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The Benz Patent-Motorwagen (“patent motorcar”), built in 1885, is widely regarded as the world’s first production automobile, that is, a vehicle designed to be propelled by an internal combustion engine. The original cost of the vehicle in 1885 was 600 imperial German marks, approximately 150 US dollars (equivalent to $4,268 in 2019). The vehicle was awarded the German patent number 37435, for which Karl Benz applied on 29 January 1886. Following official procedures, the date of the application became the patent date for the invention once the patent was granted, which occurred in November of that year.
Benz’s wife, Bertha, financed the development process.
Benz unveiled his invention to the public on 3 July 1886, on the Ringstrasse in Mannheim.
About 25 Patent-Motorwagen were built between 1886 and 1893.