2009 Melbourne International Motorshow Auction

c1917 Rauch & Lang BX7 Electric Brougham





Engine Electric
Body Work Brougham
Colour Black
Interior Fawn
Trim Cord
Wheels Wooden-spoke
Brakes Contracting on motor & rear drums


This lot is no longer available

The carriage building company started in Cleveland, Ohio by Charles Rauch and Charles Lang grew to become the cities largest by the 1870s and remained highly profitable at the turn of the century. In 1903, Rauch & Lang took on the agency for the Buffalo electric car and offered their own electric car by 1905, with most of the mechanical components sourced from the local Hertner Electric Co., an outfit incorporated into the Rauch & Lang empire in 1907. With the burgeoning popularity of electric cars, particularly with women who enjoyed the lack of crank starting, Rauch & Lang soon established itself as a maker of top quality machines. Despite the limitations of battery life, the range was typically between 30 and 75 miles - plenty given most people attempted short trips in automobiles at the time and ideal for driving within city limits. The Rauch & Lang electric car was normally fitted with stately carriage-type coachwork, with sumptuous interior appointments and an upright appearance thanks to the flat roof and lack of a radiator. Worm drive was introduced in 1911, followed quickly by bevel gear transmission in 1913. Production of electric cars peaked around the time of the First World War, due in part to steadily rising petrol prices, but gradually declined as improvements to the internal combustion engine were made, most notably the self-starter. Nonetheless, Rauch & Lang still turned out 700 cars in 1919. With interest in electric-powered vehicles on the rise once more, pioneering electric cars - known colloquially as ?Juicers? - will remain collectible for years to come.