That year more than 1,000 cars were built under the name Detroit Electric. Nine models could be purchased in either a long or short wheelbase. By 1912, Detroit Electrics could be purchased in 12 models with four different wheelbases available. The cost for one of the 1912 models was between $2,000 and $3,750. That was a lot of money in those days, but people usually didn't go very far, and the cars were easy to start and operate. Production had increased to 4,500 cars by 1914, but gasoline-powered cars were being sold by Ford for as little as $650 that year.
Over the next six years, gas cars pushed the Detroit Electrics production down to only 200 vehicles, but the little company managed to hang in there.
In 1929 the Anderson Carriage company filed for bankruptcy. That year 88 cars were produced. While muddling through bankruptcy in 1931, 23 cars were built.
A man named Alfred Dunk purchased the company in 1932 and renamed it the Detroit Electric Car Co. People were still ordering cars.
Here’s where it gets a little crazy. Dunk began purchasing all of the old Detroit Electrics that he could get his hands on. He brought them back to his factory, where he put new batteries in them. He then installed new fenders, bumpers, wheels, etc., and sold them as new 1932s. He did this through 1934, and then for the next five years he converted Dodges and Willys to electric.
The car in the pictures is the first 1932. It was rebuilt from a 1918 model, which explains why the design looks so much older than cars being built by other manufacturers in 1932. The 1932 models could go about 70 miles between charges, even farther if they were put in neutral when possible.
By 1939 the demand for electric cars had faded drastically. The Detroit Electric Car Co. closed up shop a couple of years later.
Until next week, keep on cruising.