120 Year Old Benz Engine Found in a Barn

A Benz engine, dating to the infancy of the motor car, has been discovered by Charterhouse Auctioneers and entered into their online auction of classic and vintage cars on Wednesday 23rd September.

“It is one of the most exciting motoring related discoveries I have made in 35 years of being an auctioneer.” Commented Richard Bromell. “Over the decades I have sold classic and vintage cars from Rolls-Royces to Reliants but never anything as early as this Benz engine.”

The Benz engine, which dates to circa 1898-1902, was found by the owner 50 years ago when clearing a scrap yard in Devon.

The scrap yard was part of a large redevelopment project in Exeter. The owner cleared through a load of old scrap metal and found the engine at the bottom of the pile. He initially thought it was an agricultural engine as it was such an unusual looking piece of engineering.

As he found it interesting, he took it home to a barn where he forgot about it. Some 43 years later, now emptying his own barn he came across it once again. This time moved it was moved into a garage for the next 7 years.

In 1886 Carl Benz applied for a patent for his “vehicle powered by a gas engine” which is regarding by many as the birth certificate of the automobile. The engine being sold by Charterhouse is engine number 3421 and dates to around 1900.

Now advancing in years, the Devon vendor of this Benz engine, numbered 3421, has decided he has owned it for long enough and entered into the Charterhouse auction with an estimate of £18,000-22,000.

Charterhouse are now accepting further entries for this auction of classic and vintage cars on 23rd September, their sale of pictures, books, sporting items and Beswick on 1st & 2nd October followed by classic and vintage motorcycles on 28th October.

For further information regarding these auctions, or to make a Covid-19 safe home visit, contact Richard Bromell and the team at Charterhouse, The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne 01935 812277 or email images to Richard on rb@charterhouse-auction.com


120 year old Benz engine, from the infancy of the motor car £18,000-22,000 in the Charterhouse online auction of classic and vintage cars 23rd September