The Oldest Working Car in the World

Author: Jason / Date: August 8, 2022 / Tags: classic cars

The Oldest Working Car in the World

( – Several cars have solidified their spot in automotive history. However, some stand out for a number of reasons, perhaps they helped shape the industry, or they have historical significance. The oldest working car in the world seems to do a little bit of both, being a stepping stone for the automotive industry while being a piece of history. 

The 1884 de Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout is the world’s oldest working car. Despite being nearly 140 years old, this car still functions properly and commands a pretty penny for anyone wanting to buy it, selling for over $4.6 million at an auction in 2011. 

Marquis Jules Félix Philippe Albert de Dion de Wandonne, a French automotive pioneer, commissioned the car and engineers Georges Bouton and Charles Trépardoux built it. It won the world’s first car race in 1887. The Dos-a-Dos part of the name stems from the “back-to-back” seating configuration, providing four seats and making it the first “family car.”

The “La Marquise,” nicknamed for Count de Dion’s mother, is a steam-powered car capable of going a reported 38 miles per hour. It could travel as far as 20 miles on a single 40-gallon tank of water — after warming up for half an hour to produce steam, that is. In addition to seating four people and winning the first-ever car race, the La Marquise also featured other innovations. It was the first to provide front-wheel steering through a handle that a single driver could control and rear-wheel power drives from its dual engines. 

At almost 140 years old, the fact it still works and can legally travel on the road makes the vehicle incredibly special.

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