How Fast Did the First Car Go?

fast-did-first-car Credit: DaimlerChrysler AG/CC-BY-3.0

The Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the first vehicle designed to be propelled by an internal combustion engine, had a top speed of about 7 mph. The car was created in 1885 and patented in 1886. Later versions of the automobile reached top speeds of up to 10 mph.

In 1873, inventor Amedee Bollee created one of the earliest steam-powered vehicles. It was capable of carrying 12 passengers with a top speed of around 25 mph. He subsequently produced three more steam-powered cars, and in 1881, he created a model that could achieve speeds of up to 39 mph while being operated by a single driver.