Held during the AACA Eastern Regional Fall Meet, the 2011 RM Auctions Hershey sale saw the world’s oldest running motor car, a historic 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout, sell for $4.62 million, more than double its original pre-sale estimate.
Commissioned by French entrepreneur, Count de Dion and named ‘La Marquise’ after his mother, the 127 year old vehicle drew a standing ovation from the audience as it drove onto RM’s Hershey auction stage. Attracting a starting bid of $500,000 and immediately jumping to $1,000,000, bidding moved swiftly to applause from the crowd, with the gavel eventually falling at $4,200,000. The final sales price of $4,620,000 includes the 10% buyers’ premium.
“We were honored to have been entrusted with the sale of this most important motor car from the renowned collection of the late Mr. John O’Quinn. The world’s leading automotive collectors recognized the incredibly rare opportunity the sale represented, as was reflected in the spirited bidding and impressive result,” said Rob Myers, Chairman & Founder, RM Auctions following the sale.
The new owner joins a list of just five collectors to have claimed ownership of La Marquise over its well-documented history. In addition to being the world’s oldest running motor car, La Marquise’s provenance includes participation in the first automobile race in 1887, where it reached a top speed of 37 mph on the straights, along with a double award at the famed 1997 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. In addition, La Marquise has also successfully completed four London to Brighton runs in the UK.
RM Auctions offered 115 cars for sale, with 97 finding new owners, reflecting an 84% sale rate. The total sales volume was $10,062,450 and the average price per car sold was $103,736.
RM Auctions Hershey 2011 – Top Ten Auction Results
1. 1884 De Dion Bouton Et Trepardoux Dos-A-Dos Steam Runabout – $4,620,000
2. 1912 Mercedes 28/50 PS Town Car – $253,000
3. 1938 Lincoln Model K Convertible Victoria – $203,500
4. 1935 Packard Twelve Coupe Roadster – $181,500
5. 1930 Cord L-29 Boattail Speedster – $165,000
[Source: RM Auctions]