In 1885, Gottlieb Daimler (together with his design partner Wilhelm Maybach) took Nicolaus Otto’s internal combustion engine a step further and patented what is generally recognized as the prototype of the modern gas engine.
Gottlieb Daimler’s connection to Nicolaus Otto was a direct one; Daimler worked as technical director of Deutz Gasmotorenfabrik, which Nicolaus Otto co-owned in 1872.
THE WORLD’S FIRST FOUR-WHEELED AUTOMOBILE
The 1885 Daimler-Maybach engine was small, lightweight, fast, used a gasoline-injected carburetor, and had a vertical cylinder. The size, speed, and efficiency of the engine allowed for a revolution in car design.
On March 8, 1886, Daimler took a stagecoach (made by Wilhelm Wimpff & Sohn) and adapted it to hold his engine, thereby designing the world’s first four-wheeled automobile.
In 1889, Gottlieb Daimler invented a V-slanted two cylinder, four-stroke engine with mushroom-shaped valves. Just like Otto’s 1876 engine, Daimler’s new engine set the basis for all car engines going forward.
Also in 1889, Daimler and Maybach built their first automobile from the ground up, they did not adapt another purpose vehicle as had always been done previously.
Gottlieb Daimler founded the Daimler Motoren-Gesellschaft in 1890 to manufacture his designs. Wilhelm Maybach was behind the design of the Mercedes automobile. Maybach eventually left Daimler to set up his own factory for making engines for Zeppelin airships.
In 1894, the first automobile race in the world was won by a car with a Daimler engine.