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World's Oldest Running Car Up For Auction

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On: Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 11:09AM | By: Chris Weiss


World's Oldest Running Car Up For Auction

Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler are credited with each having developed the first internal combustion cars in 1886. Those developments paved the way for the modern ICE-powered cars that we drive today, and Mercedes Benz has been celebrating the 125th anniversary of this accomplishment all year.

Two years before Benz and Daimler, this De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout was built. According to RM Auctions, the 1884 Steam Runabout is the world's oldest car still in running condition. And it will be up for auction in two weeks.

Commissioned by French entrepreneur, Count de Dion, and built by Georges Bouton and Charles-Armand Trepardoux, the 1884 De Dion steamer features twin compound steam engines that provide about 20 miles of driving with a 40-gallon tank of water. The car seats four on top of the steel water tank and features spade-handle steering. It was nicknamed La Marquise after Count de Dion's mother.

The car also participated in the first automobile race in 1887, where it hit speeds up to 37 mph. Though it's more than 125 years old, the Steam Roundabout has passed through only four sets of hands—including an 81-year stint under single ownership.

RM Auctions' Rob Meyers explains the car's significance: "’La Marquise’ is arguably one of the most important motor cars in the world. 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."

The car, which recently participated in four London to Brighton runs, is expected to fetch between $2 and $2.5 million. It will headline a pack of more than 115 cars at RM's Hershey event on October 6 and 7.

Check out the video below for more on the 1884 Steam Roundabout and the press release for information on some of the other vehicles at the auction.

PRESS RELEASE:

WORLD’S OLDEST RUNNING MOTOR CAR TO BE AUCTIONED AT RM’S HERSHEY SALE

Hershey

-RM Auctions Hershey sale returns October 6 – 7, 2011; catalog now available online

-Historic 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout leads impressive roster of 115 automobiles and select range of memorabilia

-Additional highlights include a select series of motor cars from the renowned Nethercutt Collection and a series of early electric cars RM returns as the official sponsor of the ‘Night of the Museum’, October 5

BLENHEIM, Ontario (September 22, 2011) – The world’s oldest running motor car, a historic 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout will cross the auction podium next month as part of RM Auctions’ popular Hershey, Pennsylvania sale (October 6 – 7, 2011).

Commissioned by French entrepreneur, Count de Dion, and built by Georges Bouton and Charles-Armand Trepardoux, the 1884 De Dion steamer was nicknamed ‘La Marquise’ after the Count de Dion’s mother. Measuring just nine feet in length, ‘La Marquise’ features twin compound steam engines, ‘spade handle’ steering and seats four people ‘dos-a-dos’ (back-to-back). The seats are located on top of the steel tank, which holds 40 gallons of water, good for about 20 miles; its sophisticated boiler, fed by coal or coke, can be steamed in 45 minutes.

With just four owners from new, including 81 years in single ownership, La Marquise boasts an impressive provenance – it was a participant in the first automobile race in 1887, clocking a top speed of 37 mph on the straights, and a double award-winner at the 1997 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. A fully functioning car, it recently successfully completed four London to Brighton runs in the UK where it was always the first car away as the oldest entry. (Est. $2,000,000 - $2,500,000).

“’La Marquise’ is arguably one of the most important motor cars in the world,” says Rob Myers, 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.”

The remarkable 1884 De Dion leads an impressive roster of over 115 automobiles and a select range of memorabilia for the RM Hershey sale. Held during the famed AACA Eastern Regional Fall Meet in Hershey, the sale boasts a strong track record for early, brass-era automobiles, achieving an unprecedented 100% sell-through in 2010.

Continuing RM’s reputation as the specialists for private and estate collections, additional sale highlights for the 2011 sale include a wonderful selection of eight rare American cars from the distinguished Nethercutt Collection, headlined by a handsome 1931 Studebaker President Eight Four-Seasons Roadster (Est. $60,000 - $70,000); and a well-documented 1927 Packard Six Five-Passenger Phaeton, the last of the big Packard Sixes (Est. $70,000 - $90,000).

The sale will also feature a fascinating collection of early electric vehicles, including a 1903 Columbia Electric Surrey, the only known survivor (Est. $70,000 - $90,000); a rare Swiss-built 1905 Tribelhorn Electric Brougham (Est. $70,000 - $90,000); and an unusual 1913 Argo Electric Fore-Drive Limousine (Est. $100,000 - $150,000).

Additional highlights include:

· a high-horsepower 1913 Pope Hartford 50 HP Four-Passenger Touring Phaeton, perfect for vintage touring (Est. $550,000 - $650,000);

· a beautifully-restored 1913 Stevens-Duryea Model C 5-Passenger Touring, one of as few as 10 surviving examples (Est. $200,000 - $300,000);

· an extremely rare, highly original 1912 Mercedes 28/50 PS Town Car (Est. $225,000 - $275,000);

· a 1936 Packard Super 8 Seven-Passenger Phaeton, ordered new for White House Garage with sale proceeds benefiting the Packard Proving Grounds (Est. $175,000 - $225,000); and,

· a 1904 Oldsmobile “French Front” Touring Runabout, the first Olds with a steering wheel (Est. $60,000 - $80,000)

For full event details, a complete list of auction offerings or to view the digital catalog, visit www.rmauctions.com or call +1 519 352 4575.

In addition to the auction, RM returns as the presenting sponsor of this year’s Night at the Museum evening at Hershey’s AACA Museum. Scheduled for October 5 and themed ‘Celebrating the Motoring Hobby’, this year’s event provides a wonderful kick start to meet festivities, providing a casual atmosphere in which to mingle with fellow enthusiasts, enjoy live entertainment, and raise important funds to support the AACA group of families and its mission to preserve automotive history. For further details and ticket information, please visit www.nightatthemuseum.org.

Event Details – RM Hershey

Night at the Museum: October 5, 2011 (AACA Museum, 161 Museum Drive, Hershey, PA)

Sale dates: October 6, 2011 October 7, 2011

Preview dates: October 6, 2011 October 7, 2011

Location: Hershey Lodge, West Chocolate Avenue and University Drive, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 17033

Admission: Admission requires the purchase of an official auction catalog available for $100 US. The catalog admits two and must be presented at the entrance of the sale to be granted entry.

For those unable to attend the event in person, Internet, absentee, Smartphone and telephone bidding options are available, and the auction will stream live online at www.rmauctions.com, providing real-time coverage of the event.

For event and ticket information for the Night at the Museum evening, please visit www.nightatthemuseum.org.




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