1922 Detroit-Electric 90

The appeal of electric power for automobiles today reprises its popularity in the automobile's early days when electric cars and trucks challenged steam and gasoline for supremacy. Electricity offered many advantages particularly silent, clean running, simple operation and reliability. Its range was more than adequate around town and it enjoyed continuing success into the Twenties but was gradually overshadowed by advances in gasoline engine operation and reliability. Detroit Electrics were made by the Anderson Electric Car Co, founded (as Anderson Carriage) in Thomas Edison's home town of Port Huron, Michigan in 1884. It moved to Detroit in 1895 and started making electric vehicles in 1907 under the brand name of Detroit Electric. After using a variety of chain-drive systems the company had its subsidiary Elwell-Parker design a robust slow-speed high-torque motor that allowed direct shaft drive with no speed reduction chains or gears, except at the rear axle, an important innovation which contributed to its success. Unlike some others, Detroit celebrated its electric power with designs that were abrupt, erect and functional, giving little stylistic credence to the perception that electric automobiles should be disguised with the grilles and hoods of gasoline automobiles. This 1922 Model 90 Coupe is a superb example of the marque, meticulously and authentically restored in every respect from the ground up into a beautiful show car with no detail left to chance. Finished in subtle green and black with black fenders, the interior is luxuriously trimmed in grey and brown striped wool. The bright work is warmly nickel plated. Both the top pane of the windshield and the rear window open for ventilation while the curved rear quarter windows have curtains in addition to pull-down shades that also cover the rear window. The interior has a swivel seat at the right front and a folding jump seat on the left in front of the driver's position. Window pillar-mounted flower vases create a drawing room atmosphere. This is a no-excuses, no shortcuts car that is impeccable in every respect and includes a full complement of new batteries as well as new tires. It was state of the art in 1922 -- and isn't far off state of the art in 2011.

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