The world’s oldest operating car still command a pretty penny.
A steam-powered car sold for a whopping $4.6 million at a Hershey, Pa. auction. The bid — which includes a 10 percent buyer’s premium — is the highest ever paid for an early automobile at auction, CNN reports. The auction company, RM Auctions, had expected to fetch half that.
The car, originally built in France in 1884 for the French Count De Dion, is nicknamed “La Marquise.” It is fueled by coal, wood and paper. The vehicle takes about a half hour to generate enough steam to drive and tops out at 38 miles per hour. It almost reached that speed in 1887 at the world’s first automobile race, according to RM Auctions.
Here’s a bit of auto trivia for you: La Marquise was built a year before Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz of Germany, founders of Daimler, which manufactures Mercedes-Benz luxury vehicles, built their first experimental gasoline-powered cars. Twelve years after La Marquise’s debut, Henry Ford also finished his first garage-built auto, later founding the Ford Motor Company.