- With the same family since 1953!
- In running order
- A real milestone in automotive history
Sold from 1894, the Benz 'Velo' marked a real milestone in automotive history, as it was the first car to go into series production. From 1898, a 'Comfortable' version was offered, which could transport four passengers, thanks to its solid axles with a wider track. The power developed by the single-cylinder Benz engine steadily increased, reaching 3.5 HP when production ended in 1902.
It is thought that the model presented, the famous 'Comfortable' version, was delivered new in Paris; then, when her parents died, its previous owner had it moved to her country house, to the north of Rennes. It was there, at the end of the 1930s, that Mr. Piel discovered it as he was cycling to his place of study. In 1953, when he had become an agent for Citroën, he went to see the owner, accompanied by the local priest to vouch for his good character. She agreed to sell it to him for 4000 francs, as the receipt dated 4 September which comes with the car confirms. She made him promise to keep the car forever, which he did, even when the Schlumpf brothers offered to swap it for a Mercedes 300 SL 'Gullwing' at the end of the 1960s! After the car had been restored during the 1960s, it took part in numerous rallies, venturing as far afield as Italy. Since then, it has always been maintained in working order and is now in exceptionally well preserved condition. The original Benz engine has the number 788. The ignition and carburettor have been updated to make the car easier to use. The upholstery, with the exception of the squabs, is original, while the body still has its original wooden wings. The front seat, although apparently of older construction, does not correspond to the original design for the model, but provides greater comfort. The lamps were added later. We have here a car which is in remarkably well preserved condition for its period and with a clear history. It is a worthy representative of a make which is still in existence and is particularly sought after by collectors. This Benz will stand out in the most prestigious veteran rallies.
For more information and photos: https://www.artcurial.com/fr/lot-ca-1898-benz-velociped-comfortable-3980-44