1893 Benz Victoria
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017
This is the oldest vehicle we’ve ever featured here on this site (sorry, Roper Steam Motorcycle). That means an older vehicle has not come up for public sale since this site began over five years ago. Karl Benz is more or less universally considered the inventor of the automobile and he was the first to put them into production and sell them to customers – in 1888.
Karl’s first four-wheeled automobile was called the Victoria and it was available from 1892 through either 1898 or 1900. It’s truly a horseless carriage. The engine is a 1.7-liter, three horsepower horizontal single-cylinder that probably revs at such a slow speed that you just might be able to count each cylinder movement. It’s rear-engined, too… so it’s sort of like a supercar, no? It could do 11 mph providing the road wasn’t on an incline.
Benz automobiles were only sold between 1888 and 1926 and never in large numbers. For instance, in 1899 they only built 572 cars – which technically qualified them as the largest automaker in the world at the time. Sure, Mercedes-Benz still exists, but Benz-only automobiles are much harder to come by.
Anything pre-1900 is interesting. Anything pre-1895 is just downright fascinating. This car has no known history but it is thought to have been restored at some point. It should bring between $21,000-$32,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $30,739.