Saturday, February 21, 2009

Side Track - Benz Patent Motorwagen

I've taken a break from the ElectroJeep to do a sprint project - a 5/8 scale Benz Patent Motorwagen powered by a 1 kilowatt electric motor. The Benz Patent Motorwagen was the first automobile designed from the ground-up as an automobile. Invented in 1886 by Karl Benz (of later Mercedes-Benz fame), it was a tricycle, with a 1-cylinder gas motor and wire spoke wheels:

Benz's original drawings can be found in his 1886 patent. Here is a side view:

And here is a bottom view:

Note that the one he actually built and put into (handmade!) production was slightly different, and that's the model I'm going to build (because there are so many more pictures of that model). There's even a Sketchup model of it. I snagged it and scaled it to the size it will be, with a human figure next to it for scale. I chose 5/8 scale because that's pretty close to the ratio of the original wheel size (1260 mm) to typical bicycle road wheels these days (700 mm):

I'm redrawing it to exact scale so I can get the right bits-n-pieces - here is how it's looking so far:

I've ordered the motor, controller, cables, etc. and the fully elliptical leaf springs for the rear axle. I'm now off to buy bicycle wheels (700C for the rear, 450C for the front). Deadline: three weeks and counting...

1 comment:

  1. keep us posted on the progress of this project. Good Luck! Bob Shaver