What You Need To Know About The First Automobile Ever Invented

The bicycles of the time served as inspiration for a large portion of the Patent Motorwagen’s structure. Its wheels were formed of steel rims and wires with solid-rubber tires, and it rode on a tube-steel chassis. The rear wheels were driven by chain, and the steering tiller used a crude rack and pinion gear arrangement to transmit direction to the front wheel. Other parts, including the seat and foldable roof, were made to resemble those found on modern horse-drawn carriages (via Garage Dreams ).

The engine had a 954cc displacement and was a single-cylinder four-stroke. It only generated horsepower. The final drive was connected by a chain, and at the other end was a pulley to drive a belt that would serve as a transmission and clutch. Additionally, there was a sizable flywheel underneath that served as the starter. To start the engine, one would hold the flywheel, spin it vigorously, and listen to the constant beat of chugs and hisses produced by the combustion and intake strokes. The engine had a full lossless coolant design and was water-cooled, however it had no radiator (via SciHi ). To avoid overheating, the water tank had to be filled after it was empty. The steering wheel and a lever that functioned as an accelerator and brake were the sole controls.

Although it wasn’t quick and required almost continual modifications, it functioned and could be maintained, which could not be claimed of other technologies at the time. A horse-drawn vehicle would have been more helpful and practical in reality, but the Motorwagen’s novelty made it a valued curiosity.


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