$4.6 Million might seem like a lot for a vehicle, but as CNN reports, last week, the world’s oldest running car was sold at a Hershey, PA auction for just that! RM Auctions, the company that auctioned the car, had predicted that the car would sell for about half that amount. The $4.6 Million bid represents the highest price ever paid for an early automobile at auction. It had been last sold in 2007 for around $3.5 million at a Pebble Beach, CA auction.
The steam-powered car was built in France in 1884, two years before Daimler and Benz independently built their first experimental gasoline-powered cars and 12 years before Henry Ford finished his first garage-built car.
The De Dion-Bouton et Trepardoux, fueled by coal, wood and bits of paper, was nicknamed “La Marquise” and was originally built for the French Count De Dion, one of the company’s founders. It still runs today and takes about half an hour to work up enough steam to drive. Its top speed is 38 miles per hour — not exactly a race car, but amazing for its time.