1904 Rolls-Royce 10 HP

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1904 Rolls-Royce 10 HP

The world's oldest surviving Rolls-Royce

AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Car: 1904 Rolls-Royce 10 HP

Number produced: 17

Price at auction: $7.3 million

It's hard to image a time in automotive history when some car engines only produced 10 horsepower, but at the dawn of the 20th century, it was enough to get the job done. Two companies, Rolls and Royce, teamed up to build 17 of these early automobiles. A humble 1.8-liter twin-cylinder engine powered the cars. It follows the early tradition of looking like a horse-drawn carriage with a steering wheel -- and no place for a horse. It has big, brass headlamps, wooden spoke wheels and a horn that looks like a musical instrument.

The car sold at auction for $7.3 million in 2004 and is the oldest known Rolls Royce in existence. Its chassis (number 20154) was updated in the 1930s but later restored to its original specification in the 1950s. It had been squirreled away in a farm building, perhaps to hide it from a foreign enemy, as was the case with many pre-World War II vehicles [source: Supercars.net].

While 10 horsepower may not be a lot, it doesn't in any way diminish this Rolls Royce's place in history.

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