PHOTO CAPTION: 1905 Woods Queen Victoria Brougham

Antique Goes For Tesla Price Tag

Unlike many automobiles, this antique EV appreciated in value, originally selling for the equivalent of $71,000 in 2015 dollars and going for more than $95,000.

Published: 30-Sep-2015

Even in 1905, electric cars were an expensive rarity going then for the price of a baseline Tesla Model S. Priced in 1905 for around $3,000US, in 2015 dollars equivalent to $71,000. On September 26, 2015, chassis number 284 went under Bonhan's gavel at auction, selling for DKK632,500 (US$94,548), a 33% appreciation even using today's dollar.

Now equipped with modern, faster charging batteries, it still has a top speed of only 30 mph (45 km/h), which is still faster than what traffic typically moves in central London. The 110 year-old car known as a Woods Queen Victoria Brougham appealed to wealthy professionals, businessmen, physicians, society ladies. According to Bonham's catalog:

The Woods Motor Vehicle Company was formed in Chicago in 1899. The backers of the company consisted of a wealthy group of investors, which included several highly placed executives from Standard Oil as well as a number of high-powered businessmen from Toronto, Canada. August Belmont, a prominent New Yorker, and Samuel Insull from Chicago also participated in the venture. Both were weighty sponsors to have on board: Belmont had built the Belmont Park racetrack, while Insull had been Thomas Edison's personal secretary and a co-founder of Edison General Electric, which is now General Electric.

Despite an initial cash infusion of $10 million in common stock, the equivalent of nearly a quarter billion dollars today, the Woods Motor Vehicle Company of Chicago eventually closed its doors in 1918. The company even briefly introduced one of the first gasoline hybrids.

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