Built in 1900, this 4.5 horsepower Benz Ideal represented quite a technological advance on the first Patent Motorwagen designed by German inventor Carl Benz in 1885, a spindly three-wheeled vehicle with an engine producing less than one horsepower and a top speed of about 12km/h. The Ideal’s bigger engine and threespeed gearbox enable it to belt along at breathtaking speeds of 30km/h. The vehicle was sold in March by Bonhams for ¤212,750. According to a newspaper article accompanying the car, two motoring enthusiasts discovered the decaying treasure in the British Midlands in the 1950s, buying it from the widow of a man
who bought it before World War I. After restoration it became a star of the vintage car circuit.