The world’s oldest car, an 1884 De Dion Bouton Et Trepardoux, was just sold at auction for $4.6 million.
RM Auctions estimated that the steam powered car would fetch about $2 million. But their expectations were swiftly surpassed as the steam engine car became the most expensive car purchased at auction. The Daily Mail notes that the final price of $4.2 million was bumped up by a 10% buyers fee that goes to the auction house.
The three-wheeled water powered car, known as “La Marquise,” predates the “birth of the automobile,” when Karl Benz was granted the first patents to build a gasoline-powered car in 1886.
Fox reports that “La Marquise,” which was officially billed as the “oldest running motor car,” could carry four people at a speed of 37 mph. Only 20 “La Marquise” cars were produced and only 6 are left in existence. The one that just sold at auction was also in the world’s first automobile race in 1887.
In order to drive the world’s oldest car, you had to heat the water reservoir with coal, wood, or paper for about a half an hour before enough steam was built up to propel the car.
The recent buyer, who decided to stay anonymous, is only the fifth person to own the car in the last 127 years. The car was last sold in 2007 for $3.5 million.
Who do you think purchased the world’s oldest car?