In honor of Women’s History month, we at Advantage Automotive Analytics would like offer a tribute to some of the outstanding talent and success of women in the automotive industry.
If you’re a car lover, you’re likely familiar with Karl Benz, a German mechanical engineer who is credited with designing and building the first practical automobile to be powered by an internal-combustion engine in 1885.
Lesser known for her automotive contributions, is Karl’s wife, Bertha Benz. She is credited with being the first to do something every car lover enjoys. Berta took her husband’s car on the very first road trip. Humorously, this trip involved several first: the first road repairs, the first automotive marketing stunt, the first case of wife borrowing her husband’s car without asking; and the first violation of intercity highway laws. The 60-mile trip took her from Mannheim to Pforzheim, Germany.
Berta was disenchanted with her husband’s patient, conservative ways, and decided the best way to showcase her husband’s invention was to show it off on the road. She recruited sons, Eugen, 15, and Richard, 13, to help with her plan, and their young limbs would help push the vehicle up steeper hills, because the 0.88 hp engine couldn’t always get the job done. They would have had to stop about every 15 or 20 miles for gas, purchasing bottles of benzine, also known as ligroin, from pharmacies. The trio had to ask local shoemakers to replace the leather brake shoe linings from time to time.