1901 Benz Ideal 7HP Twin-Cylinder “Contra-Motor” Vis-a-Vis
Offered by Bonhams | Stuttgart, Germany | July 12, 2014
What’s so incredibly cool about this horseless carriage cannot be summed up in just one point. First, it’s from Benz – the originator of the automobile (you could argue otherwise, but we’ll ignore you). And it’s about as early a Benz as you can get your hands on that isn’t a replica or on permanent display.
The Benz Ideal was an evolution (and final iteration) of the Benz Patent Motorwagen, the earliest of automobiles, that featured a horizontally-mounted single-cylinder engine between the rear wheels. By 1901, competitors were many and they had advanced in design. So for the Ideal, Benz kept the engine between the rear wheels but added coachwork up front to make it look like many of the other vehicles on the market.
The Ideal, towards the end of its run (read: 1901), was offered with a two-cylinder engine. It’s a 2.1-liter flat-twin making seven horsepower. Ownership history here is known from new and this car completed (and won its class) in the London-to-Brighton run in 1937. The restoration was completed in 1972. You can purchase this fascinating piece of automobile history – and use it – for between $150,000-$200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams’ inaugural Mercedes-Benz sale.
Update: Sold $641,004.