Benz Velo Comfortable 3,5HP

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Velo Comfortable 3,5HP




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The first internal combustion-engined car which performed with any degree of success was developed by German engineer Carl Benz and was a spindly three-wheeler with massive horizontally-mounted engine. Following Carl Benz's first faltering run in that car in the Autumn of 1885 the German Press wrote, 'this engine – vélocipede will make a strong appeal to a large circle, as it should prove itself quite practical and useful to doctors, travellers and lovers of sport.' This first effort developed not less than 0.9hp giving a top speed approaching 8mph. Until 1890/1 his cars were all 3-wheelers, like the first attempt, but with various improvements. The horizontal engine was placed at the back of tubular frame with an exposed vertical crankshaft and a vast horizontal flywheel. By 1892 Benz cars had four wheels and the Vélocipede (Vélo) introduced in 1894 had a single-cylinder engine developing 1.5hp.

From 1898, a 'Comfortable' version was offered, which could transport four passengers, thanks to its solid axles with a wider track. The power developed by the single-cylinder Benz engine steadily increased, reaching 3.5 HP when production ended in 1902.

The Velo was the best selling car of its day and engine refinements resulted in 3½hp being developed by 1895 or so. This highly successful 3½hp engine was to remain the backbone of production for Benz cars through to 1900. Many other manufacturers tried to imitate Benz's work. Benz meanwhile sold licenses to other European manufacturers such as Hurtu, Star and Marshall. The basic Benz design was to influence motor car production from 1885 to 1900 and only the arrival of the new 'Système Panhard' and also De Dion Bouton's fast-revving vertical engines were to sound its deathknell.

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