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Friday, 16 February, 2001, 16:29 GMT
Vintage car passes MoT
Benz Dog Cart
The 101-year-old car gets a full inspection
A 101-year-old car with no seatbelts and a top speed of 14mph has passed its MoT with flying colours.

The Benz Dog Cart, which took part in the first London-to-Brighton rally, was lovingly restored after 45 years sitting idle in the Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry.

But the three-and-a-half horsepower open two-seater needed to be deemed roadworthy to be moved to the museum's new home at the 50m Discovery Centre in Digbeth, which opens in September.

Rob Holdridge with the Benz Dog Cart's MoT certificate
Passed. The Benz Dog Cart can be driven on the roads legally
Technician Rob Holdridge said it was a treat to drive the restored vintage vehicle the short distance from the museum to Bellamy & Co's garage for the MoT test.

"The best part was mixing with the Birmingham traffic," he said.

"It's slow off the mark but the steering is wonderfully accurate.

"There aren't any seatbelts and it's worse for the passenger - they haven't got levers and handles to hold on to."

The Benz was bought in 1900 by Alfred Hollands, of Newbury in Berkshire, who ran it for seven years before putting it into storage.

He registered the car again in 1927 to take part in the London-to-Brighton veteran car run, which it completed in four hours 26 minutes, winning a gold medal.


Birmingham Museums Service acquired the vehicle in 1954 and it was on display at the former Museum of Science and Industry until its closure in 1997.

The car took to the road for the first time in 45 years two years later after Discovery Centre technicians spent 150 hours restoring the body parts and engine to MoT standard.

The restoration team had to clean and lubricate each piece of the engine, make a new set of wooden brake blocks, replace the new bulb for the horn and put candles in the side lanterns.

Last year the car won a prize for the best pre-1930 vehicle on the concourse at Sandwell's Historic Vehicle Show.

Mr Holdridge said the work on the Benz would help give people a greater insight into the old vehicles and how they shaped our world.

The car's new home, part of the 114m Millennium Point development, will celebrate scientific and inventions and show the impact of science and technology on the present and the future.

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