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Karl Benz (1844-1929), German engineer and pioneer of the motor car. Benz was the son of a railway engineer, and studied mechanical engineering in the years 1853-64. He opened his own company manufacturing machine tools at Mannheim, and in 1877 began experimenting with a two-stroke internal combustion engine. In 1885 he ran his first car, a three-wheeled vehicle, the first practical petrol-driven automobile. He patented the design in 1886, and by 1893 was producing four-wheeled cars under the company name of Benz & Cie. Benz left the company in 1906; it later merged with Daimler to form the company which produces Mercedes cars.
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