It’s true that cars are commonplace today and you may feel like you know everything there is to know about them, but there’s always more to learn about their history, which spans over 100 years. Even if you know all about how the internal combustion engine works, these 10 historical facts about cars will blow your mind and make you look at cars in a completely different light!
1) The first car was invented in 1885
Most people think that the first car was invented by Henry Ford, but it actually wasn’t. The first cars were built in 1885 and were called horseless carriages. These cars were much smaller than the average size today, could go up to 12 miles per hour and had to be steered with a tiller like a boat.
2) The first car was called the Benz Patent-Motorwagen
The first car was called the Benz Patent-Motorwagen and it was built in 1885. The first car didn’t look anything like cars today. It had a two-cylinder motor, a top speed of 28 mph, and could only be driven in one direction. Charles Duryea and his brother Frank made the first gas-powered car in 1893. Henry Ford is credited with inventing the assembly line, which enabled him to make cars more quickly than ever before.
3) The first car was powered by an internal combustion engine
The first car was powered by an internal combustion engine. It was a three-wheeled, steam-powered and gas-fired vehicle built by Belgian engineer Ernest Michaux in 1894. The car had a top speed of just under 7 miles per hour and could go about 27 miles on one tank of fuel.
The first self-propelled vehicle that we would recognize as a modern automobile was designed by Karl Benz in 1886.
4) The first car was built in Germany
In 1885, Karl Benz built the first car powered by an internal combustion engine. In 1887, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach created the first four-stroke engine and in 1886 they built a three-wheeled motorcycle called the Reitwagen.
Benz started making cars commercially in 1889, which was also the year that he founded his company Mercedes.
5) The first car was designed by Karl Benz
Karl Benz was the first person to invent and patent the first car, which he designed in 1885. He was an inventor and engineer who had previously worked with Gottlieb Daimler on four-stroke engines. His prototype vehicle, called the Benz Patent Motorwagen, was powered by a single-cylinder engine that is likely the world’s first gasoline-powered car. It had three wheels and could reach speeds of up to nine miles per hour.
6) The first car had three wheels
The first car in history, the Motorwagen, was invented by Karl Benz and patented on January 29, 1886. The Motorwagen had 3 wheels and was powered by a single-cylinder engine that could produce speeds of up to 9 miles per hour (14 km/h).
7) The first car could reach speeds of up to 10 miles per hour
The first car was built in 1884 by a German engineer named Karl Benz. The gas-powered vehicle could reach speeds of up to 10 miles per hour and is considered the first modern automobile. It’s called a gas-powered car because it runs on gasoline, but it is not electric or hybrid.
The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 set the record for being the fastest convertible at 242 mph: A convertible means that there is no top, so you can take off your roof and drive with an open sky above you.
8) The first car was sold in 1886
In 1886, the first car was sold to a man named Sylvester H. Roper. It was a steam-powered vehicle that cost $1,000 and ran on coal. As time progressed, gasoline-powered cars became more popular because they were easier to operate and had a lower cost of operation than steam cars. In 1896, the first car show was held in New York City where many different manufacturers showed off their models for people to purchase.
9) The first car was used for transportation and racing
The history of cars dates back to the early 1880s, when Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler each built a gasoline-powered automobile. These two vehicles were the first cars ever made and they paved the way for what would eventually become one of America’s most iconic modes of transportation. The first car was used for transportation and racing, but it wasn’t until Henry Ford introduced his Model T in 1908 that automobiles became a part of everyday life.
10) The first car was used in a movie in 1896
The first car was used in a movie in 1896 when it appeared in the Lumière Brothers’ L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat. The movie shows the car pulling up to a train station and backfiring. This is one of the earliest instances of an automobile being used on film.