Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
DanStr

How did Detroit Electric survive until 1939?

9 posts in this topic

I just read on Wikipedia that Detroit Electric built cars until 1939 (and SOLD cars until 1942).

I saw a picture of one from 1931 - it looked exactly like one from the 20's other than wheels and tires. Was the design ever updated prior to the end of production?

I'm assuming production went lower and lower as time went by?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently Detroit Electric went bankrupt in 1929. An A.O. Dunk bought the company and was able to keep it going after his death in 1936 on just a special order basis. Last Detroit Electric was shipped on 2/23/39

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard that electric car owners who still had a working car had the last laugh when WWII gas rationing came around and could zoom around at will!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems that all 1910's and 20s electric cars makers had oddly similar body styles. Does anyone have any info pertaining to the coach-crafting lineage of these "cinderella coaches". For example, were Detroit Electic bodies built in house or by a coach building firm?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

The information I have found, is that the Detroit Electric started as a project by the Anderson body company. In other words they made horse drawn carriages and  auto bodies first, then branched out into making electric cars.

 

http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/a/anderson_carriage/anderson_carriage.htm

 

They bought the electric components from the Elwell - Parker company of Cleveland Ohio who also supplied Baker Electric. A few years later they bought up  Elwell - Parker.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of early electric  coach work, I was amazed at the amount of skill shown in the construction of the aluminum front and rear quarter panels on the 1915 Milburn I finished earlier this year. They are large with compound shape mostly. I could not find any sign of a weld either inside or out which means that they were formed in one piece. Quite an accomplishment then and now.     John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0