Did this drive you around the Benz?

By | September 25, 2007

We were at Taipei’s 101 Shopping Mall, on the 4th floor where we discovered that there two new coffee shops and a Harper’s Bazaar exhibition with a very unusual exhibit. Pictured below… how would you like to drive one of these?

Is it enough power to turn the ladies’ heads, John? This is my Moon Festival Car of the Year, 1886 to be precise. Enjoy.

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Look at its rear mounted engine that could generate 2/3rds of a horsepower at 250rpm. A later version could ‘gallop’ along at nearly 10mph. That’s 0-10 in about 120 years, perhaps. Still, a wonderful feat of engineering, and worthy in any car museum.

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I don’t think too many Zonda mechanics would know how to fix this engine! Apparently, Benz’s wife, Bertha, undertook the first long distance car trip in the world (without her husband’s knowledge! “honey, I just borrowed the Benz!”) and drove nearly 200km. I had a look at the wheels, it can’t have been too comfortable, but what a thrill! A mechanized carriage without horses!