Becoming a Vintage Car Expert: Here Are The Oldest Cars Ever Made

Becoming a Vintage Car Expert: Here Are The Oldest Cars Ever Made

By Lucy Wyndham


Visiting Havana is a great way to witness the beauty and finesse of vintage cars. By taking a tour in a vintage car and learning more about the way they work, you can fulfill your desire to learn more about antique vehicles while experiencing a part of Cuban history. After taking the tour, you may even have a newfound passion for old cars, leading you to pose the question: what are some of the oldest cars in the world?

While many people assume that Henry Ford’s Model T is the oldest car ever made, there are numerous vehicles that actually came before the Model T. In fact, there are several automobiles that predate the Model T by over 100 years! To become a true vintage car expert, you should be aware of the oldest cars ever made and know a little bit about their history.


1. The Cugnot Fardier, 1770

Designed by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, the Cugnot Fardier vehicle was officially constructed in 1770—well over 100 years before Ford’s Model T. French inventor Cugnot build the very first self-propelled car, which in fact was merely a self-driving carriage. The car was invented or the use of the French military, designed to cover 7.8 kilometers (4.8 miles) in one hour and carry four tons of goods. While the car wasn’t able to travel this far or carry this much, it was still considered an achievement in its day. It is now on display at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris, where it’s been kept since 1800.


2. London Steam Carriage, 1803

Built by Richard Trevithick, the London Steam Carriage was constructed in 2803 in London and is still considered today to be the first-ever self-propelled vehicle that carried passengers. While Cugnot’s steam powered carriage technically predates the London Steam Carriage, the French vehicle was meant to haul artillery, not people. Thus, Trevitchick built the first car meant to transport people together, nicknaming the carriage the “Puffing Devil” and driving it up a hill in Cornwall. Unfortunately, the steam carriage was destroyed in a fire, but the original drawings survive.


3. Hancock Omnibus, 1832

Invented by Walter Hancock, the Enteprise steam omnibus was the first manufactured steam-powered car in the world in 1832. The omnibus was originally built for the London and Paddington Steam Carriage Company. It became the world’s first steam carriage service in 1833 when it was used as a regular service between London Wall and Paddington via Islington. The omnibus required three people working together to operate it, including a driver and two operators. In coordination, the three people were responsible for maintaining braking, looking after the water level of the boiler, and steering the wheel. It is still unknown how the three people communicated, but it was a great success at the time.

Learning about vintage automobiles is a hobby that unveils many interesting details and facts, like the oldest cars in the world predating Ford’s Model T by over 100 years.