Who Built The World's First Modern Automobile?

Mercedes-Benz Whensday: The Wire-Wheel Car

Who Built The World’s First Modern Automobile?

In many parts of the country, many believe Henry Ford was the inventor of the motor car in the same way that they believe the Wright Brothers invented the airplane. Although there are a few arguments supporting other theories, Mercedes-Benz is the one actually credited for inventing the automobile. At the side of Karl Benz sat Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach. So in celebration of the release of the new 2018 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet, we are taking a moment to remember the wire-wheel car, which was considered to be the first mass-produced modern automobile.
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The Wire-Wheel Car

While employed by Mercedes-Benz in 1895, Wilhelm Maybach designed and developed what was known as a wire-wheel, named after its thin, bicycle-like wooden wheels. Pictured below, it could seat four passengers and had some 20 horsepower, which allowed Mercedes-Benz, then called Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft, to sell them in large numbers.

When Was The Radiator Invented?

Two years after Wilhelm Maybach designed the wire-wheel car, he developed a tubular radiator fan to keep the engine cool enough, allowing drivers to travel longer distances. By 1900, this invention had become the same basic radiator that we use in modern cars.

After the death of Gottlieb Daimler in 1900, Maybach lost much of the support he was receiving from the company. In 1907, he said good bye to a the company that made him famous to start his own aircraft engine company with his son. If you have any questions about the life of Wilhelm Maybach, the history of Mercedes-Benz, or the invention of the automobile, leave a comment below!