Faraday Future Prototype

2016 Faraday Future FF 91 Prototype

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 5, 2020

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Faraday Future was (is?) one of quite a few electric vehicle startups that have recently promised big things and, well, have yet to deliver. Electric car companies are to 2020 what exotic supercar startups were to 2005… and 2020. Named for 19th-century scientist Michael Faraday, Faraday Future was founded in Los Angeles in 2014 by Jia Yueting.

The FF 91 was introduced in 2017. I think it’s a crossover. Power is from three electric motors that combine for 1,050 horsepower. Sixty mph was supposed to arrive in 2.4 seconds courtesy of an all-wheel-drive system. Sound too good to be true? Faraday Future has been in the news more for their financial issues than for the creation of tangible products.

Production has been delayed a few times (see financial issues above… it’s like car startups don’t realize the capital involved in bringing an automobile to market… this isn’t 1909). Most recently it was pushed to “late 2020.” The fact that Worldwide is offering not one but two FF 91 prototypes at no reserve does not signal good things.

What it does signal is that this may be your best chance ever to acquire one of these cars, although some of the interior leaves a bit to be desired, like exposed switchgear. No word on if you would be able to road-register this, but probably not. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Withdrawn.

Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar

1976 Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 3-6, 2020

Photo Courtesy RM Sotheby’s

Robert G. Beaumont founded Sebring-Vanguard in Sebring, Florida, and set about producing a golf cart-inspired electric car that was street legal. The Bugeyed wedge was a design inspired by the times and featured a big safety bumper up front, side-hinged doors, and two seats.

Power is from an electric motor (the CitiCar retained much of the inspirational golf cart’s mechanical bits). Early cars had 2.5 horsepower, and the final run had a mighty six. In 1976, Sebring-Vanguard was the sixth-largest automotive manufacturer in the United States.

About 2,300 were produced between 1974 and 1977 when the design and production rights were sold to a company called Commuter Vehicles, who re-launched an updated version as the Comuta-Car in 1979. This one is all-original and will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,200.

Carter Electric Motorette

1904 Carter Electric Motorette

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | August 31, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

This is a pretty tiny vehicle. Although Worldwide Auctioneers doesn’t provide anything in the background of these photos to help with scale, I would imagine it’s about wide enough to seat a person and a half. In England, these were known as “invalid cars” – basically street-legal motorized wheelchairs.

But… it has a US license plate and is street legal here, too. It was built in England by a company I have no further information about. Its first owner purchased it there and later imported it into Vermont, where it was used regularly up through 1942. It’s been on long-time museum display and still shows fairly well, save for a flat front tire.

It has a convertible top, tiller steering, and 20-mile range when traveling at a top speed of 18-20 mph. Not bad for 115 years old. You will likely never see another, and this one will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,925.

Jet Electrica 007

1982 Jet Electrica 007

Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

No one may look back at the Dodge Omni and think “sporty,” but that didn’t stop Chrysler from trying when they introduced the Omni 024 3-door hatchback in 1979. Built through 1982, the car and its Plymouth counterpart, the Horizon TC3, were supposed to be an early-80s sports hatch. There was even a De Tomaso trim level.

Meanwhile, during the energy crisis, the U.S. Department of Energy started handing out money to companies that said they would develop and sell electric cars. Jet Industries, primarily known for their snowmobiles (even though they were based in Texas), actually ended up producing about 3,000 “Electrica 007s,” which were just altered Omni 024s.

The Chrysler engine was replaced with a 23 horsepower direct-current electric motor. The hatchback area was full of batteries, and the car could hit 70 mph and attain 60 miles of range (though not at the same time). This would’ve been the perfect Back to the Future car. Only 50 are known to exist, and this one should bring between $5,000-$10,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $12,320.

Two Old Cars from Bonhams

1921 Wasp Model 211 Rickshaw Victoria

Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Karl Martin was at first an oil man, then a coachbuilder, and then, in 1919 when he ended up in Bennington, Vermont, an automobile manufacturer. The Martin Wasp Corporation built cars from 1920 through 1924. Not very long. The catalog has this listed as a “Martin Wasp” but the cars were sold under the “Wasp” name.

They were powered by relatively ordinary 72 horsepower, 5.8-liter Wisconsin inline-fours (and later sixes), but the styling was quite unique. These were long, low cars that wore touring coachwork Martin described as “rickshaw phaetons.” Douglas Fairbanks bought one as a gift for his wife, Mary Pickford.

The cars were very expensive – this one would’ve cost $5,000 when new. Only 14 four-cylinder – and three six-cylinder – cars were built. The one you see here was actually assembled in the 1940s from leftover unused new parts that Martin retained after the factory had closed. Still, with only two other “real” Wasps in existence, it is pretty special. It should bring between $30,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $51,520.


1931 Detroit Electric Model 99 Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Electric cars have always had this weird “science fair project” look about them. Even from the beginning. Part of it is because of packaging – they have different things they have to carry, necessitating different designs. Part of it is function – modern cars are trying to show they are eco-friendly with weird hubcaps, etc.

But this looks like a Ford Model A coupe. Or, as it was bodied by Fisher, a period Chevrolet. You would have no idea it was powered by a 15 horsepower DC electric motor if it didn’t say “electric” in the name.

It was part of the Harrah collection for many years and remains in original condition. The company only built 131 cars in 1931, and this is the only survivor. It may be the “newest” Detroit Electric in existence, as production petered out pretty dramatically after 1932. It should bring between $30,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $67,200.

Baker Electric Convertible

1912 Baker Electric Model W Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 11, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Baker Motor Vehicle Company of Cleveland, Ohio, was founded in 1899 by Walter C. Baker. They built passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, and land speed record cars (yep). All electric. And many of them looked like conventional gasoline-powered automobiles of their time (not something every electric car company could say, though Baker built similar-looking cars too).

This particular car, an ex-Harrah car, had its motor replaced in the 1980s and is now powered by an 18 horsepower unit, and a partial restoration was carried out in 2012. This car looks like a normal convertible from 1912, except that it is essentially square (as long as it is wide, riding on an 80″ wheelbase), which is kind of unusual.

Four different body styles were offered in 1912, with this being the least expensive. In 1914, Baker would merge with Rauch & Lang and the final Bakers rolled off the line in 1916, though commercial vehicles soldiered on for a few more years. Thomas Edison’s first car was a Baker Electric. So if you have a 16-year-old out there waiting for their first ride, go ahead and buy this for them. Maybe they’ll invent something.

This car should bring between $85,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $192,500.

1917 Milburn Electric

1917 Milburn Electric Model 27 Brougham

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 11-12, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Milburn Wagon Company had been around in Toledo since 1848. In 1914 they decided to start building electric cars. Over a thousand were built in 1915 but the factory suffered heavy losses in a fire in 1919. By 1921, 75% of the employees were building bodies for GM cars while only 25% were building electric cars. General Motors bought the plant outright in 1923 and this early electric car manufacturer was gone.

This car featured a 60 mile range when it went on sale, with a top speed of 19 mph. It was one of many such cars with stodgy, upright bodies, but they sold relatively well while electric cars were hot. They were lightweight and this one has been well restored and converted to run on 12-volt batteries.

Milburn built over 4,000 cars in their short lifespan. Survivors are sought after and don’t change hands often. This one should bring between $25,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $63,250.

Tesla Roadster

2010 Tesla Roadster

Offered by Mecum | Kansas City, Missouri | March 16-17, 2018

Photo – Mecum

There is no more polarizing automaker right now than Tesla. While their current products and leadership seem to divide people into the groups of Skeptics, Fanboys, or complete indifference, I think we can all agree that the original Tesla, the Roadster, is still a pretty cool car.

The Roadster was produced between 2008 and 2012 and was based on the rolling chassis of a Lotus Elise (much like the Hennessey Venom GT). Instead of fitting it with a small four-cylinder engine, Telsa used their own electric motor which offered a maximum horsepower of 248. The Sport model, which was released in 2009, made 288 horsepower. The base model could hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and topped out at 125 mph.

Only about 2,450 of these were built – and so far there is only one of them floating around in space. This is a well-enjoyed model, showing 41,235 miles. It comes with two different tops and charging cables. If electric cars continue become more and more widespread and adopted, then this car will stand as sort of the first of the modern electric road cars as it more or less launched Tesla, the company leading the electric car charge.

When new, this car cost a little over $100,000 and it probably hasn’t depreciated all that much (if it hasn’t appreciated by this point) due to the draw Tesla cars have right now. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $55,000.

Milburn Electric

1918 Milburn Electric Light Brougham

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Las Vegas, Nevada | October 13-15, 2016

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The Milburn Wagon Company of Toledo, Ohio, got into the car business in 1914 after decades of wagon building (they’d been around since 1848). Their cars closely resembled those built by other major American electric car manufacturers of the day, such as Detroit Electric and Rauch & Lang, among others.

What set the Milburn apart was that their batteries were on rollers – so you could have a spare set at home and just pull into the garage, roll the spent batteries out of your car, roll a fresh set back in, and be off again. In 1918, three bodies were offered and this one could do 30 mph and 100 miles on a charge. It cost $1,885 when new.

Milburn got into the game a little late – by the time they got up and running, the electric car was on the decline. The last Milburn Electrics were built in 1923. There’s no estimate on this car, but there’s no reserve either. Click here for more info and here for more from Barrett-Jackson in Vegas.

Update: Sold $33,000.

Detroit Electric

1919 Detroit Electric Model 75-A Four-Passenger Brougham

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Detroit Electric is one of the most famous names in electric automobiles. They built cars for a while, too, beginning in 1907 and lasting through the mid-to-late-30s. Later models are rarer than these post-WWI, upright, boxy cars. The company offered quite a large range of cars during this period – 1919 alone had six different model/body style combinations.

This car is powered by a 4.3 horsepower electric motor. It is mostly original but has been repainted. It’s an timeless design. This is the type of car you can use or restore and not feel bad about either choice. It should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $30,250.