Historic De Dion Bouton sells for staggering $4.6m at US auction
The world's oldest working car, a 1884 De Dion Bouton, has exceeded all expectations and sold for a stunning $4.6m (£2.9m) at auction in the United States.
The car was one of the highlights of the RM Auctions Hershey sale in Pennsylvania on 7 October and, as we mentioned last month, was expected to attract a lot of attention from collectors.
The sale price, more than double the car's original estimate, has set a new world record for an early motor car sold at auction.
De Dion Bouton 'Steamer'
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 the auction stage.
Attracting a starting bid of $500,000 and immediately jumping to $1m bidding moved swiftly to more applause from the crowd, with the gavel eventually falling at an extraordinary $4.2m. The final sales price of $4.62m includes 10% buyers' premium and the new owner joins an elite list of just five collectors to have claimed ownership of La Marquise over its well-documented history.
RM Auctions' Chairman and founder, Rob Myers, was understandably delighted with the result and the interest the car attracted, commenting: "The world's leading automotive collectors recognised the incredibly rare opportunity the sale represented, as was reflected in the spirited bidding and impressive result."
You can see more of La Marquise in the video below.