Recreating the Horseless Carriage Experience
By Bill Moore
Three-part Skype video interview with The Creative Workshop's Jason Wenig on the creation of the circa 1910 electric touring car for New York City's Central Park.
New York City has a lot of very significant issues it's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, will have to confront: from widening income disparity to city employee pension funds. Curiously one of those issues is what to do about the horse-drawn carriages in Central Park. Beloved by tourists and loathed by animal rights activists, there is a move afoot - or a-hoof - to eventually remove them from the park.
As we've discussed previously here on EV World, the suggestion has been made to replace them with antique electric cars, or more precisely, replicas of antique EVs; battery-powered touring cars that capture the spirit of early motoring a century ago in New York City. We subsequently learned courtesy of Allie Feldman at NYClass.org that The Creative Workshop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is turning the model pictured below into a real, full-sized working prototype. She kindly provided me with Jason Wenig's contact information and we arranged to do a Skype Video interview with him about the project, which given the level of emotions swirling around this issue, was either brave or foolhardy of him.
Jason also provided EV World with a number of photographs of the prototype under development. It's a 9-passenger, lithium-ion battery powered vehicle that he hopes inspires a similar emotional response to that evoked by the carriages. Being a native New Yorker himself, he understands the deep-seated feelings the animals and their ornate and delicate conveyances elicit. One hundred yeas ago, he points out, horses and horseless carriages co-existed on the streets of New York. It's the nostalgia of that period he wants to capture in the design of the touring car.
The entire interview is some 36-minutes long, so to fit it into Youtube's video time limit we divided it into three, roughly 12 minutes segments. Below the three videos are several of the photos of the project in development that Jason provided us. He is hoping to unveil the finished car this summer in New York City.
Originally published: 30 Jan 2014
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