Hitting The Road In Two Vintage (1906 & 1907) Electric Cars – Video

Vintage Electric Cars


Electric cars in the early 1900s! Most people today don’t even realize what a dominating force they were a century ago.  Electric cars were right there at the introduction of automobiles, premiering in the 1880s. But as ICE cars came into their own, electric cars faded away.

Vintage Electric Car Motor And Differential

Vintage Electric Car Motor And Differential

Video Description:

In our latest film we take a step back in time and drive two very old vintage electric cars. A 1906 Pope Waverley Victoria Phaeton and a 1907 Victor High Wheel Runabout. Who knew electric cars existed at the dawn of the automobile?!

The first car in the video, a 1907 Victor High Wheel Runabout, has six batteries and pushes about 70 Volts. It only has one gear, just like many of today’s EVs – kinda.

The driving mechanism can be simply rotated from driver to passenger so either person can drive, or a person can choose to drive with either arm. The driving stick engages forward, reverse, or neutral and there is a pedal brake.

The 1906 Pope Waverly Victoria Phaeton uses the same controls, except that the driving stick stays on one side and only allows left hand drive. In the model in the video, the original battery system has been changed out to be the same as the Victor, with six batteries. It also has an electric bell, electric headlights, an electric tail lamp and a third seat. This model has two brakes.

At the time of the release of these cars both cost about $1,600.  Very not cheap.

Categories: General


Leave a Reply

3 Comments on "Hitting The Road In Two Vintage (1906 & 1907) Electric Cars – Video"

newest oldest most voted

I have to admit I wonder what would happen if you pitted these against a MS P90DL on a drag strip… 😉

OMG, I’m in love… Beautiful and well built vehicles with Victorian charm and history. 🙂

Interesting. They didn’t show the ‘regulator’ (accelerator) in either car, but sounds like the Victor had a compound-wound motor (seeing as you got dynamic braking), and the Pope was Series-Wound (since there was no regeneration – dynamic braking is difficult to control in a series motor so it apparently wasn’t worth the bother).

No gears perhaps, (other than the requisite Differential Gearing which all single drive vehicles MUST have), but they did have double reduction in the chain drive.

One interesting thing done all the time with mechanized equipment which curiously is never done any more in cars, is the high speed brakes – on the motor shaft in the victor – so that car must have had excellent brakes, (or in this case, brake, since there was only one). I never understood why this concept was never used in regular cars, unless it was always felt the brake lining would wear out too fast.