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1903 Columbus Folding Top Runabout


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From the Harold Coker collection. Was a Christmas present to Harold's wife, Lillian Coker. 

Come back in time, it was built in the Columbus Buggy factory, Columbus Ohio. It cost $1500 when the average family income was about $500 a year. It was built in June 1903, six months before the Wright Brothers flew (December 1903). 

It was powered by 42 2volt batteries producing 84v. It was terrifyingly fast in an age where usual transportation was about 5 miles and hour, it could easily hit TWENTY miles per hour and cover 75 miles before an overnight charge.

It was for wealthy women. It was silent with none of the drawbacks from steam or internal combustion engines. No clutch. No noise. No smoking, nor foul odors, No transmission. No radiator. No need for a crank to start it. Almost no learning curve.  

Your right hand on a tiller and your left hand on a lever that controlled three positions. #1 accessed 1/3rd of the batteries (low), #2 accessed 2/3rds of the batteries - (medium speed) and #3 all the batteries! Dual chain drives and two wheel rear brakes.

Cities had to enact and enforce speed limits. Usually 5 mph to tame these speed demons (maybe speed demonesses!)

 

At night a charger would have it ready for the next jaunt!

This car is a near perfect time capsule. Original paint (even pinstriping), wood body, running gear, about everything with the exception of have modern batteries (7 12v deep cycle) upholstery and a naugahyde top that replaced the original leather.

At one time it was owned and driven by renowned silent film star Zasu Pitts.

It has been featured in major collections and one World's Fair. Still running and regularly driven by myself and my wife.

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Very cool! Love the originality of this car, and the fact that you still drive it. 

 

I see that Zasu had different headlights on it in that photo. Wonder whatever became of them? 

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3 hours ago, lump said:

Very cool! Love the originality of this car, and the fact that you still drive it. 

 

I see that Zasu had different headlights on it in that photo. Wonder whatever became of them? 

No telling about the headlights. Those on Zasu Pitt's car possibly are kerosene? The one we have now are electric.

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