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

  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again
  • Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
    First Drive
    13 October 2017
    Off-road estate is now bigger, more spacious and available with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, but is it enough to make its German rivals anxious?