Woods Dual Power

1917 Woods Dual Power Type 44 Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 30, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

I’m not a huge fan of featuring project cars (this one is described as 80% complete), but the car itself is interesting – and rare – enough that I had to. The Woods Motor Vehicle Company was founded in Chicago in 1899. They produced electric vehicles through 1916, though they did sell gas-powered cars under the Woods Electric brand for a few years.

In 1917, the company rebranded as Woods Dual Power, a new marque that would last only through 1918. The new cars had an inline-four gas engine rated at 14 horsepower, in addition to an electric motor. Below 15 mph, the car drove on electricity (though the gas engine was still idling). After it hit 15, the gas motor would take over, pushing the car up to 35 mph. It was essentially a very early hybrid.

Only 1,900 examples were produced, and only four are known to survive. Three are in museums, and this example was restored in the 1980s. It was later present in a private German collection when a fire swept through and a beam landed on the Woods, crushing it. The current owner straightened the chassis, sourced a replacement gas engine, and rebuilt the electrics to roughly mimic the original running procedure. It now carries a roadster body and still needs some additional touches to be complete. In this state, it should sell for between $41,000-$45,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

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