Owen Magnetic Touring

1916 Owen Magnetic Model O-36 Touring

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

Photo – Bonhams

The Owen Magnetic was a technical marvel of its day. Designed by engineer Justus B. Entz and produced by Raymond and Ralph Owen beginning in 1915, the car was famous for using an early series electric hybrid drivetrain.

Basically, the 34 horsepower straight-six powered a generator that turned the driveshaft, and in turn, the rear wheels. Speed was controlled by a selector on the steering wheel. It’s a pretty complicated set up, which made the cars super expensive when new. This one, for instance, would’ve cost $3,750. And it was the cheapest one you could get.

Between 1916 and 1919, the Owen Magnetic was actually built by the people behind the Rauch & Lang as well as the Baker Electric cars. It outlasted them, but ultimately folded in 1921, and the last two years’ worth of production were all headed overseas. This rare example should bring between $80,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $128,800.