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1913/14 Tiffany Electircs

Guest EMF-Owner

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Guest EMF-Owner

I thought I would post a picture of an interesting item I found while at the Chickasha swap meet about a month ago. The following step plates are from a 1913/14 Tiffany Electric.


In October of 1913, Walter Flanders (of E-M-F fame) was selling off companies when he took the remains of U.S. Motor, and having learned a hard lesson, decided retrenchment was sometimes preferable to gambling. At the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York, on two sheets of notepaper, he drafted out the reorganization. He scrapped every sick company in the U.S. Motor colossus, and concentrated on the one healthy organization and the one good name that was left. One month after its introduction at the New York Automobile Show, the Flanders Six became the Maxwell.

And soon thereafter the Flanders Electric became the Tiffany. That was LeRoy Pelletier's doing-and his baby. He would take care of advertising Maxwells for Flanders, both for reasons of friendship and sustenance. But he couldn't get the idea out of his head that there remained a large market for the electric car, if only the right one could be produced. So he teamed up with former Flanders Manufacturing general manager Don McCord, bought what was left of the Flanders Electric business, reintroducing its product as the Tiffany in DeLuxe and Mignon (the latter French of course for tiny or delicate, as in filet). The new name made for catchy phrases - "Of all things She'd like, She'd like a Tiffany best" - but what Pelletier really wanted was a Tiffany with a Woolworth price tag, and this was announced in December 1913: a $750 electric which set an unprecedentedly low price in the electric field ... but which met the same fate as his $100 motorcycle. He struggled for a while, decided that since a million dollars had been spent promoting the Flanders Electric, its name was perhaps better than one associated only with jewelry, and, in march of 1914, asked his friend Walter if he'd mind if he switched back. Walter readily agreed, his ego hankering for a car called the Flanders, even though he knew he could pay off his plantation renovations only by producing the Maxwell.

Alas, the Tiffany didn't sell any better as a Flanders this time than it had the first-and ultimately Pelletier concluded he was better off advertising cars other people knew better how to build, like Walter Flanders' Maxwell. Thus ended the Flanders/Tiffany electrics.

It is thought that less than 100 Flanders/Tiffanys where built.

I thought these were too neat to pass up.

Does anyone know of any Flanders or Tiffany Electrics which have survived? The Antique Electric Car Registry and the HCCA roster does not list any. Could these be the only surviving pieces of this marquee?

That is it. Thought you may find this interesting.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest EMF-Owner

I would have to say that this would be a different Tiffany Electric. The 1913/14 Tiffany's would have had a top speed around 25 MPH. And if it were an old car, they surely would have mentioned the year of the car in this article.

I did look up the reported in Florida and sent him an email asking him about the car, but have not heard back yet. I will post again if I hear anything.


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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't know, I was comparing it to the '16 Rauch and Lang I drive, which can go about 35 mph and 30 miles on the terrain we have around here. Some of it could just be reporter ignorance. I was on a steam car tour a couple of years ago and the foolishness broadcast en mass about, "tired of high gas prices -- how about a car that runs only on water" was enough to lose what little respect I had left for the media.

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