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Have many dollars? Like the hard shoulder? Don’t like buying petrol? Unlucky - you’ve just missed out on this colossally antiquated steam-powered De Dion Bouton, which has just sold for $4.6m (£2.9m) at auction in the USA. That’s in America.

In fact, the 1884-built steam-powered contraption, or Et Trepardoux Dos-A-Dos Steam Runabout in full, is the world’s oldest working car. No surprise that it’s selling price set a new world record for an early motorcar sold at auction.

Its new owner is one of only five collectors to own the car, which is known as “La Marquise” (named after the original owner’s mother).

The Bouton was originally commissioned by French entrepreneur Count de Dion and features a front-mounted boiler and engine powering the rear wheels. Steering comes via a sort of tiller thing and it tops out at 37mph.


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