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1912 Waverly Electric Sheltered Roadster

An Interesting Mystery Car with Unusual Coachwork

Updated – We have not had an early mystery car for a while now, and this one fits the bill perfectly. This little coupe-roadster with a landaulet-like top oddly has side curtains instead of fully padded sides that are usually seen with this type of a roof. It is likely that the windshield and side windows are removable.

We will give you only one clue, the photo was taken in California. Tell us the make, model and if possible the name that was given to this model if possible.

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  •                    The “Motor” Magazine September 1912 advertisement of the “Sheltered Roadster.”

Update – This mystery car is a Waverly Electric model 90, and the coachwork was named the “Sheltered Roadster.” We knew this would be a tough one to identify for readers because despite its appearance it is not gasoline powered, but is an electric.

There was only one correct answer and it came from Ariejan Bos, who had this to say about it: This is an electric car in its ultimate disguise. The Horseless Age reported about this car on Jan 10, 1912, that “.. the Waverley has a model built to resemble a gasoline car so closely that even an imitation radiator mouthpiece is found on the forward part of the car.” And besides on the earliest models a “gasoline tank” was mounted (like on this car), but in all advertisements I could find it already had disappeared again.

Layden Butler also noted: “Could the fact that there is no crankcase, flywheel or transmission hanging below the frame be a clue that is an electric?”

9 responses to “An Interesting Mystery Car with Unusual Coachwork

  1. This is an electric car in its ultimate disguise. The Horseless Age reported about this car on Jan 10th, 1912, that “.. the Waverley has a model built to resemble a gasoline car so closely that even an imitation radiator mouth piece is found on the forward part of the car.”. And besides on the earliest models a ‘gasoline’ reservoir was mounted (like on this car), but in all advertisements I could find it already had disappeared again. Perhaps because this item was really too much? I wonder what it was used for, maybe lemonade for the hot and dry Californian climate? To resume, the car is a Waverley electric model 90, the bodywork was called sheltered roadster, but an identical body on a chassis of a different make was called ‘combination sheltered phaeton’. I guess it would have been called a ‘cabriolet’ in Europe.

  2. Just curious, but what did people do when it rained (even in Sunny SoCal). I don’t see a set of wipers on this interesting model, so did folks just grin and bear it?

  3. Looks to be 1912, 13, 14. and full elliptic springs on front .not Franklin so should be a pretty short list. extreme curve to the rear frame with unequal length running board hangers is also very distinctive.

  4. I am NOT familiar with The Waverly, but I will venture a guess that it possibly might be a “HYBRID” , Such as the Loehner-PORSCHE “Mixed” designs for MILITARY ” tractor trains”, (circa WW-1) — OR that it could also be “Electric Only” — OR that the chassis design would “lend itself” to: Electric, “Mixed”, or gasoline powered. The tank? A “faux” “tank” with hinged end cap would make for tool & other road equipment storage. NOTE: that some Motorcycle designs of today have a “faux” “tank” to accomodate the IMAGE of a Motorcycle having a tank in that position, when it houses other equipoment with a lower (real) tank ! Plenty of room for 6 to 8 batteries with which to “SWITCH IN” various Voltage / current “Combinations” of earlier, simpler Electric Vehicle designs. Note: A “BAKER” D.C. car motor is about 1 foot long by 1 foot in diameter. Perhaps the “steering setback” is to allow a Baker sized motor driveline and a “Hood” to cover a “BATTERY BANK” and/or a gasoline motor, generator, electric motor drive combination (?)
    .
    As to the chassis design, it is elegant simplicity with FULL eliptical springing, 12-spoke wheels, Laundau Irons, and a driving position WAY behind the door! (Notice the steering wheel position!) Another clue of quality is: The “KLAXON” (brand name ) of Ah -OOO -gah horn , a very expensive ,very loud apparatus! I see a luggage trunk, which suggests the ability to “leave town”. Edwin – 30 –

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