Lot 260 - 1907 Victor High Wheel Electric Runabout
|Estimate||£30,000 - £40,000|
|Result||Sold - £38,080|
Interestingly, the first electric cars were produced in the 1880s and became increasingly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Steam and electric power were relatively straight forward and widely used. With a crowded market place by as early as 1915, it was only with advances in internal combustion engines, electric starters in particular, and mass production of cheaper petrol vehicles that led to a decline in the use of electric drive vehicles. While some are still remembered like Baker, Waverley and Detroit, there were many others now long forgotten and correspondingly rare.
Acquired by a Mr. O'Quinn in February 2008 from the James Cousens Cedar Crossing Collection in Michigan, it previously belonged to a John McMullen. Some accounts have related it to a short entry in the Standard Catalogue of American Cars 1805-1942 which mentions a 'Victor' electric vehicle registered on April 8th, 1907 by S.H. Bunshaw of Lincoln, Nebraska. No conclusive documentation of this connection, however, has been found.
This example has spent many years in America where it was on display in a museum before being sold and imported into the UK. The electrics were then completely overhauled and the vehicle is now fitted with six Odyssey PC2250 high capacity traction batteries (including a Vivian high capacity charging system) which run for up to 65-75 miles on one full charge. Chassis number 33759 has been recently re-painted with both body and chassis in black with gold pin-striping, black leather upholstery and black patent leather fenders. The wooden wheels are varnished and feature black pinstripe and narrow solid rubber tires. The Victor has a large bell on the driver's side to serve as a warning, due to the quietness of the car, along with a wooden leaver and step for the driver. Of interesting construction are the unusual transverse full-elliptic springs to both front and rear. The electric motor, which dates to 1919 by its number, is mounted to the rear axle and operates a forward jackshaft by single chain drive which turns the rear wheels via dual chains with an armature brake on the motor. Complete with a large history file documenting all the work carried out on the car and complete with a V5C, this represents high quality and incredibly rare electric motorcar but benefiting from modern batteries and charging system for today's modern driving conditions.