A 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout, the world's oldest running car, attracted twice its predicted value and sold for $4.62 million Oct. 7 before a packed house at RM Auctions in Hershey, Pa.
The sale price is a world record for an early motor car sold at auction.
Commissioned by French entrepreneur, Count de Dion and named ‘La Marquise’ after his mother, the 127-year-old vehicle drew a standing ovation from the audience as it drove onto RM’s Hershey auction stage.
Attracting a starting bid of $500,000 and immediately jumping to $1,000,000, bidding moved swiftly to applause from the crowd, with the gavel eventually falling at an extraordinary $4,200,000. The final sales price of $4,620,000 includes a 10 percent buyers’ premium.
The new owner joins an elite list of just five collectors to have claimed ownership of La Marquise over its well-documented history.
In addition to being the world’s oldest running motor car, La Marquise’s impressive provenance includes participation in the first automobile race in 1887, where it reached a top speed of 37 mph on the straights, along with a double award at the famed 1997 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. In addition, La Marquise has also successfully completed four London to Brighton runs in the UK.