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This is one of those things where the answer is really not as cut and dried as you would think that it ought to be. I think this is very often the case with inventions. Inventions often build on one another and therefore you can't say where in the chain of inventions a real "car" was invented. (Was it Benz's car in the 1880s or was the first real car one that was actually produced in large numbers?) Or you have a lot of things that could be called (in this case) a "car" and you have to decide which one really was a car. (Is a steam car a real car? What about an early electric one?)
I'd suggest following the link I've provided. It argues that the first car of any sort was a steam car invented in 1769. However, it also credits Karl Benz with being the first person to build a "true automobile" -- whatever that is.
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