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"La Marquise", The World's Oldest Running Automobile, is Sold (1884)


On October 8, 2011 the world's oldest running motor car, a 1884 De Dion-Bouton Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout, sold for $4.62 million at RM Auctions in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Commissioned by French entrepreneur, Count de Dion, the car was named ‘La Marquise’ after his mother. 

"In 1887, the Count of Dion drove La Marquise in an exhibition that has sometimes been called the world’s first car race, though his was the only car that showed up. It made the 20-odd-mile Paris-to-Versailles round trip at an average speed of almost 16 m.p.h. The next year, he beat Bouton on a three-wheeler with an average speed of 18 m.p.h.

"Fueled by coal, wood and bits of paper, the car takes half an hour to forty minutes to build up enough steam to drive. Top speed is 38 miles per hour (61 km/h).

As the oldest car, it wore the number "0" in the 1996 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. The vehicle was sold at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance for US$3,520,000" (Wikipedia article on La Marquise, accessed 10-09-2011).