Green classic: an electric car (from 1899) sold for $ 550.000

28/08/2011
This rare unit of a Columbia Electric Landaulet just find a buyer at the auction held by RM Auctions in Monterey last weekend. 

1899_Columbia_electric_Landaulet.jpg

Estimated between 250,000 and $ 350,000 this real (functional) museum piece fitted with Edison motors has really exceeded the estimates. It is presumably one of the very few surviving models, and belonged to James Cousens, a serial collector of electric cars.

1899_Columbia_electric_Landaulet.jpg

A little history
In the 1890’s Pope Manufacturing Company, based in Hartford, Connecticut, and led by Colonel Albert Pope was one of the largest manufacturer of bicycles when the company decided to venture into the automotive industry... This ambition gave rise to an electric car prototype in 1896. 

Then in 1899 Mr Pope met the Financier William Collins Whitney, who had just bought the New York based company Electric Vehicle Company (after being impressed by the performance of their fleet of electric taxis in the winter) and was looking for a manufacturing/production unit. 

1899_Columbia_electric_Landaulet.jpg1899_Columbia_electric_Landaulet.jpg

Columbia Automobile Company was born. Then the two entrepreneurs, with their experience, started selling licenses to Buick, Cadillac and Oldsmobile offering extra cash so the company could develop serenely and also start selling cars with combustion engines. 

In 1902 there were nine electric Columbia models, and one petrol version, in 1904 22 electric models and three petrol, but over time the volumes of combustion models surpassed those of electric vehicles and the business of selling licenses was destroyed by the arrival of Henry Ford. 

The production of Columbia cars stopped in 1913 after a production of 27,000 units (gasoline and electric). 

This particular car, a Mark XXXV Columbia was discovered in 1976 in Charleston in a carriage house and fully and meticulously restored by Bruce Amster Hyannis in Massachusetts. In 2008 we find the car in the James Cousens Cedar Crossing Collection. 

Via RM Auctions

Par Technologic Vehicles
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