Saturday, October 1, 2011

Steam Punk: World’s Oldest Working Car to be Auctioned Off in October

For Sale: ’84 De Dion Bouton Et Trepardoux Dos-A-Dos “La Marquise”. Low kilometre (mileage), twin engined four-seat convertible with leather / wood interior, only four owners since new and restored in the mid-‘90s by a dedicated individual. Would suit classic car / steam enthusiast with large amounts of disposable income. Price is US$2 - $2.5 million (€1.5 - 1.9 million) ONO with all enquiries to RM Auctions, Pennsylvania.

At 127 years, the 1884 De Dion Bouton Et Trepardoux Dos-A-Dos or “La Marquise” is the world’s oldest running motor car. It’s a steam-powered quadricycle built by toymakers Georges Bouton and Charles-Armand Trepardoux with the financial backing of the Comte Di Dion in 1884.
It’s 9 feet (2.7 metres) long, weighs 2,100 pounds (953 kilograms), has solid axles front and rear and dos-a-dos (back-to-back) seating for four.
It’s self-stoking / self-watering upright boiler that can generate steam in just 45 minutes, with a top speed of 37 mph (60 km/h) and a range of 20 miles (32 kilometres). The boxy structure around the boiler holds coke or coal and there’s a 40 gallon (151 litres) water tank under the seats.
In 1889, it cost 4,400 francs (US$850 / €630) back when the average wage was about 1,800 francs a year, though now it’s expected to fetch nearly as much as a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.
This particular example was sold to Henri Doriol in 1906, who kept it in the family for 81 years before auctioning it off in 1987. It was bought by Tim Moore, a member of the British Veteran Car Club who had it running within a year.
Since then it’s participated in numerous concours and classic drives and picked up awards at Pebble Beach, Goodwood and others. It’s all fully documented and is a reluctant sale on the part of Mr. Moore, who couldn’t bring himself to leave it to only one of his two children:
“I can’t cut it in half but it’s been a real wrench putting the papers together. I’m a very reluctant seller.”
Only about 30 “La Marquise” were built and only 4 or 5 of them were quadricycles like this one. It will be on the auction block at RM Auctions, Pennsylvania on October 7 and it's expected to fetch between US$2 to $2.5 million (€1.5 to 1.9 million).
By Tristan Hankins
Story References , Photo Credits: RM Auctions




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