Contra Duc

Body Style:



Horizontally opposed two cylinder



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More Information:

A limited number of Benzes were crafted with the cataloged four-seater dos-à-dos body, and among them stands this particular gem. Its remarkable history sets it apart: when just a few years old, its initial owner, Frederick Adolphus Hendy of Southampton, entrusted it to the local firm Andrews Coachworks. A unique front-end body was crafted there, with a seat tailored for his young daughter or granddaughter, born in 1896.

Underneath its elegant exterior, the car boasts Benz’s Contra engine, a horizontally-opposed twin-cylinder delivering 9-10hp, and a four-speed transmission. Benz’s claims of the dos-à-dos reaching speeds of 20-25mph on level ground and scaling gradients of up to 20% attest to its engineering prowess.

Around 1912, the car was put into storage as the Hendy family transitioned to being Model T Ford dealers. Despite its limited use, it remained within the family’s possession since its purchase, spending decades on display at the company headquarters.

In 1952, it was on loan to Lord Montagu for display at his esteemed motor museum in Beaulieu. Positioned as the fifth exhibit in the Palace House hallway, it was refurbished before the museum’s dedicated construction, including fresh paint and new leather for the driver’s seat base.

Production of these models spanned from 1899 to 1902, and its engine number, 1754, indicates its production between 1899 and 1901.