World’s oldest car sells at auction for $4.6 m
Steam-powered, built in France in 1884:
NEW ZEALAND: A steam-powered car considered the oldest vehicle in the
world still running has sold at auction in the United States for more
than $4.6 million.
The De Dion-Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout, nicknamed
“La Marquise,” which was built in France in 1884, sold for more than
twice its estimate at auction Friday in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
RM Auctions listed its top speed as 38 miles per hour (61 kilometers
per hour) and said it had only had four previous owners over the past
The late Texas collector John O’Quinn had bought the historic car,
which participated in the first automobile race in 1887 and four
separate London-to-Brighton runs, for $3.5 million in 2007.
The identity of the new owner was not given.
US media reports noted that another car, housed at the National Motor
Museum of Britain, also lays claim to the title of the world’s oldest
However, the reports said the British car, built in 1875 by Robert
Neville Grenville, has only three wheels, requires someone to ride along
and tend the boiler, and bears little resemblance to a modern
The four-wheeled De Dion-Bouton was constructed for the French Count
De Dion one of the founders of the company that built it. It was named
“La Marquise” after the count’s mother.