Electric autos are all the rage. No, not today; we’re talking the early 1900s. It seems as if the auto industry today is likely to succeed in switching many of us from the internal combustion engine to battery-powered electrics. In the early part of the 20th Century the “electrics” were popular – a least for a decade or so. In the formative days of the automobile indusry many companies were busy inventing, and eventually failing. It seems we may be seeing some of that now.
The earliest production autos are now more than 100 years old, so they qualify as “antiques” by most definitions. The Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum has three electrics in its collection. The museum is looking for an antique charging station, by the way. We’re sure there are electrics to be found in other automotive museums, as well.
Now that good weather is upon us, we can find those antique cars in shows all across the map. While the earliest and most unusual are less likely to be seen in a local show, they are out there. We recall a Stanley Steamer parked near the Collector’s office a number of years ago. Who knows, maybe steam power will be the next “revival.”
Most antique (or vintage, but who’s counting) car makes have clubs that organize various excursions where the owners may drive a few miles, or more, as a group. Happening upon one of those is always interesting.
While we’re typically thinking about objects from the early 1800s or before, antique autos always catch our eye. Be careful, though, buying that first antique auto could be a “slippery slope.” Did we mention many of the regional antique auto museums were once personal collections that outgrew their owner’s garages!