A recent auction held at the famous Brooklands racetrack in England saw two very early electric car models sell for a pretty fair amount of money — with one of the cars even selling for more than any of its pre-auction estimates of value.
The two electric cars in question, a 1906 Pope-Waverly Victoria Phaeton and a 1907 Victor High Wheel Electric Runabout, ended up selling for £44,800 (~$63,500) and £38,080 (~$42,750), respectively.
It’s worth noting here that the two electric cars sold at auction were both fully restored and outfitted with “modern” batteries. Presumably this means with lithium-ion battery-packs. Perhaps too bad, as some early electric cars were outfitted with interesting battery systems.
Green Car Reports provides more:
That’s against pre-auction estimates of £30,000 to £40,000 (about $42,000 to $56,000) for each car.
…The Pope-Waverly brand was one of several automotive and bicycle companies controlled by entrepreneur Colonel Albert Pope. It was formed from an 1898 merger between the American Electric Vehicle Company and the Indiana Bicycle Company, and joined Pope’s conglomerate in 1903. The 1906 Pope-Waverly Victoria Phaeton that sold at Brooklands was originally priced at $1,600. That sum bought seating for two (with an occasional-use third seat), a leather convertible top, and little else. In an arrangement not uncommon for cars of the period, the driver steered with a tiller rather than a steering wheel.
The Victor High Wheel Runabout, one year newer than the Pope-Waverly, was built in Indianapolis — which rivaled Detroit as a hotbed of the US auto industry at the time. Among its notable features is a bell, meant to warn pedestrians who might not hear the nearly-silent electric car coming.
The relatively high auction prices seem to show that interest in potentially collectable early electric cars is now on the rise — presumably as a result of surging demand for modern electric vehicles (EVs).