcar.

Despite being born into near poverty, Benz was reportedly a prodigious student and, after graduating from university, bounced around several engineering firms before acquiring his own company in the 1870’s.

Driven by his long-held dream of designing a ‘horseless carriage’, Benz had already patented the first internal combustion engine (1879) before displaying his true genius by patenting the three-wheeled ‘Motorwagon’ in 1885 - the first automobile entirely designed to generate its own power.

After further testing and modifications, Benz created the first definitive commercial vehicle, the Model 3, in 1887 with a four-stroke engine which was gasoline-powered with wooden wheels.

Benz merged his company with rival Daimler in 1924 and two years later the new Mercedes-Benz brand name was born. The marque continues to embody tradition and innovation to this day.