World’s Oldest Running Car (Video)

This fantastic looking car is 127 years old, and has been sold at an auction in the US. It sold for $US4.62Million, and believe it or not in the history of this car the new owner is only the 5th person to own it.

The model of the car is a De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout, (it’s a mouthful 🙂 ) better known as the De Dion. The car was built in 1884.
In the photos of the car, and in the video, on the side it has written; La Marquise, I have no idea if there was different makes of this model, maybe someone may know the answer to that one.
Whoever the other 4 owners were they certainly looked after it for the time it was in their possession.

There is a small article about this in the Sydney Morning Herald.
There is also a photo gallery with 8 photos showing the motor etc. in the Sydney Morning Herald photo gallery.

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30 Responses to World’s Oldest Running Car (Video)

  1. El Guapo says:

    Nice, but where would I strap on my surfboard?

  2. HolEssence says:

    No wonder they wore hats, goggles, and driving gloves — exposed to the elements like that!

  3. Rebekah says:

    Wow! How the exterior have changed of these machines! BUT it had four wheels and an engine..

  4. malc50 says:

    Hi Mags, According to YouTube, it was “Named “La Marquise” after the Count de Dion’s mother”. Cheers, Mal.

  5. E.C. says:

    Amazing. Who’d of thunk it, from the vehicles way-back-then that there would ever be sleeker more aerodynamic designs of the vehicles of today. 🙂

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi E.C.,
      So very true, when you watch the old clips in the video it is so easy to wonder what these people back then would of thought about what we have today. 🙂

  6. Texasjune says:

    I seem to remember articles about embedding “controllers” in new roadways to provide electronic auto-pilot type driving for passenger cars. I don’t know if it was the technology of magnets like you mentioned in a comment.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Texasjune,
      You are right.
      The “controllers” will be needed for the new cars that are not yet on the market, but can be seen at different car shows. These new cars can park themselves at the press of a button. I will not say too much more, as I do plan on doing a post about these cars. 😀

  7. Kymbo says:

    All early cars were hand built and each one was an improvement over the last, it’s common for each car to be different in at least several ways. It stands to reason that they would have had different model codes for each car. That’s a lot of money for an old car…I didn’t get near that for my last old Ford..

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Kymbo,
      It goes to prove you should hang on to your old cars, keep them in tip top shape, hand them down through generations, and someone in the family will eventually became a millionaire. 😀

  8. Selma says:

    Amazing that it still runs. It is certainly a fabulous piece of history!

  9. travelrat says:

    Remarkable!

    I remember a ride in a 1908 De Dion (which I believe is still running) which had a petrol engine. I’m surprised steam cars didn’t catch on more; steam lorries and road engines were being made until well into the 30s … I guess people just didn’t want the hassle of firing up if they wanted to go anywhere.

    One thing did come out of those steam cars which has lasted to this day … originally, ‘chauffeur’ was French for ‘stoker’!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi travelrat,
      Oh that would of been fun to have a ride in a 1908 car.
      I didn’t know that chauffeur was French for stoker, how very interesting.

      • “chauffer” means “to heat”, so a “chauffeur” is a person who heats, in other words a “stoker” for engines that need to be loaded with wood or coal, not to mention greased and filled with water. I suppose that they were the “motor mechanics” of yester-year. They knew how the car worked, so knew how to drive it. And then owners started wanting to drive their own cars (boys and their toys), motors evolved, cars became cheaper (yes, yes, they did) and people who couldn’t necessarily afford to employ a “chauffeur” full-time, started just hiring them to do the dirty work on the car to keep it running. Today’s “chauffeurs” are supposed to have some mechanical knowledge (and the good ones do) but the limo driver at your local rent-a-limo place might not. Which means that he is not a”chauffeur”; he’s just a driver.

        • travelrat says:

          A very good summary, Lady M!

          Like the coachman of old, the chauffeur had to serve his time in a lesser role. In some countries, I believe you actually have to qualify for a separate licence if you’re driving ‘for hire or reward’ (same as a pilot does)

          But, it’s another word that got devalued … same as ‘chef’, which, in some cases, has become just a synonym for ‘cook’

  10. aFrankAngle says:

    Awesome. Sure seems that we commonly forget about the role of the steam-powered car & it’s link to rail engine. This makes more sense than the sudden appearance of a gas engine. Great find.

  11. Oooh, we are a real car family and I love old vehicles like this. What a gem. But did you hear in the video it has neither a steering wheel OR brakes?! And one has to hope for a down wind when driving it so all that steam wouldn’t end up in your face! Lucky that it has survived all these years.

  12. Val says:

    That’s amazing! 🙂

  13. Storm Rider says:

    too cool.. thanks for sharing! : )

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