The First Cars In History

August 22, 2021

When discussing the history of the car, what defines a “car” needs establishing. For example, would you consider what amounts to a steam-powered buggy a car? What if it took 30 minutes to start and rather than using a key to fire up the engine, you’d use a crank that often broke people’s arms? Those early steam-powered buggies moved slower than horse-drawn carriages and couldn’t travel half as far. Therefore, would you really call them cars?

The 35 hp Mercedes racing car of 1901, the first "Mercedes". (myautoworld)

The earliest cars invented that actually resemble the space ships we whizz around in today came in 1901. It was dubbed the Mercedes and designed by Wilhelm Maybach for Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft. Shortly after that Henry Ford made his mark and the world was never the same. This is the history of the first cars.

The 1901 Mercedes

The first real "car" and not a modified stagecoach.

The very first car featured a 35 horsepower engine and weighed just shy of 500 pounds. Some model airplanes weigh more than that today! However, thanks to its incredibly light design, the first car could reach 53 miles an hour. Although, it also felt like it was on the verge of falling to pieces at that speed as well. Eight years after Mercedes' invention, Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft was ranked as the most integrated automobile in Europe. They employed over 1,700 workers to produce less than a thousand cars annually!