The development of the motor car can be traced back to 1769, when a French engineer Nicolas Cugnot invented the first steam powered car for use by the French army to haul heavy artillery. This start of the car history paved the way for further progress, and it is said that the modern automobile is the result of over 100.000 patents at various ages!
Two Stroke And Four Stroke Internal Combustion Engine
The first turning point in car history came with the invention of the two stroke internal combustion engine by Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir whose gas driven vehicle became popular in England during 1865. Twenty years later, in 1885, the invention of the four-stroke engine by Gottlieb Daimler and Nicolas Otto along with Eugen Langen proved to be a trend setter, resulting in further progress.
The four stroke engine had four significant movements, one to suck in a mixture of gas and air into the cylinder, the second to push the piston so as to compress the mixture, the third to ignite it and push the piston down, and the last to push the piston back up so that the burnt gas got expelled out of the cylinder through a valve.
Due to differences in opinion, Gottlieb Daimler separated from the group and along with Wilhelm Maybach started creating his own engines suitable for both cars as well as four wheel horseless carriages. Initially, they manufactured small stationary engines which later led to the creation of a high speed petrol-fueled four stroke engine in 1885. Daimler also mounted an engine on a four wheeled carriage that was fitted with a four-speed gearbox that turned the back wheels using a belt driven mechanism.
In the meantime, another German engineer, Karl Benz along with his two associates, Max Rose and Friedrich Esslinger created a company called the Rheinische Gasmotorenfabrik Benz and Co., and started producing engines suitable of powering motor cars. Benz was granted a patent for his first engine in 1879 and he also designed and patented the first internal combustion flat engine. His efforts paid off and in 1885, the first motor car with a light weight body and fitted with three wheels with spokes, was unveiled in 1886. Karl Benz is generally acknowledged as the inventor of the modern automobile.
Meanwhile, the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft or the Daimler Motor Company was founded in Cannstatt in 1890 by Daimler and Maybach, and they came out with their first automobile under the brand name of Daimler in 1892, which enjoyed a great degree of popularity. The foundation of the motor car industry was also laid out in France, when in 1890 Emile Levassor and Armand Peugeot started producing motor cars equipped with Daimler engines.
First Internal Combustion Engine In The US
America was also not left behind and George Selden designed the first motor car fitted with a gasoline internal combustion engine in 1877. Another American, Henry Ford also completed his first car, the Quadricycle in 1896, which was an automobile powered by a two cylinder gasoline engine. This period also witnessed another revolutionary concept, the creation of the first diesel engine that was built in 1897 by Rudolf Diesel.