We were wrong. Despite appearances, our grandfather’s Geo Metro is, in fact, not the world’s oldest car. The world’s oldest car is the De Dion-Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout (thankfully nicknamed “La Marquise“); the car was built in France in 1884 and on Friday (Oct. 7), sold for $4.6 million in a Hershey, Pennsylvania auction.
The steam-power car has a top speed of 38 miles per hour and has had only four owners in its lifetime; this is according to RM Auctions, not CarFax. La Marquise participated in the first automobile race (held in 1887) and made several London-to-Brighton runs.
La Marquise, however, is not without controversy. Certain media outlets note that an 1875 British car housed at the National Motor Museum of Britain claims to be the world’s oldest; however, it has only three wheels, requires as an attendant for the boiler and “bears little resemblance to a modern automobile.”
La Marquise was constructed for Count De Dion, a French nobleman; the car was named after the count’s mother.
P.S. The Geo Metro fetched $950 on Craigslist.