Any guesses on the world’s oldest running motorcar? Hands down, it’s the 1884 De Dion Bouton Et Trepardoux Dos-A-Dos Steam Runabout, nicknamed “La Marquise.” Winner of the first car race in 1887—it was the only vehicle to show up—it has a top speed of 38mph, and is capable of running 20 miles on a tank of water. Amazingly, it was in one family for 81 years and has had only four owners since new. A double award winner at Pebble Beach in 1997, “La Marquise is expected to sell for $2m-$2.5m at RM’s auction tomorrow in Hershey, Pa.
UPDATE: The DeDion Bouton sold for $4.62m, almost double its high estimate, establishing a new auction record for an early motorcar.
Just as remarkable, in its way, is the 1913 Argo Electric Fore-Drive Limousine that RM is also offering. Powered by a Model C. 80-volt Westinghouse DC motor, and with a 5-speed controller, it’s an example of the last golden age of the electric car, which lasted from about 1910 to 1918. Formerly in the Cousens and McMullen Collections, it’s estimated at $100,000-$150,000.
Read more at RM.