1920 Rauch & Lang

1920 Rauch & Lang Electric Model C-45 Dual Drive Coach

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Rauch & Lang traces its history back to Jacob Rauch, a blacksmith in Cleveland who opened his shop in 1853. Charles Lang was a real estate man from nearby and moved the company toward wagon building. In 1905, they turned to electric cars and became one of America’s premier electric car builders in the early days of automobiles.

They built cars through 1928 and this 1920 Model C-45 is how most of them looked. The company moved from Cleveland to Massachusetts in 1920 (after having merged with Baker Electric in 1917) and this car was the final example produced in Cleveland. It uses a three horsepower electric motor. This car can be driven from the left hand seat either in the front or rear, which is pretty interesting. Try that in your Buick. Click here to see more about this car.

Update: Sold $66,000.

Pierre Faure Electric

1941 Pierre Faure Type PFA Biplace Electrique

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2014

1941 Pierre Faure Type PFA Biplace Electrique

When the Germans took France, they quickly banned the sale of gasoline to those without special permission to drive. The innovative (including Peugeot) tried their hand at building very small electric cars as a way to build vehicles, stay in business, and keep France motoring.

This car was designed by architect Michel Dufet and produced by Pierre Faure. The engine was a small electric motor making 10 horsepower driving the two rear wheels. It was capable of 25 mph and could do 40 miles on a single charge. About 20 of these two-seaters were built, this being #16. It is in original condition and would be a perfect candidate for complete restoration having spent many years in a museum. It should sell for between $20,000-$34,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $69,170.


Tribelhorn Electric

1905 Tribelhorn Electric Brougham

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2013

1905 Tribelhorn Electric Brougham

Sometimes, with electric cars, it can be difficult to extract horsepower and performance figures. This is even more difficult when the car is almost 110 years old. It is an electric car, built by A. Tribelhorn & Cie AG, in Feldbach, Switzerland. And I have no idea what kind of power it makes. Probably not a lot.

The company was founded by Johann Albert Tribelhorn in 1899. The company built electric cars exclusively up until they were acquired by a rival in 1919. For another year or so after that they built a few electric commercial vehicles. This is a passenger vehicle with wood bodywork and tiller steering.

It was offered by RM at Hershey in the fall of 2011 fresh from the estate of John O’Quinn. It sold there for $35,000. Now it is being offered for sale again, less than two years later. It makes you wonder why – did the new owner run out of money? Hate the car? Did it not work? In any case, this is a good chance to grab up a rare Swiss electric vehicle. And you know what was paid for it a year and a half ago, so they can’t exactly be asking for the moon this time around. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Update: Sold $77,000.

Peugeot VLV

1942 Peugeot VLV

Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013

1942 Peugeot VLV

Photo – RM Auctions

You might be thinking “Just what in the hell did Peugeot think they were doing trying to build a production car in 1942, under German occupation.” While the first part of that sentence – right up to the qualifier of “trying to build a production car…” is fair game at any point in their history, Peugeot actually had an interesting idea with this car. Gasoline was forbidden once Germany took over unless you had a special permission slip to drive. Literal cyclecars (without engines) were popular. Peugeot went with electricity. They were the only one of France’s large automakers to take a shot with building electric cars. The VLV was interesting – there was a single brake drum for the two rear wheels and the batteries up front made up half the weight of the car. It had a top speed of 22 mph and a range of 50 miles. It got around the fuel-restrictions but was banned by the occupying government after 377 were built. It’s cool, it’s rare. It should sell for $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more.

Update: Sold $20,125.

Walker Electric Delivery Van

1909 Walker Model 15 Van

For Sale at Hyman Ltd | St. Louis, Missouri

Talk about aerodynamics having come a long way. You can tell this electric delivery van was designed for utility and not comfort because of the solid state tires and big square, featureless body. The entry door is located in a very Isetta-like front-of-the-vehicle position (there’s one at the rear too). How cool.

The Walker Vehicle Company of Chicago, Illinois began producing electric trucks such as this in 1907. They were convenient because they were quiet, easy to operate, and didn’t smoke up the already crowded and polluted streets of cities like New York, where this van was in the service of Hearn’s Department Store.

The van has a 3/4-ton load capacity and with a full set of charged batteries, it can hit speeds up to 15 mph with a range nearing 40 miles from the 3.5 horsepower rear-mounted motor. I’m sure 15 mph in this thing is plenty fast. The interior is immaculate for a 100+ year-old commercial vehicle with varnished wood and a fresh seat. As rare as early commercial vehicles are, early electric commercial vehicles are even rarer. And, strangely, there is at least one other 1909 Walker electric out there.

This one will set you back a hefty $99,500. For more information, click here.

1906 Pope-Waverley

1906 Pope-Waverley Electric Runabout

Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 12, 2012

From Albert Augustus Pope’s early automotive manufacturing empire comes this 1906 Pope-Waverely Electric Runabout. Waverely was actually founded in 1899 in Indianapolis by the Indiana Bicycle Company. They began by making electric two-seaters. In 1903, the Pope Motor Car Company scooped up Waverely and changed the name to reflect their new corporate overlords.

This model is a three horsepower model with a 60-volt DC motor. The body is a simple runabout with tiller steering. It also has electric lighting and the older restoration still shows well. The Pope empire crumbled quickly, going bankrupt in 1907. Waverely was spun off as an independent marque again in 1908, but some Pope makes lasted longer – up through 1914.

As electric vehicles become popular once again, cars like this are finding a larger collector fanbase and prices will be going up. The price for this car is expected to be between $60,000-$80,000. For more information, click here. And for the rest of the RM Auctions Hershey lineup, click here.

Update: Sold $60,500.

Detroit Electric Roadster

1914 Detroit Electric Model 46 Cape Top Roadster

Offered by RM Auctions | Plymouth, Michigan | July 28, 2012

Detroit Electric cars were built (in Detroit, obviously) from 1907 until 1938. There are quite a few of them still around and most of the ones that you see are stodgy, upright “coupes” that look more like an awkwardly tall box on wheels. The Type 46 was available as a roadster and it is far more sporty looking – and rare – than just about anything else built by the company.

The 48-volt DC motor makes only 4.3 horsepower, so its sporty looks are somewhat deceiving. What isn’t deceiving is the chain of ownership of this car. It was sold in Pasadena when new – for $2,400. Years later it became part of the Harrah Collection. After that it was acquired by the Imperial Palace Collection and now is being sold from the collection of John O’Quinn. Some big names owned this car.

This is thought to be one of three Model 46 Roadsters in existence. One still resides in the Harrah Collection and the other remains part of the Rockefeller family, where it has been since new. This makes this the only available Model 46 Roadster you will find. It is estimated to sell for between $75,000-$125,000. For more information, click here. And for the rest of the RM lineup at St. John’s, click here.

Update: Sold $99,000.