Frustratingly, the answer isn’t entirely clear. There have been many types of cars, powered in man ways, with a complex, international history dating back to Leonardo DaVinci in the 15th century. That said, the first-ever gas-powered car manufacturing company was set up by the Duryea Brothers around 1893. The first car they built had a 4 horsepower, two-stroke engine. According to About.com, “On September 20 1893, the Duryea brothers’ first automobile was constructed and successfully tested on the public streets of Springfield, Massachusetts.”
The first car to be built in America came in 1894 by the Baushke family. Their then revolutionary “horseless carriage” held 5 passengers and had a top speed of 23.5 MPH from a 7.5 horse-power gasoline engine. The car was built and owned by Albert and Louis Baushke, who were prominent wagon and buggy makers of the day. The vehicle never reached grand popularity, as the first commercially successful American car didn’t come until many years later in the form of Henry Ford’s Model T.
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