12 March 2011
1916 Detroit Electric Brougham
- Chassis no. 5498
Sold for $52,250
- Offered from a prominent private collection
- Most popular prewar electric
- Excellent older restoration
Over the course of its lifespan, the Detroit Electric Car Company produced more electric automobiles than any other American passenger car manufacturer. Full identification of this car is a bit enigmatic, hampered by the manufacturer’s habit of using the same components for very similar cars with a wide array of model numbers. The motor has been dated from its number as 1916. However, Detroit company records show it to have left the factory on a Duplex Drive Extended Brougham, Model 60. The Brougham body is of the four-passenger type used from 1915 to 1918, and this car, built on the heavy, Type A chassis used for Models 51, 54, 57 and 59, is believed to be a Model 57.
The current owner purchased this car from James Cousens’ Cedar Crossing Collection in 2008. It was previously owned by John McMullen and Dr. Arthur Schultz. An older restoration, it shows its age but overall presents well. It is upholstered in light blue cord cloth with matching blue carpet. The seating is vis-à-vis fashion, with front passengers facing aft and the driver in the full-width seat at the rear. There is a fixed aft-facing cushion at the left front and a swivel chair in the opposing space.
Nickel trim is used sparingly, principally on the lights, and is in generally good condition. A medallion indicates that the car was a participant in the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance. If any car can be a conversation piece, this is it.
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