A 127-year-old steam-powered car will be auctioned off for millions in Hershey, Pa., on Oct. 6, by the automotive auction house RM Auctions.
The 1884 De Dion-Bouton Et Trepardoux Dos-A-Dos Steam Runabout is the world’s oldest car that is still running and drivable.
Built for the French Count de Dion in 1881 and later nicknamed “La Marquise,” the steam-powered car is only nine feet long and weighs 2,100 pounds.
Confirmed by the leading historians as the “world’s oldest running motor car,” La Marquise is one of the most important motor cars in the world, said Rob Myers of RM Auctions in his press release.
The little quadricycle “can claim to be the first family car, despite its arcane power source,” according to RM Auctions. “It has four wheels, four seats and can be driven by one person -- like a modern car.”
The just four owners’ old vintage car also participated in the world's first automobile race in 1895. Powered by paper, wood and coal, it can cover 20 miles on a tank of water with a maximum speed of 38mph. But it takes 45 minutes to get steamed up.
De Dion Bouton was a star attraction in a sale when it was last up for sale in Pebble Beach, Calif., where it was bought for $3.5 million in 2007.
The car's value is estimated to be between $2 million and $2.5 million and will be auctioned in perfectly drivable and running condition.