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Pioneering electric cars to go under the hammer

Electric cars from the turn of the century head to Historics’ next auction

The electric car is nothing new. In fact, it’s more than 150 years old. On June 11 two electric cars from the turn of the last century go on auction, proving that electric technology is actually a thing of the past.

UK classic car auction specialist, Historics is selling two electrically-propelled cars dating back to manufacture in 1906 and 1907. The elderly duo – the 1906 Pope Waverley Victoria Phaeton and 1907 Victor High Wheel Electric Runabout – were built in USA and will be sold at Brooklands, Surrey.

The birthplace of one of these unusual machines match that of the Brooklands circuit itself, adding resonance to the sale. But these cars weren’t the only electric machines of their time. There were more than 100 manufacturers of battery-powered cars early 20th-century but the rapid development of the internal combustion engine sounded the death knoll for the electric car movement.

The 1906 Pope Waverley Victoria Phaeton is being offered by Historics at an estimate of £30,000-£40,000. The machine was sold at the time manufacture in Nebraska for some $1,600 and features a leather-lined hood, leg covers and a floral print, button-back fabric ‘bench’ seat. And in case you’re worried about early 20th-century electrics, the Pope Waverly is also equipped with modern technology batteries.

The 1907 Victor High Wheel Runabout, on the other hand, was built one year later in Indianapolis. It was on display in an American Museum for numerous years before being imported to the UK, when it was the subject of a complete overhaul.

The complete restoration included the fitment of contemporary batteries and charging system, and a recent repaint of both the chassis and bodywork, together with black leather upholstery and patent leather mudguards.

The Victor is also being auctioned with an estimate of £30,000-£40,000. The electric cars are two of 139 classic cars on sale on Saturday, June 11 at Historics at Brooklands, Surrey.

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