How much would the world’s oldest running motor car fetch when sold? Well, the final sales price was enough to break the world record for an early motor car sold at auction at $4.62 million. This car is no other than the 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout, which was recently placed under the hammer at RM Auctions in Hershey, Pennsylvania. To note, the $4.62 million sale price is more than double its original pre-sale estimate.
The 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout was commissioned by Count de Dion, naming it 'La Marquise' after his mother. When the car was driven onto RM's Hershey auction stage, it was historic enough to draw a standing ovation from the audience. Starting bid was $500,000, which instantly surged to $1,000,000. By the time the bidding reached $4,200,000, the hammer finally struck.
Once the 10-percent buyers' premium is included, the final sales price reached $4,620,000. Its new owner becomes one of the elite five collectors who boast of having La Marquise in their collection. This historic motor car took part in the first auto race in 1887, logging 37 mph in top speed on the straights. It also grabbed a double award at the 1997 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
Moreover, the 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout has completed four London to Brighton runs in the United Kingdom. Rob Myers, Chairman and Founder of RM Auctions, remarked that the company had the honor of selling what is considered as the most important motor car from the collection of the John O'Quinn.
He remarked that the rare opportunity of owning such a historic car has been recognized by leading collectors in the world and was reflected in the spirited bidding and the final price.