Under The Hood

Oldest running car, famous collection cars to be offered during Hershey

The brass-era section of the AACA’s Eastern Fall Meet show field will have some serious competition from RM Auctions’ lineup during its Hershey auction, slated for Oct. 6-7 at the Hershey Lodge.

The RM Auctions catalog shows a fantastic selection of early motor cars, including the oldest-known running automobile, an 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos steam runabout. Its also expected to fetch the highest amount during the sale, as its pre-sale estimate is in the $2-2.5 million range.

According to RM Auctions, the car was commissioned by French entrepreneur Count de Dion and built by Georges Bouton and Charles-Armand Trepardoux. The auction company goes on to say, “the 1884 De Dion steamer was nicknamed ‘La Marquise’ after the Count de Dion’s mother.  Measuring just nine feet in length, ‘La Marquise’ features twin compound steam engines, ‘spade handle’ steering and seats four people ‘dos-a-dos’ (back-to-back). The seats are located on top of the steel tank, which holds 40 gallons of water, good for about 20 miles; its sophisticated boiler, fed by coal or coke, can be steamed in 45 minutes.

“With just four owners from new, including 81 years in single ownership, La Marquise boasts an impressive provenance – it was a participant in the first automobile race in 1887, clocking a top speed of 37 mph on the straights, and a double award-winner at the 1997 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. A fully functioning car, it recently successfully completed four London to Brighton runs in the UK where it was always the first car away as the oldest entry.”

Harrah, Nethercutt collection cars to be offered
Hobbyists will be interested to learn several former Harrah Collection cars, as well as eight cars from the Nethercutt Collection, will also be part of the sale.

Among the notable ex-Harrah cars is a 1913 Pope Hartford touring, 1931 Hudson Greater Eight boat-tail sport roadster, 1932 Hupmobile Series-I coupe, 1936 Pierce-Arrow Twelve sedan and a 1921 Hudson Super Six speedster (phaeton).

Of the 250-plus cars in the Nethercutt Collection, RM Auctions will offer eight examples to the public. Those cars include a 1922 Overland Model 4 sedan, 1928 Velie Model 60 convertible coupe, 1927 Packard Six phaeton, 1931 Studebaker President Eight Four Seasons roadster, 1917 Chandler Type 17 touring 1928 Nash Special Six coupe and a 1931 DeVaux 6-75 coupe. The 1931 Reo Royale sedan also offered was originally purchased by collection founder J.B. Nethercutt to represent a 1933 Royale Victoria his aunt, Merle Norman, owned. Nethercutt soon found a more similar representative of his aunt’s car, yet kept this car, which is now offered for sale. Presumably, this and the other eight cars are being offered to simply thin the Nethercutt Collection’s large herd.

1936 Packard phaeton sale to benefit Packard Proving Grounds
To fund the final parcel of land sought by the Packard Motor Car Foundation for the Packard Proving Grounds, a 1936 Packard Super Eight phaeton ordered new for the White House garage during the Roosevelt administration will be offered during the RM Auctions sale. The first $100,000 of the car’s estimated sale price of $175,000-225,000, plus RM Auctions’ commission, will be donated to the worthy cause. The winning bidder will not only get the satisfaction of a fine automobile with unbeatable provenance, but the knowledge his purchase funded a worthy cause.

Related Resources

Get up-to-date pricing from the 2012 Collector Car Price Guide

Travel through the ’30s with Just ’30s and reprints of 1933 Automobile Digest issues

 

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