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Car Review

Mercedes-Benz Patent Motorwagen review

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Published: 24 Dec 2020
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If you owned one of these new from the factory, you are now dead. Apparently you would have been expected to be able to basically strip and re-build the ‘engine’ on the side of the road  - self-diagnosis/field fixes useful just to keep the thing moving - and you would buy the necessary fuel from the local town’s chemist. As far as warranty and aftercare goes, we’re not sure there was very much of either, and servicing was generally done at home, probably by candlelight, probably after, or during, journeys.

The car was pretty much billed as the first GT as well. If you count the 66-miles that Karl’s patron (and wife) Bertha Benz drove the Patent Motorwagen v3 from Mannheim to Pforzheim in August of 1888, that is. And back again. Back then, Mrs. Benz’s spirit of adventure sought to demonstrate the Motorwagen’s feasibility as a useful mode of transport, but also inadvertently invented both the roadtrip and the automotive PR stunt. Clever lady, that Bertha Benz.

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