What is the world's oldest car?


Quick Answer

The world's oldest car is the steam-powered De Dion-Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Runabout. It was built in 1884 in France.

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Full Answer

The world's oldest existing car is a French-built vehicle dating from 1884. It was financed by the Comte de Dion and engineered by Georges Bouton and Charles-Armand Trepardoux. It can seat four people back-to-back, and it runs on two steam engines, which drive the rear wheels.

Comte de Dion dubbed the De Dion Bouton Et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout "La Marquise," after his own mother. The vehicle was the second prototype of de Dion's commission for 30 cars in total.

The vehicle is mostly coal and water powered, but drivers can also supplement the fuel with wood and paper. The engine takes around half an hour to heat up and work up steam. It can drive as fast as 38 mph, and it can drive 20 miles on a full "tank."

La Marquise is not only the oldest car in existence, it is also the sole survivor of the first car race that took place in 1887.

The car went up for auction in 2011 in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and it sold for $4.6 million.

A British car built in 1875 also claims to be the world's oldest car, but as that vehicle only has three wheels, most consider La Marquise to be the oldest modern automobile.

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