1909 Detroit-Electric

This is a delightfully preserved, largely original example of a typically elegant and refined Detroit Electric brougham. While the exterior was refinished with new paint and, importantly, patent leather mudguards some time ago the interior upholstery and trim is all original, aged and deteriorated. Its vis-a-vis seating is typical of these sociable vehicles with the driver and one or two passengers seated facing forward in the tall coach-style body and two occasional passengers seated on a bench seat along the front of the body facing the rear, an arrangement that promoted polite conversation if not good visibility for the driver. Finished in conservative maroon with black hood, accents, roof and mudguards, the interior is button tufted black leather over the original horsehair stuffing that is not past being sat on, but its days are clearly numbered. The paint looks good in photos but is showing some age with a few spots, some cracking from the underlying wood and a little bubbling in the roof that suggests water damage and delamination. The batteries are new, as is some essential rewiring and it runs and drives properly. The battery charge monitoring gauges are missing. The body, however, is in remarkable shape for its age and the amount of attention it has had. Highlighted by really pretty old curved glass in the front quarters, there are flower vases on the center posts. The windshield is hinged at the top, folds in and fastens to the roof and the side windows drop down for cool, pleasant open air motoring on nice days. It is a wonderful relic of the days when electrics like this were preferred personal local transportation for ladies of refinement and status. Its condition and appearance are such that it can be used as is on parades, tours and around town while the new owner has the flexibility to do as much or as little restoration as time, inclination and budgets permit. Note: Although titled as a 1909, its shaft drive and factory records indicate it was built in 1911.

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