Hershey, Pennsylvania – A steam-powered 1884 DeDion Bouton car claimed to be the world’s oldest running motor vehicle brought a record US$4.62 million at the RM Auction sale in Hershey, Pennsylvania last week.
The DeDion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout sold for double its pre-auction estimate at the sale, held during the annual Antique Automobile Club of America’s (AACA) car show and swap meet in Hershey. It represents a new 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 starting bid of $500,000 and immediately jumped to $1,000,000. The price before the 10 per cent buyer’s premium was $4,200,000.
The car has had just five owners in its well-documented history and was a participant in the first automobile race in 1887, where it reached a top speed of 37 mph (59 km/h) on the straights. It also won a double award at the 1997 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and successfully completed four London to Brighton runs in the U.K.