The De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout


RM Auctions of the USA will auction off the world’s oldest running car next month. Imaginatively named, the 1884 car is referred to as a De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout.

Luckily they also nicknamed it ‘La Marquise’ after the mother of the French entrepreneur that commissioned it, Count de Dion. The car was built by George Bouton and Charles-Armand Trepardoux.

It measures just 2.74 metres in length and features twin compound steam engines, which allows a travelling range of around 32km after a 45-minute coal or coke steam. Not quite a BMW M3 rival, the La Marquise will reach a top speed of 59km/h.

Other novelties include ‘spade handle’ steering, the level of power assistance depending on when last you saw the inside of a gym, and the car seats four people back-to-back. These seats are positioned atop a steel tank that holds 150 litres of water.

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