Built by hand in Paris 127 years ago (1884) by Georges Bouton and Charles-Armand Trepardoux at the request of the young Count De Dion, this antique machine with the four back-to-back seats and four wheels, the 1884 “La Marquise” as it was then known, is by all accounts the worlds first family car.
The steam powered vehicle was fairly new to the surface of the earth, and a user friendly manner of operating the car had yet to be established. The La Marquise was comparably simple and could be driven by a single driver with a range of about 20 miles on a single 40 gallon tank of water.
Entered by De Dion in the world’s first car race, a round trip from Paris to Versaille and back, the La Marquise outperformed the pack. This was largely thanks to the fact that De Dion was the only driver to show up AND managed to average 16 mph for the 20 mile course.
By the mid 1890s the gasoline powered vehicle had largely pushed steam technology to the wayside, and the old hand crafted era of the La Marquise was soon to give way to Henry Ford’s Detroit assembly lines.
This vehicle is a looking glass into another time and place, worlds away, like an old black and white movie existing as reality before your eyes. The auction takes place October 7th in Pennsylvania. So if you have the day off, and at least 2 million dollars to spare, then it may be a last minute flight worth booking.
Phoenix Valley auto enthusiasts should plan on attending the Phoenix Arizona International Auto Show taking place at the Phoenix Arizona Convention center over Thanksgiving weekend to see more one of a kind vehicles and concept cars. Phoenix Valley auto enthusiasts should also plan on attending the Barrett Jackson Classic and Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale this coming January.