From Ohio History Central
In 1890, John William Lambert, a resident of Ohio City, Ohio, built the first gasoline-powered single-cylinder automobile. Lambert purchased a three-cylinder gasoline engine for 3,300 dollars and converted it to a single-cylinder engine. He also used a seven-gallon radiator with steam vent and a carburetor in his engine. Lambert placed the engine in a buggy chassis, with two rear wheels and a single wheel off of a wheelbarrow in the front. Lambert's car could reach speeds as high as five miles per hour. Unfortunately, Lambert's automobile no longer survives today as it was destroyed in a fire in Lambert's barn on October 1, 1891.
Many scholars also claim that Lambert was involved in the first automobile accident in world history. Lambert's vehicle, which was carrying Lambert and James Swoveland, hit a tree root, causing the car to careen out of control and smash into a hitching post. Injuries from this accident were minor. Lambert proceeded to patent over six hundred inventions, mostly affiliated with the automobile industry.