The world wasn’t always this advanced. Every era came with innovations and new technology according to that time. In the auto industry, cars weren’t always fitted with a sophisticated gasoline-powered engine with a compact design. The first few cars were not only powered by steam but had an elaborate structure. Below are some of the oldest cars ever created in the world.
1. Cugnot Fardier
French inventor Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot designed and built the very first self-propelled carriage in 1770. The full size Fardier à vapeur (steam dray) was made a year after Cugnot built a small prototype in 1969. This car aimed to cater to French army’s needs and could carry 4 tons. After not being an incredible success, it was taken to Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris in 1800.
2. London Steam Carriage
Richard Trevithick built the very first self-propelled passenger carrying vehicle in 1803, known as London Steam Carriage. He drove it through London for almost 10 miles at a speed of 4 – 9 miles per hour (6.4 – 14.5 km/h). Later, this carriage was destroyed in a fire.
3. Hancock Omnibus
Walter Hancock built the first enterprise steam omnibus. It is known as the first commercially manufactured steam-powered car in the world. It ran the route between London and Paddington. About 4,000 passengers were transported in the 9 steam carriages during he 2 years between 1832 to 1832.
4. Grenville Steam Carriage
Robert Neville Grenville built this oldest steam-powered passenger vehicle in 1875. He later became the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Great Western Railway. The car is at display at England’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. It is believed to still be in working condition.
5. La Marquise
De Dion-Bouton et Trepardoux built this car in 1884 and named it after his mother. La Marquise was declared as the world’s oldest running automobile in 2011. It could achieve a top speed of 38 miles per hour.
Karl Benz built the world’s first official automobile as it is the first vehicle designed to be propelled by an internal combustion engine. He made this car in 1885 and unveiled it to the public in 1886. Karl successfully developed a gasoline-powered two-stroke piston engine in 1873 and dedicated the next decade of his life developing a motorized vehicle. In the period between 1886 to 1893, 25 Patent-Motorwagens were manufactured by Karl.
We have seen the auto industry evolve as the world is exposed to new waves of technology. There are various books on the history of automobiles through which you can learn more about the oldest cars and the journey of automobiles through the past centuries.