8 The ALLURE of Rallies & Tours worked to improve driving conditions, pass safety laws, map desirable driving routes and, of course, promote touring. Moving forward with his sights set on the 20th Century, Carl Benz built further versions of his Patent Motor Car with detailed improvements. Although its invention had been widely received with public enthusiasm, it was not ac- companied by the desired commercial success. Benz was once more beset by doubts. And once again, it was his wife who found a solution. She realized that the public was still skeptical about the reliabilityofthisvehiclemovedby“mys- terious forces.” So Bertha Benz found the answer – the first Publicity Tour. The Secret Journey Bertha Benz enabled her husband Carl Benz to run his own company and pur- sue his invention by providing the fi- nancial resources to do so. She invested both her inheritance from her parents and her determined personality to make a technological breakthrough possible. That also required a good understand- ing and a clear vision of the importance of her husband’s work, as she wanted his vision to become reality. It’s easy to imagine that Bertha had a very strong personality, as she most certainly was not simply the “important wife behind an important husband.” Bertha was ac- tually pushing him to trust in his abili- ties to make his vision come true, to get through hard times, and to try harder each time. Until now, Bertha Benz has been most famous for her legendary role as the first person to take a long-distance automotive road trip, traveling from Mannheim to Pforzheim in August 1888 with her two sons Richard and Eugen – unbeknownst to her husband. What is today about an hour’s drive (100 kilo- meters, or about 60 miles) took much longer during that era. According to her great-granddaugh- ter Jutta Benz, Bertha’s road trip was very brave, too, since she prepared to make the drive and ensure that her hus- band wasn’t aware of it. If a problem oc- curred, she fixed it. Bertha stopped at a pharmacy in Wiesloch, which became the first gas station in the world, to buy “Ligroin,” a cleaning fluid that kept the car running. Another stop included a shoemaker’s shop to repair the leather on a brake shoe. The pin of her hat was used to clean a clogged fuel line, and she resolved a problematic ignition wire by using her garter as an insulator. That also proves that she had certain knowl- edge of the technology and how the Pat- ent Motor Car operated. Her findings also helped Carl Benz to improve the car further, so she also was the first quali- ty control manager of the automobile industry. With her pioneering trip, she proved the suitability of her husband’s invention for daily use. In 1910, Thomas Edison sponsored an endurance run known as the “Ideal Tour” from New York City to Bretton Woods, NH, a distance of 1,000 miles to test his battery. Two electric cars were involved, the 1910 Bailey Electric and the 1910 Detroit Electric. They departed together, traveled through Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and over the White Mountains and on to Bretton Woods. While traveling together, neither one had any difficulty. The Detroit Electric left from Bretton Woods to return home. The Bailey Electric went on to climb Mt. Washington before making the return trip. All of Edison’s batteries were to be sold to the Detroit Electric except what the Bailey Electric needed. The company was renamed the Anderson Electric Car Company in 1911 and business was booming. The early electric was built for urban use, especially for women drivers. Henry Ford’s wife owned one. It was advertised that it would take you anywhere you wanted to go in a day. Almost 5,000 cars were built in 1914, but sales dropped to 3,000 the following year. Thus it began, and over the next several decades many automotive groups and clubs would be born. The dawn of touring became a reality and in many cases a treasured family tradition. History_006-009.indd 8 12/23/17 11:46 AM