Nov 19 2016

Helck Family Collection: The Very Early Automobiles of the Deutsches Museum (1885-1901)

The Helck Family Collection includes a book The Automobile Section of the German Museum in Munich. It features rare photos of over 100 automobiles that were exhibited in the Deutsches Museum in 1950. The exclusive English copy was created for Josef Reutershan of Passaic, New Jersey.

Below are ten historic automobiles and a motorcycle built from 1885 to 1901.


Howard Kroplick


Daimler motorcycle 1885.

For the first time a bicycle is propelled by a combustion engine.

Benz 1885.

The first Benz.

Daimler Coach 1886

The first 4-wheeled motor vehicle with high speed combustion engine built by Gottlieb Daimler (Daimler one-cyclinder engine)

Daimler 1888/1889 with steel wheels

The second motor vehicle with four wheels built by Daimler. Maximum speed: 12.4 MPH.

Benz Vis-a-Vis 1893

The first motorcar type of Benz & Co., Mannheim with four wheels (belt drive)

Panhard-Levassor 1891

The first Panhard-Levassor car with a Daimler V-engine in front.

Benz Type Velo 1893

The most moderately priced four-wheel motorcar of it time.

Daimler Coach 1895

Rear engine has two parallel cykinders, glow pipe ignition, 4-speed belt transmission

Panhard-Levassor 1895

Two-cylinder Daimler engine installed in car.

Daimler 1900/1901 Mercedes

The first Daimler. The construction of modern automobiles is initiated with this car type.

Low center of gravity, high speed exceeding 43.5 MPH.


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