In the same year Benz obtained financial support from the two businessmen Max Rose and Friedrich Wilhelm Esslinger, who founded Benz & Co. Rheinische Gasmotoren-Fabrik together with Benz in October 1883.
The number of employees soon increased to 25, and licenses were even granted for the production of gas engines. Benz was now able to devote himself to the development of his automotive engine. Financially secure, he began on the overall design of a vehicle equipped with an integral four-stroke gasoline engine. In contrast, his competitor Daimler installed his first engine in a coach. In 1886 Carl Benz was granted a patent for his vehicle and presented the first Benz Patent Motor Car to the public.
Three versions of this three-wheeler were created between 1885 and 1887: Model No. 1, which Benz presented to the German Museum as a gift in 1906, Model No. 2, which was presumably modified and redesigned several times, and finally Model No. 3 with wood-spoked wheels, which Bertha Benz used for her first long-distance journey in 1888.
The constantly increasing demand for industrial engines obliged Benz & Co. Rheinische Gasmotoren-Fabrik to move to a larger production building. In 1890 Rheinische Gasmotoren-Fabrik became Germany’s second-largest engine producer, following the entry of the new partners Friedrich von Fischer and Julius Ganß. In 1893 Carl Benz introduced double-pivot steering into automotive engineering, and in 1896 developed the precursor to today’s horizontally-opposed piston engine.