Bertha Benz

Bertha Benz and The Journey That Changed Everything

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In 1888, Bertha Benz changed the world forever in a trip in the world’s first production car, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen

Karl Benz – the founding father of Mercedes-Benz –  has long been credited as the man who invented the car, with his Patent-Motorwagen back in 1886. The Patent Motorwagen was essentially a carriage with a bench seat that was powered by a rear-mounted 954cc single cylinder engine that produced around 500 watts. Meagre by today’s standards, but the Patent-Motorwagen was a technological revolution back in its day.

Benz refined the car over time, improving the chassis and engine performance. However, his wife Bertha decided this world changing masterpiece needed publicity. So, in early August 1888, Mrs Benz grabbed her sons Eugene and Richard and drove from Mannheim through Heidelberg, Wiesloch and through to her home town of Pforzheim and back again. The 106km trip took 12 hours

During the trip, the brakes wore down, so Benz asked a shoemaker to nail leather to the brake blocks, hence developing brake linings.

As depicted in this video, Bertha Benz and her family faced much scepticism, but she believed in her husband’s invention and most importantly herself.

Believe in yourself, it’ll achieve big things.



The founding father of The Motoring Guru, Matt has been a lifelong car enthusiast and a passionate writer. Back in 2013 when The Motoring Guru was first launched, Matt wanted to combine his two passions whilst offering readers sound motoring advice.