1914 Detroit Electric 5-Passenger Opera Coupe

About this vehicle

Early gasoline powered cars required a strong arm to crank start the engines. Steam cars required a lengthy warm-up time before they could be driven, electric cars on the other hand were simple to operate, quiet, and produced no exhaust fumes. Manufactured by the Anderson Electric Car company, the Detroit Electric was elegant and expensive. It was designed to appeal primarily to wealthy ladies who lived closed to city centers. Clara Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and Thomas Edison drove Detroit Electrics. The Elliott Museum car has “salon seating”, with dual tiller-drive controls and swivel seats in front. The car can be driven from either the front seat, or the back seat, therefore, “a back seat driver!” The interior features rich button-tufted brocade upholstery, bud vases and curved glass side windows. The upholstery in this car is original.



  • Electric Motor
  • Batteries: twelve six-volt batteries, six in front compartment, six in rear compartment
  • Range: 80 miles (advertised0
  • Top Speed: 20-22 mph
  • Horsepower: Not published
  • Transmission: Direct shaft drive, no transmission
  • Original Price: $3,000 or $3,880 with optional Edison batteries