Daimler already had the vision of a compact, fast-running combustion engine that was also suitable for use in vehicles when he worked at Deutz. However, he was unable to make his ideas a reality at the company. In mid-1882, Daimler left Gasmotoren-Fabrik Deutz to pursue a self-employed career in Cannstatt near Stuttgart. He had already signed an employment contract with Wilhelm Maybach in April 1882.
This would be where Maybach and Daimler brought the automotive pioneer’s dream of motorised mobility “on water, on land and in the air” to life: from 1882, the first specimens of fast-running petrol engines were developed at Daimler’s home at Taubenheimstrasse 13. Along with these engines, known as “grandfather clocks” due to their appearance, the world’s first motorcycle (“Reitwagen”, 1885), the world’s first motorboat (1886) and, last but not least, the world’s first four-wheel car (Daimler’s “Motorkutsche”, 1886) were developed. Drives for rail vehicles followed soon after (Daimler motorised Waggonet, 1887) as did Wölfert’s motorised airship (1888).