Any attempt to document the towering achievements of past centuries will at some point inevitably have to deal with that piece of technology that changed the world: the motor car. Its inventors were Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, two men who in 1886 independently of each other succeeded in powering the fi rst automobiles. What was their driving force? Curiosity and a passion for research, coupled with a sixth sense for what is technically feasible – a highly explosive cocktail that has so often proved to be the catalyst for new discoveries and which here made possible the hitherto unfulfilled dream of individual mobility. Theirs is a story that has captured the public imagination for more than 125 years.