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Auto Trivia: World’s 1st Car Driver Was a Woman, Drove Mercedes for 106 Km

Bertha Benz, wife of Karl Benz drove his husband’s creation for 106 kilometers (66 miles), without his permission.

Arjit Garg | News18.comArjit_Garg

Updated:August 24, 2018, 9:23 AM IST
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Auto Trivia: World’s 1st Car Driver Was a Woman, Drove Mercedes for 106 Km
Bertha Benz driving Motorwagen. (Image: YouTube Screengrab)
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A lot of people know that the Ford Model T was the first mass produced and affordable car in the world, but not many know that it was Karl Benz, the founder of Mercedes-Benz cars who made the first ever workable car. Named the Patent-Motorwagen Model III, the car was not a four wheeler but a three wheeler. However, the most interesting fact to learn from this story is that a woman was the first ever driver of a car.

Bertha Benz, wife of Karl Benz drove his husband’s creation for 106 kilometers (66 miles), without his permission. Mercedes-Benz has released a video reminding us of the events that took place in 1888, when Karl Benz introduced the Motorwagen to the world. The video also tells us that the first-ever driver of an automobile is a woman. As Mercedes-Benz says, “she forged the road ahead, to pave it for us all.”



Bertha Benz, took her husband’s Model III without telling him and without the permission of the authorities. She took a trip from Mannheim to Pforzheim which was illegal at that time and marked the first time someone drove an automobile on a significant distance.

Her mission was to prove her husband that the automobile is a significant invention and, if marketed, it would become a financial success. Both of them had invested a large amount of money in the project. Bertha went on the road trip with her two kids - Richard and Eugen, thirteen and fifteen years old respectively.

She even fixed the mechanical issues and even stopped in the city of Wiesloch to buy additional fuel from a local chemist, who was later crowned as the first fuel station in the world. Bertha cleaned a blocked fuel line with her hat pin and used a large amount of water for cooling. Richard and Eugen even had to push the vehicle up steep roads because of the vehicle’s lack of power.

Eventually, Bertha reached her final destination and informed Karl Benz about the successful trip by a telegram. Later, Karl Benz, along with Daimler Gotlieb founded Mercedes-Benz.
| Edited by: Arjit Garg
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