On Sept. 26, an awfully rare electric vehicle was auctioned off for $95,000 in Ebeltoft, Denmark. The 1905 Woods Queen Victoria Brougham has found a new owner.
Compared to modern electric vehicles, the Woods may not be able to compete in terms of comfort or speed, and yet it costs more than a Tesla. The 110-year-old electric vehicle is the last of its kind, which means that the auction winner is the owner of a truly unique vehicle.
"It is believed to be the only 1905 Woods Electric Style 214A Queen Victoria Brougham in existence," noted Bonhams, a privately owned British auction house.
Woods Motor Vehicle Company started 1899, building 500 units annually. The Chicago-based carmaker sold models that went for $3,000. The vehicles were expensive for its time, and if converted to today's money, they amount to approximately $71,000.
The antique two-seater vehicle shows that electric-powered cars are not new. They were even the preferred automobiles before, even though they used batteries. At the start of the 20th century, people favored both steam and electric cars because they were easier to operate, and they ran more silently compared to gasoline-powered cars, which were considered loud, smelly and dangerous, not to mention that they required some physical effort to use and start, and drivers needed at least some mechanical know-how because of its tendency to break down. Also, the gas stations at that time were the chemists, meaning that emergency gas was not accessible.
Electric cars were at the pinnacle until its technology was left behind, eventually passing the top spot to gasoline technology.
The only Woods vehicle today is overhauled with luxurious leather seats, a quick-charging system and lightweight batteries so it can be powered up and ready for use without taking forever. It is also equipped with a leaf suspension and rear drum brakes.
The Woods seems to be one of the first convertibles, as the cab can be removed, but it probably won't create face-whipping wind because it only runs at 30 mph.
Woods may not beat Tesla off the market because there's only one left in existence, but as evidence shows, it paved the way for automotive innovation.