1898 Benz

The Collection’s exhibit

The Benz ‘dog cart’ at Old Warden was imported from the Roger Company of France. Emile Roger was the Paris agent for Karl Benz’ gas fuelled stationary engines and, in fact, became his first ever customer buying (possibly) Karl’s third car in 1888. From then Roger began to assemble and sell Benz cars under his own name.

This early model (often called an ‘International’ because it was made under licence in France not in Germany) has a horizontally mounted, single-cylinder, engine and three speed belt transmission to the rear wheels, all housed at the rear behind and beneath the seat. There is no provision for reverse apart from dismounting to push. The engine is started by pulling the large spoked flywheel by hand. The term ‘dog cart’ is due to the car’s similarity to horse drawn vehicles in which sporting dogs were carried at the rear.

‘Our’ car was purchased from a car breaker in Honiton, Devon, for the princely sum of £35 by Richard Shuttleworth in 1930 and after restoration was added to The Collection. One of Richard’s favourite cars, he once remarked: ’it’s more fun than all the others put together and far more reliable’. It has taken part in numerous London to Brighton veteran car runs.

Karl Benz is generally credited with making the first commercial production automobile and was responsible for introducing many features we now regard as essentials. How would motoring have developed without the spark plug, electric ignition system, carburettor, water cooling, or clutch?


Manufacturer: Emile Roger, Paris (licence from Karl Benz)
Model: Two seat dog cart
Engine: 3.5hp Benz single cylinder
Top Speed: 22 mph


This exhibit is part of the Richard Shuttleworth Trail

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