Germany revs up for 125th birthday of Benz car

Special to the Los Angeles Times

Years before Henry Ford revolutionized the car industry, a certain Karl Benz of Germany received a patent for what is considered to be the world’s first practical automobile powered by an internal-combustion engine.

To mark the 125th anniversary of its native son’s creation, the three-wheeled “Motorwagen,"  the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg is holding 125 days of events that will begin in early May.

The celebration will culminate Sept. 10 with “autosymphonic,"a concert that will blend orchestra and choir with the brush of windshield wipers, the percussion of slamming trunks and the roar of engines from scores of vehicles. The hopefully harmonious sounds will fill Mannheim’s Friedrichsplatz Park.

The Automobile Summer will begin May 7 with cars from the past, present and future displayed in downtown Stuttgart. The event calendar motors on with festivities throughout the country.


The Bertha Benz Memorial Drive (June 23-26) will retrace the original test drive of the world’s first automobile -- a gas-powered contraption reminiscent of a giant tricycle -- with a stop at the world’s first gas station. 

Info: Automobile Summer. Tickets for “autosymphonic,” which start around $40, can be bought online at

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