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Lot 560: Benz 8/20hp Sports Wagen

Grand Palais Sale, Bonhams (7 February 2013)

One of the heroic figures of the automobile's pioneering age, Karl Benz, the son of a railway mechanic, built his first powered vehicle - a single-cylinder tricycle - in 1885 following years of experimentation with gas engines. In January 1886 Benz became the first man to be granted a patent for an 'automobile'. Benz flourished thanks to a reputation for producing reliable and comfortable cars, only losing ground to rival Daimler in the early 1900s. By this time the latter's Mercedes cars had outstripped those of Benz in both design and performance, a situation Benz rectified with a new range of four-cylinder models that would stand the company in good stead for many years and form the basis of some highly successful racers. One of 3,093 passenger cars produced by Benz at its Mannheim factory in 1912, this 8/20hp 'Sports Wagen' is powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, side-valve engine driving via a four-speed gearbox. The chassis price was 6,500 DM and the body cost 650 DM extra. This eye-catching two-seater has considerable charm, with its gorgeous brass radiator and beautiful badge, and presents very well. We are advised that the body has undergone cosmetic refurbishment, receiving a re-upholstered leather interior and a re-spray in its appropriate national racing colours livery. An Edwardian-era example of one of the world's most historic brands, this beautiful Benz will surely give the fortunate new owner many miles of driving pleasure. Although resident in the EU, the car is offered without documents.

Lot Details
Auction Grand Palais Sale
Bonhams, Paris, France
Lot Number560
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price€65000
Hammer Price (inc premium)€74750
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis number
Engine number16015
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors