Blitzen Benz

Since there have been cars, there have been attempts to find out the limits of what is technically possible. One example is the "Blitzen Benz", exhibited in the Technik Museum Sinsheim, a car designed specifically for record-breaking Benz cars in Mannheim, which in 1909 was the first vehicle ever to exceed the magical speed limit of 200 km/h.

When in the spring of 1909 Benz made the decision to conquer the speed limit of 200 km/h, it was clear that above all one thing was necessary: a lot of engine power. And since fast-rotating engines were not yet feasible, the power required could only be achieved by increasing the displacement. Thus, a four-cylinder monster with no less than 21.5 litres of displacement was developed, which with only 1600/min achieved power of a good 200 HP. To date, this is the most fuel-efficient car engine built by Benz and Daimler-Benz.

It was a good thing that the first race track, the famous Brooklands Oval, was finished in England that year. With two steep curves, this was just the right terrain for the fireball from Baden. On the 8th of November 1909, the car went to England and effortlessly set an absolutely new speed record flying along kilometres at 202.7 km/h. It should be noted: at that time in England, the speed limit on public streets was 32 km/h! Further records followed. In 1911, Bob Burman raced along the sand track at Daytona Beach in a Blitzen-Benz at a speed of 228.1 km/h. This record for the fastest land vehicle remained unbroken until 1919.

A total of six vehicles were built. Two of them drove in the USA, and there they also received the characteristic name "Blitzen Benz" because of their exorbitant speeds for the conditions at the time.