The worlds oldest running motor car, a historic 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout (pictured) 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 Dions 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 dElegance. 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 worlds 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 RMs 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)