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Carl Benz was the first to integrate an engine with a specially designed automobile body. Prior to patenting of the Benz Motorwagen in 1886, inventors has simply added an engine to a horse-drawn vehicle.
Benz chose to build his car with three wheels because he was not satisfied with the steering systems then available for four-wheel vehicles. It was maneuvered by a vertical steering tiller and stopped with a hand brake. The motorcar had a steel tube frame; horizontal, single-cylinder, water-cooled gasoline-powered engine; and chain drive. The engine was started by turning the flywheel.
Benz's wife, Bertha, made motoring history in 1888 when she and her two sons drove one of these Motorwagens over 50 miles to her mother's home. During their journey they stopped at an apotheke (pharmacy) to purchase benzene for fuel.