RM Auctions Hershey 2011 – Auction Results

1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout RM Auction recordRM Auctions held its 2011 Hershey auction on October 6-7 at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania, resulting in a new world record for an early motor car sold at auction.

Held during the AACA Eastern Regional Fall Meet, the 2011 RM Auctions Hershey sale saw the world’s oldest running motor car, a historic 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout, sell for $4.62 million, more than double its original pre-sale estimate.

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 RM’s Hershey auction stage. Attracting a starting bid of $500,000 and immediately jumping to $1,000,000, bidding moved swiftly to applause from the crowd, with the gavel eventually falling at $4,200,000. The final sales price of $4,620,000 includes the 10% buyers’ premium.

“We were honored to have been entrusted with the sale of this most important motor car from the renowned collection of the late Mr. John O’Quinn. The world’s leading automotive collectors recognized the incredibly rare opportunity the sale represented, as was reflected in the spirited bidding and impressive result,” said Rob Myers, Chairman & Founder, RM Auctions following the sale.

The new owner joins a list of just five collectors to have claimed ownership of La Marquise over its well-documented history. In addition to being the world’s oldest running motor car, La Marquise’s provenance includes participation in the first automobile race in 1887, where it reached a top speed of 37 mph on the straights, along with a double award at the famed 1997 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. In addition, La Marquise has also successfully completed four London to Brighton runs in the UK.

RM Auctions offered 115 cars for sale, with 97 finding new owners, reflecting an 84% sale rate. The total sales volume was $10,062,450 and the average price per car sold was $103,736.

RM Auctions Hershey 2011 – Top Ten Auction Results

1. 1884 De Dion Bouton Et Trepardoux Dos-A-Dos Steam Runabout – $4,620,000
2. 1912 Mercedes 28/50 PS Town Car – $253,000
3. 1938 Lincoln Model K Convertible Victoria – $203,500
4. 1935 Packard Twelve Coupe Roadster – $181,500
5. 1930 Cord L-29 Boattail Speedster – $165,000

(See RM Auctions Hershey 2011 – Complete Auction Results)

[Source: RM Auctions]

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  1. Looking over the Hershey results, I’m surprised to see only ONE sportscar: the Volvo P1800! When I consider the history of sportscars in this country, the P1800 was insignificant.
    I’m NOT disparaging them, they’re very good cars but very rarely were involved in sporting activities and their total number was very small.
    Where were the hundreds of thousands of MG’s, Triumphs, Austin Healeys, Jaguars, Porsches etc??

  2. Michael,
    Good point.
    Auctions are tuned to their venues, and Hershey isn’t a strong sports car venue. It’s about old cars: brass, Edwardian, classics and postwar. Sports cars are there, but they’re a subset of a much larger and older collecting passion that expresses itself on the Hershey show and swap meet fields.
    RM tunes its Hershey auction to the Hershey crowd and fills the consignment with appropriate cars.
    The sports cars were in Monterey, and they’ll be in Scottsdale. Not so much in Hershey.
    I think the Lagonda 16/80, Ferrari 308 GTS, Healey BN7, Frontenac Ford T, Simplex, Otto and Biddle should be included in an admittedly loose count of sports cars, a small contingent, but not without notable examples.