The World’s Oldest Running Car

A French count named Jules-Albert de Dion built the world’s oldest car that’s still fully functional, La Marquise, in 1884 and entered it in the first car race ever three years later, where de Dion turned out to be the only entrant. Karl Benz patented the gasoline engine in 1886, so La Marquise was running before today’s cars were even invented; and it was actually de Dion’s second attempt at car-making, after the first one caught on fire. He was the first to sell cars, in catalogs, and his family tried to get injunctions against his company because they saw it is a waste of time playing with toys.

It seats four people and is steam-powered, so it has a boiler filled with water and a furnace where it burns coal, wood or whatever else you dump in there in order to boil the water. It takes about 30 minutes to start up and its top speed is 38mph. Also it has no roof, so you could call it a convertible that doesn’t convert. Below is an interesting five-minute video about the car that shows it running:


It will be auctioned on October 7th in Hershey, Pennsylvania at the famous RM car auction as lot #259.

From Gizmag and RM Auctions, via Slashdot

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