1914 Benz 18/45 Four Passenger Runabout

  • Brand: Benz
  • Car Code: 111090

1914 Benz 18/45 Four Passenger Runabout

By the end of the 20th Century's first decade, the automobile had left its primitive 'horse-less carriage' antecedents far behind, thanks, in no small measure, to Karl Benz. In America meanwhile, the focus of development had been on production techniques that effectively 'democratised' the motor car, making it an affordable means of transportation for the masses and no longer the exclusive preserve of the wealthy dilettante. In the halcyon days before the outbreak of the First World War though, there were sufficient numbers of the latter to make the production of large luxury cars a highly profitable enterprise.

The major overseas players on the American scene at this time were Rolls-Royce and Benz, the latter's distributorship - the Benz Auto Import Company of America - being located on Broadway, New York City. In 1911, Benz chassis prices ranged from $3,250 for the 18hp up to $8,500 for the 60hp, and this at a time when a new Ford Model T could be purchased for under $700! If custom coachwork of the finest quality was specified, the total cost of a Benz could reach stratospheric heights.

Benz could command these prices due to their excellent quality but also because of the sterling reputation they had built through competition. The 21 liter Blitzen Benz had established a series of land speed records culminating in a 141.7 mph run at Ormond Beach Florida. This outright land speed record stood till 1919.

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Production Start 1914
Country of origin Germany