1913 Benz 8/20 PS news, pictures, and information
|Runabout Open Tourer|
Chassis Num: W5.76
Karl Friedrich Benz was born in Germany on December 6th of 1844. He is remembered as the inventor of the first automobile as he was the first to patent his work. He was granted a patent for his engine in 1886, a design he had created in 1878.
When Karl Benz made the decision to enter motor racing, he turned towards France. The French had proven their abilities in motorsport competition and were a suitable choice in aiding in the production of a Grand Prix car. In 1908, Benz introduced the Grand Prix racer, which was powered by a 12.8 liter four-cylinder engine capable of producing 120 horsepower. The vehicle had a top speed of 160 km/h and was one of the more capable vehicles on the track.
Benz turned his sights on capturing a land speed record. The four-cylinder engine was removed and replaced with an one used to power aircraft. The result was a 228 km/h top speed and the fastest car on the planet in 1909. It was even faster than the trains and aircraft of the time; the car was twice as fast as any airplane and the rail speed record was 210 km/h which was set in 1903. The vehicle used to accomplish this feat was the dubbed the 'Blitzen-Benz'. The record would remain for eight years.
The knowledge gained in motor racing was used in designing and building road-going vehicles. The engines used in the Grand Prix cars were de-tuned to better accommodate the road-going vehicles. Though the engines were capable, much of the mechanical components were not up to par. The braking was still rather inadequate to keep the heavy coachwork in the driver's control. Fuel consumption was also an issue, as the large engines required much fuel.
The base model for the road-going series was the 10/18 HP which was powered by a four-cylinder engine displacing 2.4 liters. A larger 7.4-liter version was offered, the 29/60 HP, at a considerably higher price tag. These vehicles were followed by the '39/100 HP' and the '82/200 HP' models in 1912. The 39/100HP was powered by a 10-liter engine, while the 82/200HP had a 21-liter engine that produced 200 horsepower.
The Benz 8/20 PS was produced from 1912 through 1921. It was the successor to the 8/18 PS and the 10/20 PS. The 8/20 PS was powered by a four-cylinder engine offering around 20 horsepower and mated to a four-speed manual gearbox.
This 8/20 PS Runabout Open Tourer was exported when new in 1914 to Australia. It spent a lot of time in the Antipodes, residing in a large Australian collection for many years. In the late 1990s, the car was restored by Hans Compter of New Zealand. During the restoration process, the car was given an electrical starter, an electric fuel pump, electric lights, head and braking lights.
Just after the restoration work was completed, the car returned back to Germany, purchased by a collector who received a FIVA Identity Card (number 016462) and German historic road registration papers. It was then sold to its present owner who has used it sparingly on special occasions, classic meetings and rallies.
In 2012, the car was offered for sale at Coys 'Legende et Passion' Monaco sale where it was estimated to sell for €140.000 - €160.000.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2012
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