The French 1884 De Dion et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos runabout is the world’s oldest-known working automobile and is going up for auction on October 7th in Hershey, Pennsylvania. According to the auction house, the car was part of the first automobile race in 1887, clocking a top speed of 37 mph.
Commissioned by French entrepreneur Count de Dion, the bespoke vehicle and later nicknamed the ‘La Marquise‘ – was built in 1884 by Georges Bouton and Charles-Armand Trepardoux. It features two steam engines and a 40 gallon (151 liter) water tank which enables the car to travel approximately 20 miles (32 km) and hit a top speed of 38 mph (61 km/h).
Other novelties include ‘spade handle’ steering, the level of power assistance depending on when last you saw the inside of a gym, and the car seats four people back-to-back. These seats are positioned atop a steel tank that holds 150 litres of water.
With an estimated fetching price of around $2-2.5 (€1.48-1.85) million, the La Marquise is one of the most important cars in the world, according to Rob Myers of RM Auctions. “With its impeccable provenance, fully-documented history and confirmation by leading historians as the world’s oldest running motor car, its sale represents a once-in-a-lifetime ownership opportunity for savvy collectors, unlikely ever to be repeated,” Myers said.
ChopShop Sources : RM Auctions via Jalopnik