Bertha Benz, a woman that has all my respect and praise for her work and the role she played. If she had not done what she did, we would not be living in a world full of cars, let alone reading about some fast cars on my blog.
We all know about Dr Carl Benz, how he in 1886 patented the world’s first automobile vehicle. The Patent Motor Wagen was a horseless carriage powered by a single cylinder motor. Carl unveiled his invention to the world in 1886. But contrary to his expectations, it failed to create any interest and people didn’t want to buy it.
Carl Benz kept on making improvements to the Motor Wagen and identified each iteration with a number. He made the Benz Patent Motor-Wagen No 3 in 1888. But by this time, Carl was losing his patience and did not want to continue working further on this.
Bertha had fallen in love with Carl when he explained his early drafts and plans of building such an automobile to her. She was interested in locomotives from an early age, thanks to some exposure from her father. So this idea had not just blown her mind but took her heart too. She wanted to support Carl with his vision and when Carl was about to give up, Bertha decided to do something herself about the situation.
This was a time when women were not treated equal and given the restricted to just doing household chores and bringing up kids. She decided to show the world what an automobile could do. In August 1888, together with her sons Richard and Eugen, and without the knowledge of her husband, Bertha Benz took to the road with the Benz Patent Motor-Wagen No 3. She was undeterred by the fact that some stretches of the roads, which were normally used only by horses and carriages, were anything but suitable for the automobile. Lack of fuel, clogged valves or wiring chafed-through to breaking point – she found a solution to every difficulty on the journey. She resorted to a garter, a hat-pin, and plundered the ligroin stocks of pharmacies along the route. When the fuel ran out completely outside Wiesloch, the Motor Car had to be pushed for several kilometers. Bertha got down herself to help.
Because of her persistence and this long journey, the Motor-wagen gained attention. And finally Carl made a total of 25 of these and sold them between 1886 and 1893. It also gained a title of being the world’s first mass production automobile.
Bertha Benz Memorial Drive & Treasure Hunt
Mercedes-Benz Shaman Wheels had organized a drive and treasure hunt event on Sunday, August 20, 2017 for women to take part and win exciting Mercedes-Benz Collectables. This was organized for the first time in India.
About 8 to 10 teams had participated in this wonderful adventure, in spite of heavy rains that day. Here are some photos from the event:
More about Carl & Bertha Benz
There is a lot to know about these two of the many legends of the automobile world. Here are a few good links if you are interested to read more.
- Bertha Benz on the Mercedes-Benz website
- Bertha Benz on the Bertha Benz Memorial Route website
- A short movie ‘Carl & Bertha’ was made by Mercedes in german language to honor them. You can view the making of the film here. The movie is only available in german language with no english subtitles so I am not linking it here. If you find one do let me know, I’ll update it in this post.
Thank you to the wonderful people at Shaman for inviting me to this event! I had a good time at this event. I also got a chance to spend some time with this particular beauty, the SLC43 AMG:
I’ll share more photos with the SLC on my Instagram, so don’t forget to follow me @thebestcarblogever. There are also photos from when I had visited Mercedes-Benz Shaman Wheels at Kalina, Santacruz before.