The star consignment for the 2011 RM Hershey sale is the world’s oldest running motor car, an 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout. Commissioned by French entrepreneur, Count de Dion, and built by Georges Bouton and Charles-Armand Trepardoux, the 1884 De Dion steamer was nicknamed ‘La Marquise’ after the Count de Dion’s mother. Measuring just nine feet in length, ‘La Marquise’ features twin compound steam engines, ‘spade handle’ steering and seats four people ‘dos-a-dos’ (back-to-back). The seats are located on top of the steel tank, which holds 40 gallons of water, good for about 20 miles; its sophisticated boiler, fed by coal or coke, can be steamed in 45 minutes.
With just four owners from new, including 81 years in single ownership, La Marquise boasts an impressive provenance – it was a participant in the first automobile race in 1887, clocking a top speed of 37 mph on the straights, and a double award-winner at the 1997 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. A fully functioning car, it recently successfully completed four London to Brighton runs in the UK where it was always the first car away as the oldest entry. It carries a pre-sale estimate of $2,000,000 to $2,500,000.
“’La Marquise’ is arguably one of the most important motor cars in the world,” says Rob Myers, RM Auctions. “With its impeccable provenance, fully-documented history and confirmation by leading historians as the world’s oldest running motor car, its sale represents a once-in-a-lifetime ownership opportunity for savvy collectors, unlikely ever to be repeated.”
The remarkable 1884 De Dion leads a roster of over 115 automobiles and a select range of memorabilia for the 2011 RM Hershey sale. Held during the famed AACA Eastern Regional Fall Meet in Hershey, the sale boasts a track record for early, brass-era automobiles, achieving an unprecedented 100% sell-through in 2010.
Additional sale highlights for the 2011 auction include a selection of eight rare American cars from the distinguished Nethercutt Collection, headlined by a 1931 Studebaker President Eight Four-Seasons Roadster (Est. $60,000 – $70,000); and a well-documented 1927 Packard Six Five-Passenger Phaeton, the last of the big Packard Sixes (Est. $70,000 – $90,000).
The 2011 Hershey sale will also feature a collection of early electric vehicles, including a 1903 Columbia Electric Surrey, the only known survivor (Est. $70,000 – $90,000); a rare Swiss-built 1905 Tribelhorn Electric Brougham (Est. $70,000 – $90,000); and an unusual 1913 Argo Electric Fore-Drive Limousine (Est. $100,000 – $150,000).
Additional highlights include:
- 1913 Pope Hartford 50 HP Four-Passenger Touring Phaeton, perfect for vintage touring (Est. $550,000 – $650,000);
- 1913 Stevens-Duryea Model C 5-Passenger Touring, one of as few as 10 surviving examples (Est. $200,000 – $300,000);
- 1912 Mercedes 28/50 PS Town Car (Est. $225,000 – $275,000);
- 1936 Packard Super 8 Seven-Passenger Phaeton, ordered new for White House Garage with sale proceeds benefiting the Packard Proving Grounds (Est. $175,000 – $225,000); and,
- 1904 Oldsmobile “French Front” Touring Runabout, the first Olds with a steering wheel (Est. $60,000 – $80,000)
In addition to the auction, RM returns as the presenting sponsor of this year’s Night at the Museum evening at Hershey’s AACA Museum. Scheduled for October 5 and themed ‘Celebrating the Motoring Hobby’, this year’s event provides a kick-off to the festivities, providing a casual atmosphere in which to mingle with fellow enthusiasts, enjoy live entertainment, and raise important funds to support the AACA group of families and its mission to preserve automotive history. For more information, visit www.nightatthemuseum.org.
Event Details – RM Auctions Hershey 2011
Night at the Museum: October 5, 2011 (AACA Museum, 161 Museum Drive, Hershey, PA)
Sale dates: October 6-7, 2011
Preview dates: October 6-7, 2011
Location: Hershey Lodge, West Chocolate Avenue and University Drive, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 17033
Admission: Admission requires the purchase of an official auction catalog available for $80 US. The catalog admits two and must be presented at the entrance of the sale to be granted entry.
For additional information, visit www.rmauctions.com or call +1 519 352 4575.
[Source: RM Auctions]