We’ve put up a list of some of the oldest car in the world since it’s genuinely amazing to witness one in action after 100 years.
Every vehicle lover today seems to be an expert on the latest models produced by the global auto industry. But only a true auto aficionado has done the research and can identify some of the oldest car in the world still in use today.
Some of the oldest car in the world in our exhaustive list are still in excellent shape today. You might be surprised to learn that some of the early pre-modern vehicles were propelled by steam rather than by fuel.
From the opulent 1924 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coup de Ville to the 1769 Cugnot Steamer, the oldest car in the world, we have it all. The vehicles in this list have undergone various stages of restoration and renovation.
These classic cars’ exteriors have received several touches throughout the years and strict upkeep from their devoted owners. However, the stunning, antique cars still function flawlessly thanks to practically intact engines.
On our list, there is also a beloved American Ford Model T that is still capable of traveling the open road. We’ve put up a list of some of the oldest car in the world since it’s genuinely amazing to witness one in action after 100 years. Can you predict which vintage automobiles will be on the list?
1. Cugnot Steamer – 1769
The 1769 Cugnot Steamer is the oldest car in the world operating and still in existence and is kept at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris, France. Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, a French inventor, began developing it in 1765.
This amazing, prehistoric vehicle was designed as a military transport for cannons and additional armament. It is a marvel that the 1769 Cugnot Steamer, the world’s first self-propelled vehicle, still functions (with a little elbow grease) today.
Who would have guessed that a vehicle used by the French Army would be the great-great-great-grandfather of our current cars? It is very amazing to see the giant boiler at the end of the massive machine.
It depicts the effort required to operate these antiquated automobiles and highlights how much the automotive industry has advanced since then. Similar to the Grenville Steam Carriage, this device required a huge number of people to operate and only had three substantial wooden wheels.
According to reports, the boiler performance on this vehicle was subpar because it required ongoing care and repair. It’s amazing that it STILL operates, but this 1769 Cugnot Steamer is still one of the most innovative machines ever built.
2. Grenville Steam Carriage – 1875
The 1875 Grenville Steam Carriage still works magnificently after 134 years. This premodern, self-propelled vehicle is astonishingly still in operation today and is kept at England’s National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.
This gorgeous twin-cylinder engine was built by Robert Neville Grenville and George Jackson Churchward, and it can currently carry seven people: the driver, the steersman, four more passengers, and a fireman.
This gorgeous vehicle competed in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Race in 2000 and finished the 57-mile course. The Grenville Steam Carriage used 200 gallons of water and 500 pounds of coal during its voyage.
The Grenville Steam Carriage, which formerly weighed a remarkable 4,500 lbs. and was propelled by three wooden wheels, is still on display in the Motor Museum today. The carriage was owned by John Allen & Sons Ltd. of Cowley, Oxford until it was shown at the National Motor Museum.
Captain P. L. Neville eventually donated the carriage to the Bristol City Museum, where staff members kept it in excellent operating order. One of the earliest automotive technical accomplishments still in use today is the steam carriage, which is on display at the National Motor Museum.
3. La Marquise – 1884
This flawless 1884 De Dion et Trepardaux Dos-a-Dos was auctioned off at RM Auctions in Hershey, Pennsylvania, for an eye-popping $4.62 million. The stunning car was created in France in 1884, and only four people have owned it before, according to the New York Daily News.
The La Marquise, which had a top speed of about 38 mph, is still in excellent condition. John O’Quinn, a car collector and enthusiast from Texas, bought the La Marquise for $3.5 million in 2007. But after his passing, the automobile was put up for auction.
The automobile itself took part in four London to Brighton Veteran Car Races in addition to the first-ever automotive race in 1887.
The name “La Marquise” was given to the vehicle in honor of the mother of French Count De Dion. This family car has a long history and is one of the oldest—if not THE oldest car in the world still in existence.
Its black body, leather seats, and wire-spoked wheels are still stunning and appear to have been well-maintained for the length of its existence. The La Marquise has a sense of luxury it merits thanks to the gold letters and other gold accents.
As one of the oldest car in the world remaining in operation today, this vehicle is among the most significant in automotive history.
4. Benz Motorwagon – 1886
This immaculate 1886 Benz Motorwagon was seen on camera at the New Jersey Concours d’Elegance car event at Hop Brook Farm in Holmdel, New Jersey.
The stunning one-cylinder, two-stroke engine that powered Carl Benz’s first automobile was turned on for the first time in 1879 during a New Year’s Eve party.
Since this first car was so successful, Benz was able to focus the rest of his career on creating the first gasoline engine that combined the chassis and the engine into a single unit.
The majority of this stunning pre-modern two-seater was finished in 1885. The Motorwagon type predates the Benz Victoria since it has three wheels. It has slender, wire-spoked wheels with two large rear wheels and a smaller front wheel, much like a bicycle.
Given the quality of the materials available today, its timber frame and black leather upholstery have also been completely repaired.
This vintage marvel has about 0.75 horsepower, which is significantly less than modern Hondas or Nissans.
However, as one of the oldest car in the world still in operation today, the Benz Motorwagon set the path for pre-modern automotive advancement.
5. Benz Victoria – 1893
The stunning 1894 Benz Victoria, driven by owner Karl-Heinz Rehkopf, made a lasting impression in the 2012 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run sponsored by Bonhams.
This amazing one-cylinder engine continues to chug along, producing about 4 horsepower. The world’s first mass-produced automobile, this lovely Benz Victoria paved the way for many more. This amazing early vehicle was produced in about 1,200 units in the year of its conception.
This car was initially built by Carl Benz, the creator of one of the most prosperous automotive companies in existence today, a three-wheeled vehicle.
But to complete the Victoria, he changed the design of the car to accommodate the four-wheeled type, which offered the vehicle more control. In 1893, Benz also applied for a patent for double-pivot steering, which he eventually used in the exquisite Victoria model.
This prehistoric vehicle had a top speed of about 20 km/h, and it had both iron and wood reinforcements. The fascinating wire-spoked wheels on the stunning car have a strong bicycle-like appearance.
Even Benz was fascinated by bicycles and their purpose. Victoria, therefore, has a lot of bike-like characteristics. Given that it still operates today and was an absolute marvel for the automotive industry, this exquisite car easily qualifies for our list.
6. Panhard et Levassor – 1895
This 1895 Panhard et Levassor, the ancestor of all automobiles, has no known owner. It’s unknown who the owner of this exquisite, vintage car is because it was up for auction at Bonhams.
This automobile was the second one that engineers Panhard and Levassor, who are also close friends, produced. The two buddies’ initial model they created together had the engine at the back.
The two brilliant minds behind the 185 Panhard et Levassor chose a front-end design. This timeless beauty was converted into one of the earliest wheel-steered automobiles in 1895, the year that wheel steering was first used.
However, the stunning vehicle only has a two-cylinder engine and 4 horsepower. But today, this vintage engine still functions, which is a true marvel of the automobile industry.
The manufacturing firm Panhard et Levassor was the first in France to use internal combustion engines in cars.
The Panhard et Levassor by SM. There is no known owner of this 1895 Panhard et Levassor, the precursor to all autos. This beautiful, vintage automobile was up for auction at Bonhams, thus its owner is unknown.
This change happened in 1878. Levassor, however, perished unexpectedly in 1898 as a result of a racing accident, just a few times after the 1895 Panhard et Levassor had been developed.
Following this tragedy, Panhard continued to grow the company by producing military vehicles. This stunning 1895 classic qualifies as one of the wonders of the industry given that it is still in operation.
7. Lutzmann 4HP Victoria – 1896
Our next classic car on the list is owned by Tim and Chris Scott and is also from the Channel Islands. This 186 Lutzmann 4HP Victoria’s one-cylinder engine is still fully functional.
With only about 4 horsepower, this stunning car nonetheless travels at a leisurely pace. This lovely, high-sitting car is entered in event races, such as the 2014 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, and it can still travel a short distance with ease.
The bodywork of this classic piece has the appearance of a horseless stagecoach with its two bigger spoked wheels and smaller front wheels. Both its sleek, black exterior and its black leather interior have just undergone restoration.
This four-seater tourer’s exterior styling is suggestive of a more antiquated period for automobiles. The original four-wheeled Benz served as inspiration for Freidrich Lutsmannis, who built the first version of this car.
This stunning specimen of a vintage car in operational condition tops our list of the oldest car in the world still in use today.
8. Daimler Wagonette – 1897
This stunning 1897 Daimler Wagonette, which was sold at the Bonhams Auction, is listed for $317,917. This amazing pre-modern car has been owned by the same person for almost 20 years and was also entered in the 2016 London to Brighton Veteran Car Race.
The skilled Stirling of Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, finished the coachwork for the eight-seater car. This Daimler Wagonette’s durable twin-cylinder engine still performs flawlessly today and put out about 4 horsepower.
Its horsepower works well for the wagonette as one of the early finishers in the London to Brighton Race, and its performance is still as reliable as ever.
The wagonette’s transmission is a four-speed sliding gear, and it also incorporates tram-style levers that are located on the dashboard of the automobile in front of the driver. The first known owner of the original wagonette was “Andrew Wright,” who resided in Bainsford, Falkirk.
According to reports, Wright only ever used the wagonette for official purposes. After changing hands, Fred Hodgkinson sold the wagonette to J.V. Murcott at auction. The prior vendor later bought the wagonette and sold it at Bonhams.
With its polished wood finish and striking red reinforcing, this wonderful work of art of a car is still in operation today and is undoubtedly among the most gorgeous on our list.
9. Delahaye Limousine – 1897
A remarkable automobile relic, owned by Heather Fattorini, is an 1897 Delahaye limousine located in the Channel Islands of the United Kingdom. This gorgeous vehicle has participated in a variety of races, including the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
Its distinctive exterior color of yellow contrasts strikingly with its complementing black coloring. The car also has four spoked wheels that are a striking yellow color.
The brilliant exterior colors of this particular Delahaye Limousine show that it has been meticulously maintained and externally entirely repaired. This belt-driven vehicle was one of the first of its sort to be produced by Emile Delahaye of Tours, France.
Delahaye is better renowned for its roadster cars and Jeep-like vehicles in the current world. This magnificent car formerly had a twin-cylinder engine that produced roughly 6 horsepower, but today it needs to be driven carefully and slowly.
This 1897 Delahaye Limousine tops our list of the oldest car in the world remaining in operational condition since it is among the oldest car in the world of its model and makes.
10. Benz Dogcart – 1898
This 1899 Benz Dogcart, owned by Eric Payne of the West Midlands of England, was regarded as the first “green” vehicle in history. The car’s single-cylinder engine gave it two forward speeds, and its two sizable independent hand brakes quickly brought it to a stop.
For an automobile of its day, the Dogcart’s two gasoline tanks’ combined fuel capacity of about 100 miles is impressive.
The Dogcart was developed by Strouds of Niphon Works, and it is thought to be one of the first six vehicles ever made.
The outside bodywork of the Benz was made of varnished wood material, and its design was thought to be a vis-à-vis. The basic exterior decorations featured an oil can, a lantern, tools, and a horn. Each Benz Dogcart of the time essentially required a week to construct.
The car’s original price was 189 pounds, which is around $253 today. The vehicle was seen on camera at the Black Country Living Museum’s 2005 Black Country Vehicle Rally in England’s West Midlands. This stunning, time-honored treasure is still steadily trundling along, earning a spot on our list of the oldest car in the world still on the road.
11. Stevens-Duryea Model L – 1903
This 1903 Stevens-Duryea Model L is on loan to the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History from a private collector in Springfield, Massachusetts.
According to Donald G. Meyer, a spokesperson for the Duryea’s owner, this stunning vehicle is still in excellent shape and is really up for sale for roughly $135,000. Meyer estimates that there are just six to eight 1903–1905 Duryeas left in existence, which greatly increases the value of this particular 1903 Model L.
According to the museum, it aspires to earn enough money to buy the car for display in the future. In the meanwhile, the Museum of Springfield History is available every day of the week at specific hours for people who want to see this gorgeously aged Duryea.
In 1893, Frank Duryea founded the first Duryea company in Springfield, Massachusetts. He later worked with Stevens to develop the Stevens-Duryea models. The Stevens-Duryea cost about $1,300 in its time, which was a sizable sum in 1903.
For the affluent American aristocracy, the Duryea was the height of luxury. Owning a car of this age and size in good shape is an incredible achievement, and it makes our list of the oldest car in the world that are still in operation today.
12. Rolls-Royce – 1904
This 1904 model, which is the oldest car in the world operating Rolls-Royce, went up for auction at the Bonhams: Olympia Auction in 2007. The car was a true gem in the eyes of auto fans and sold for close to $3 million.
The Rolls-Royce, Charles and Henry Royce’s fourth automobile, is a two-seater with an open top. Even if the vehicle has only 10 horsepower, it is reasonable to assume that it will not be a fast car. This gorgeous car’s original 1904 steering wheel is still in perfect shape.
In February 1905 in London, during the Olympia Show, this specific Rolls-Royce was unveiled.
Doctor Briggs drove the vehicle for a brief period before it was delivered from Manchester Works. Percy Binns of Harrogate and Kenneth Gillies of Tain, Scotland, were the former owners of the Rolls-Royce. After being purchased by a Rolls-Royce enthusiast in 1950, Oliver Langton meticulously restored the vehicle.
The 1904 Rolls-Royce by Malcolma / CC BY 3.0. At the 2007 Bonhams: Olympia Auction, the 1904 model, the oldest operational Rolls-Royce in the world, was put up for auction. The vehicle, which was regarded by auto enthusiasts as a true jewel, sold for almost $3 million.
The sole Rolls-Royce that qualified for the 1954 Brighton Veteran Car Run based on a pre-1905 date was the Rolls-Royce. This 1904 Rolls-Royce is one of the more expensive vehicles still in operation today and has only had three owners.
13. Wolsey 6 – 1904
From the United States to the United Kingdom, we now visit the oldest car in the world operating in England. The 1904 Wolsey 6’s owner, Brian Caseley of Sherborne, Dorset, frequently cruises around his hometown in it.
Caseley claims that the time-traveling car has never even ever broken down! In 2004, Caseley bought the car from a classic car collector, and he and his wife Pat routinely drive it around town. With a one-cylinder engine, the Wolsey has a top speed of only 29 mph.
Additionally, Mr. E. H. Greenly of Titley Court in Herefordshire formerly owned it. The vehicle still has its original registration plate, which is said to be in “mint condition” and is still attached to the vehicle.
Over the years, the car’s brilliant red color has been restored, and the gorgeous Wolsey’s spoked wheels have been painted a bright yellow to evoke the hue of the original vehicle.
The vehicle itself is around 115 years old and was among the earliest models ever produced by Frederick Wolseley’s car firm. The Wolsey 6 has numerous features that are exclusive to the model and was initially designed by Herbert Austin of Austin Motor Company.
As far as our list is concerned, this 1904 Wolsey 6 easily qualifies as one of the oldest car in the world currently in operation.
14. Ford Model T – 1920
The Ford Model T is the standard representation of the first American automobile and is considered to be its grandfather. The nicest part about Matt Lee’s 1920 Ford Model T is that it STILL works! Matt lives in Plymouth, Michigan.
On its 100th birthday, Automobile Magazine planned a test drive for the vehicle, and it was said to have operated as smoothly as ever. Lee still takes pleasure in driving the automobile and has never given it a fresh coat of paint or restored any of the wood frames.
Lee’s 1920 Ford Model T has aged admirably and is still fully functional. The automobile is currently worth a rather unexpectedly low $10,000. Although the car’s top speed is barely 35 mph, it is a stunning gem and a lasting reminder of one of the first American-built automobiles.
Ford produced more than 15 million Model T automobiles between 1908 and 1927, but it’s relatively uncommon to find one that’s still in good running order. The stunning car serves as an excellent teaching tool for the owner Lee, who teaches a course at Washtenaw Community College in Michigan called “Evolution of the Automobile,” Who knew that a Ford Model T was still in operation today?
15. Hispano-Suiza H6B Coup Seville – 1924
This specific 1924 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupe de Ville is owned by the family of the late founder and president of the French Hispano Suiza Club. It is in almost pristine condition and has only ever received minimal restoration details.
It is an amazing accomplishment for this prized French relic that the coup has maintained its original coachwork. The car’s immaculate exterior is still completed in a gorgeous shade of black, and its six-cylinder engine continues to work flawlessly.
The 1924 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupe by SnapMeUp / CC BY-SA 4.0. The late founder and president of the French Hispano Suiza Club’s family is the rightful owner of this particular 1924 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupe de Ville.
A major selling point for the coach-style car in the early 1900s was the amount of space in the back seating. The servo-assisted brakes of the Hispano-Suiza were an important innovation at the time and were later used on the infamous Rolls-Royce.
During its existence, the Hispano-Suiza was admired for being a luxurious coach automobile that exudes sophistication.
The beautiful car was driven by France’s wealthiest people, such as Monsieur Pierre Lorillard Ronalds, and was coveted by many English aristocracies.
The external coachwork of this specific Hispano-Suiza was completed by Carrosserie Kellner of Paris and includes a side-mounted spare wheel, a two-piece windscreen, an aluminum dash panel, a rear luggage carrier, and an auxiliary tool chest. As one of the oldest car in the world still in excellent shape, this classy coupe unquestionably tops the list.
16. Chrysler Model B-70 Roadster – 1924
Martin Swig, the owner of this Roaring Twenties Roadster, acquired this specific 1924 Chrysler Model B-70 from an estate collection in Washington State in 1998.
The vintage car was later sold once again for $27,500 at Bonhams: The Scottsdale Auction in January 2015. The speedometer, which originally displayed the car’s mileage, read less than 36,000 miles.
The car’s exterior has been painted to match its original beige hue, and it still has its original bench seat that Swig had reupholstered. On the interior door panels, the original upholstery has been preserved, and the car still sports the same wood-spoke wheels and winged radiator cap.
The timeless classic still has its nickel radiator and its partly refurbished engine still functions rather well. Initially, Walter P. Chrysler wanted to sell a high-quality car that was competitively priced with Cadillac and Buick but altogether superior to Ford.
Given its six-cylinder engine, the model B-70, often known as the “Chrysler Six,” served as a representation of innovation in its day. This 1924 Chrysler Model B-70 Roadster is a real work of art and is still running strong today.
17. Oakland 6-54 A – 1924
Ken and Barbara Spenser, who reside in Santa Clarita, California, are the current owners of this particular artifact from 1924, the Oakland 6-54 A. This Oakland still drives like a dream because of its essential restorations and fully functional engine.
The vehicle was known as the “True Blue Oakland Six” when it was first advertised in the 1920s. The 6-54 A coupe’s signature vivid blue color is still present on Spencer’s coupe. The coupe fetched about $1,350 in 1924. However, a 1920s automobile in such perfect shape is today unquestionably a priceless object.
In its time, Oakland developed durable, affordably priced automobiles in Oakland County, Michigan. When General Motors acquired the business in 1909, Oakland automobiles enjoyed good sales due to their reputation for toughness and dependability.
The early 1900s saw this classic coupe traveling at an average speed of about 34–40 mph, and it continues to do so today with the Spencer’s 6-54 A. Are we talking about dependability here? The Oakland also included extra accessories that could be used to accommodate more luggage, like step plates and accessory gates for the running board.
Mr. Spencer and his son, along with a family friend, completed the majority of the restoration work on this specific Oakland. This Oakland 6-54 A made this list as one of the oldest car in the world still driving the open road thanks to its gorgeous blue body and dependable engine.
18. Renault 6 CV NN – 1925
This classic coupe, which belongs to Joseph Schoenbeck of Skokie, Illinois, tops the list of the oldest car in the world still-driving vehicles on the road. This vintage design, with its shovel-nosed bonnet and stunning navy-blue body, had a top speed of roughly 50 mph.
During its time, Renaults were primarily thought of as luxury automobiles. The business did produce other models nonetheless. The Renault 6 CV NN, which the French considered to be a “people’s car,” was the first automobile to travel by itself across the vast Sahara Desert.
It took over 30 years to renovate this particular 6 CV NN, and Schoenbeck did much of the work himself. After all these years, the engine needed a little touch-up work to keep the coupe operating smoothly.
The headlights were grounded out to eliminate all the scratches from the original lights, and the dashboard also required some updating. The Renault was initially given as a present to the son of a Chicago Country Club executive.
Joseph purchased the coupe in 1958 and started working on the required restoration tasks in 1988. Schoenbeck’s Renault is one of the oldest car in the world still in operation today and is still in fully functional condition following the repairs and touch-up work.
19. Citroen Traction Avant 7C – 1934
The 1934 Citroen Traction Avant 7C is a historic automobile produced by the French company “Citroën,” The term “Traction Avant” refers to “forward traction,” which is important because this car was the first front-wheel-drive production car ever made.
Owner Xavier Molenaar is offering this specific model for sale for about $67,798. The car’s beige body and red upholstery give it a cherished, vintage feel. Given that this particular brand has a monocoque or unitized body, it is interesting. Others from the same period were built on a chassis, which resulted in a heavier body.
The vehicle itself had a 3-speed manual transmission and could travel at 35 horsepower at 3,800 rpm.
This car pioneered the use of monocoque cars thanks to its reduced weight of 2,262 lbs. This car is visually reminiscent of the “Great Gatsby” era’s splendor and grandeur. This car is a timeless relic from a bygone period with its open top and traditional front design.
Its massive rectangular front grille and distinct chrome headlights give the car an enduring glory that is reminiscent of vintage cars. With its curved fenders and independently sprung front wheels, its sleek, slim framework is unique. This specific car makes the list of the oldest car in the world that are still on the road today.
20. Duesenberg Convertible Coupe Model SJ – 1935
Our list’s youngest car is the 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Convertible Coupe. This stunning car, which had formerly belonged to General William Lyon and Raymond Lutgert, was purchased for $4.51 million (plus commission) in 2013 at Top Sale RM Auction in Amelia Island, Florida.
It is thought that the engine of this car, one of just three ever made, is the original centrifugal supercharger engine. August and Frederick Duesenberg formed Duesenberg Motors Company, which produced high-end vehicles including the SJ convertible coupe.
This coupe, which features a gorgeous convertible top created by J Herbert Newport, is undoubtedly one of the more alluring models on the Duesenberg chassis.
The semi-automatic convertible top, together with the car’s rounded fenders and radiator shell headlights, served as one of Duesenberg’s defining characteristics.
This vehicle, which is still in operational condition, was used in the Texas and Wyoming Duesenberg Tours. According to reports, the supercharged automobile has a top speed of approximately 140 mph and can achieve 104 mph in second gear.
For a luxury car its age, this is quite an accomplishment. This vehicle was not only renowned for its speed on the open road, but it also attracted attention due to its attractive appearance. The Duesenberg is the model for antique cars and is still among the most beautiful vehicles when it is still in operation.
Jim Wicks is the founder of MotorVehicleHQ. With over two decades of experience in the automotive industry and a degree in Automotive Technology, Jim is a certified car expert who has worked in various roles ranging from a mechanic, car dealership manager, to a racing car driver. He has owned more than 20 cars over the past 15 years. Ask him about any vehicle you see on the road and he can tell you the make, model and year. He loves the aesthetics of all things cars, and keeps his vehicles in pristine condition.
In his free time, Jim enjoys getting his hands dirty under the hood of a classic car or taking long drives along the country roads. His favorite car? A 1967 Shelby GT500, a true classic that, according to Jim, “represents the pure essence of American muscle.”