Leonardo probably drew this model of a war machine for a presentation to Ludovico il Moro, “The Moor”, Duke of Milan, around 1485. The drawing in the original manuscript therefore appears neat and well laid-out.
The armoured car, like other inventions such as the scythed chariot, has a classical pedigree. Like other Renaissance artist-engineers, Leonardo looked to the classical world for inspiration. He would then go beyond classical models and devise his own solutions.