Benz Patent-Motorwagen on display at Mercedes-Benz World showcase, KL Base, Sungai Besi from July 5-7

Benz Patent-Motorwagen on display at Mercedes-Benz World showcase, KL Base, Sungai Besi from July 5-7

Visitors to the Mercedes-Benz World happening at KL Base right now until Sunday, July 7, will have no shortage of new metal to view, what with Mercedes-Benz Malaysia showcasing a large selection of Mercedes-Benz and AMG vehicles at the event, including the just-launched trio of AMG models, the C 63 S E Performance and the facelifted GLA 45 S 4Matic+ and GLB 35 4Matic.

With all the swanky models on display, it’s easy to miss the vehicle at the entrance, a glaring oddity in today’s world, simply because it looks like nothing you’d associate with a car, not in today’s terms at least.

However, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, as it’s called, is the automobile that started it all, not just for the brand, but for everyone. The three-wheeled mechanical carriage, with its brass fittings, 1.0 litre single-pot and massive horizontal flywheel stabiliser exposed for the world to see, must have shocked those who viewed it in 1886, and truth be told, it still does today. Tarnation! Seat belts? Suspension? Steering?

It’s hard to imaging driving it any further than down the road, but inventor Karl Benz’s wife Bertha did, and then some. Without telling her husband, she engaged in what turned out to be a truly historical field trip from Mannheim to Pforzeim with Patent-Motorwagen No. 3 in 1888, effectively gaining plenty of publicity for the vehicle and its maker. Clever woman, indeed.

The unit on display at the event is a replica, of course, and its custodian is MBM, which has had it on show for years at its corporate office, from as far back as when it called Menara TM its home. It has been brought out for public viewing at Mercedes-Benz World, so, if you’re keen to see what history – and the car that started it all – looks like, head on over to the showcase at KL Base in Sungai Besi this weekend. Admission to the event is free.

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