Victor Electric Highwheeler

1907 Victor Electric Runabout

Offered by Coys | London, U.K. | December 3, 2013

1907 Victor High Wheel Electric Runabout

There is some confusion as to the origin of this car, but one thing is certain: it is called Victor. It has electric power and it is also a highwheeler of American origin. There was a company in St. Louis which operated from 1907 to 1911 called the Victor Automobile Manufacturing Company and they specialized in highwheelers for the first two years of their existence.

Coys mentions that this is the only Victor ever produced (there is even a tacky homemade plaque on the side of the car proclaiming this “fact”). They mention that the car could’ve been a one-off built in Nebraska, but that there isn’t any proof.

I offer a third possibility: Victor of St. Louis built highwheelers in 1907 that used a two-stroke engine. Perhaps they experimented with an electric drivetrain on one? Who knows. At any rate, the electric system has been completely redone lately and this thing will do about 70 miles on a charge and tops out around 30 mph.

It’s in the U.K. now, but it is available for purchase. It should sell for between $61,000-$88,500. Click here for more info and here for more from Coys in London.

Update: Not sold.

Update II: Sold, Historics at Brooklands, June 2016, $54,145.

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.

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.

1906 Columbus Electric

1906 Columbus Electric Model 1000 Stanhope

Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 11-12, 2012

The Columbus Buggy Company of Columbus, Ohio was founded in 1875 by Clinton Firestone and his partners, brothers George & Oscar Peters. Columbus, Ohio was known for the plethora of buggy manufacturers but by the turn of the century the automobile was gaining traction in America. In 1903, the Columbus Buggy Company turned to these motorized machines.

Both gasoline and electric cars were available. This Model 1000 Electric Stanhope has a 24-volt DC motor making 1.5 horsepower. It was restored before most collectible cars were new and looks as old as it is. It has been in collections and museums constantly since the 1940s.

Columbus went belly-up in 1913, but not before having given people like Harvey Firestone and Eddie Rickenbacker their start in the business world. This car is a rare example of this marque and is expected to sell – even in its somewhat rough condition – for between $40,000-$60,000. For more info, click here. And for more from RM Auctions, click here.

Update: Sold $52,250.

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.

RM Auctions – Amelia Island Highlights

RM Auctions’ recent sale in Amelia Island, Florida sold some outstanding cars, among them the 1929 Cord L-29 Special Coupe that we featured on this site. Far and away the most attractive Cord I’ve ever seen, it was the top sale at $2,420,000. Other million dollar sales included a 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale by Pinin Farina that sold for $1,430,000.

This 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Vantage convertible sold for $1,210,000. Bringing the same price was a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spyder (below the picture of the DB5).

Another million dollar Ferrari was this 1967 275 GTB/4 Berlinetta that sold for $1,100,000.

A little more exotic was the 1930 Bugatti Type 46 Superprofile Coupe which has “recreation” coachwork. It was originally a sedan but the body was replaced with a “faithful recreation” of a famous Bugatti design. The real one would have brought more, but this car was no slouch at $1,017,500.

The first car under $1 million was the 1937 Squire Drophead Coupe that we featured. It brought $990,000. The hauntingly beautiful Hispano-Suiza Double Berline did not sell. There was, however, another Hispano-Suiza – this a 1918 Type 32 Collapsible Brougham by Baltasar Fioly-CIA that sold for $335,500.

The early Model J Duesenberg from this sale that we featured sold for $803,000. Other interesting sales include this 1956 Porsche 356A Carrera GS Coupe that sold for $288,750.

RM is still in the process of parting out the John O’Quinn collection and from that collection came this 1908 Columbia Electric Mark LXX Victoria Phaeton that sold for $66,000.

Another early car was the 1921 Napier T75 Speedster with room for four people – and not much else:

It sold for $79,750. Our final feature car was one of the more affordable cars sold (the second lowest selling price for an automobile at the auction), the Rovin D4 sold for $27,500 – a little price for a little car.

And finally, one car that really stood out was the 1958 DKW Universal Kombi Wagon, which is a type of car that you usually don’t see at American auctions. There are a multitude of interesting cars from all over the world and they tend to not pop up at auctions stateside – or even auctions held in Europe by North American auction houses. There are so many Packards and Porsches that sell at auctions like this, and not nearly enough cars from companies like DKW, or (name just about any European or Asian manufacturer). Now, I understand that they aren’t quite as collectible (money talks, after all) and that not many were imported. But they definitely stand out (in a very good way) when they do show up. This one brought $60,500.

For complete results, click here.

Henney Kilowatt

1960 Henney Kilowatt

Offered by Mecum Auctions, Houston, Texas, April 13-14, 2012

If you saw this and thought “that looks like a Renault,” well you’d be correct because in the mid-1950s the National Union Electric Company and the Henney Motor Company decided to retool a Renault Dauphine as an electric car for the U.S. market. Henney was primarily a coachbuilder (which makes it somewhat ironic that they outsourced the styling of this car).

According to the catalog description, this is a 1957. However, from what I know/have read elsewhere (thank you, Hemmings), the Kilowatt was produced in 1959 and 1960 only (although there may have been a few sold as 1961 models). Only 47 cars were ever sold and most of those went to electric companies. Very few made it into the hands of the general public (they cost about $3,600 at the time while the average new car price was $2,600) and only a handful are known to exist today.

The car is capable of 60 mph and could go 60 miles on a charge. If you’re an electric car enthusiast or collector, this is a must have. It is considered by some as the first “modern” electric car. Sure, there were many electric car manufacturers back in the 1910s and 1920s but they were severely limited in range and performance and livability. This kind of changed that. Yes, we’ve moved forward – but not by too terribly much, unfortunately.

No pre-sale estimate was given but I’d guesstimate it somewhere around $50,000. Click here for the catalog description and here for more from Mecum in Houston.

Update: Sold, $35,000.

1903 Waverley Electric

1903 Waverley Model 20a Electric Surrey

Offered by RM Auctions | Phoenix, Arizona | January 20, 2012

Photo – RM Auctions

Waverely existed in a few different uninterrupted iterations between 1898 and 1914. The company can trace its roots back to Chicago-based American Electric Vehicle Company which merged with Augustus Pope’s Indiana Bicycle Company in 1898. This is when the Waverely name first appeared. Pope pulled the marque into his own mini automotive empire, creating Pope-Waverely in 1903. This was one of what had to have been very few Waverelys produced in 1903 before the name change. After the Pope Manufacturing Company went bust, Waverely became its own marque once again in 1908.

This 1903 Model 20a features two DC electric motors creating a whopping three horsepower each with overload capacity of the same amount. A number of Waverelys still exists as the company was relatively successful in the early days of electric motoring. An advertisement for the company said: “No complications. Turn on power and steer.” As you can see from the picture below, it is relatively spartan and simple. A company that lived up to its word? Shocking.

1903 Waverley Electric Surrey

Photo – RM Auctions

RM estimates this car between $50,000-$80,000. For more info click here and for more on RM in Arizona click here.

Update: Sold $110,000.