The concept of electric-powered automobiles isn’t a state-of-the art epiphany, as these contraptions were with us ever since the beginning of the automobile. As a matter of fact, you can buy two centenarian electric vehicles right now.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”, said the Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana, although with the new breakthroughs in battery technology the electric cars will probably stay with us a long longer than at the beginning of the 20th century.
Built in the USA roughly 100 years ago, the 1906 Pope Waverley Victoria Phaeton and 1907 Victor High Wheel Electric Runabout are immensely rare right now, but at that time – among the 100+ battery-powered car makers and their products – these cars weren’t very successful. Moreover, the advances in the internal combustion engine and the mass production of cheaper petrol vehicle quickly ended the electric horseless-carriage movement.
The Pope Waverley Victoria Phaeton had a $1,600 price tag when it was new, but now, fully restored and featuring a leather-lined hood with the additional sumptuous comfort of complementary leg covers, it will set you back an estimate of £30,000-£40,000. It also has electric coach lamps, making it fully capable of nighttime “expeditions”, but the vehicle is in its element in a summer’s day with the roof lowered.
The Victor High Wheel Runabout was build one year later in Indianapolis, and it spent many years on display in an American Museum. The automobile (if you can call it that) recently underwent an overhaul, receiving contemporary batteries and charging system – along with a repaint of both the chassis and bodywork.
Estimated between to fetch between £30,000-£40,000, the Victor is running silently, but it also comes equipped with a large bell on the driver’s side used to alert pedestrians of the vehicle’s presence. Both vehicles will go on sale on June 11th at the Historics auction in the UK.