Steam-powered 1884 De Dion Bouton goes up for auction in California
11 July 2007

What is claimed to be the world's oldest car is up for sale at Pebble Beach, California in August, if you have a spare £1m or so.

The car is a De Dion Bouton & Trepardoux, known as La Marquise. It was made in 1884 – a year before Daimler and Benz made their first machine, and 11 years before Autocar was established.

La Marquise is powered by a steam boiler, and is credited with winning the world's first car race, from Paris to Neuilly and back in 1887, at an average of 27mph. Top speed is said to be 38mph (presumably if you're burning the right blend of wood, coal and paper).

The De Dion is said to have only had three owners in its lifetime. It will be auctioned by Gooding & Co at Pebble Beach on 19 August.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out