Detroit Electric Car

In the the mid-1950s I often saw Mrs. Fisher casually driving her Detroit Electric along Lake Shore Drive in the Detroit, Michigan suburb of Grosse Pointe Farms. That's Mrs Fisher, as in Fisher Body, the early 20th Century coach builder and still an operating division of General Motors Company.

Obviously, even in the the 1950s such a vehicle was a rare antique. But to see a shiny jet black Detroit Electric with a proud old lady driving along with Lake Saint Claire in the background, it was quite a sight. Especially for this kid who was car crazy in that car crazy town.

Also, even then, somehow I took Mrs Fisher riding along in that electric vehicle to be representing something to all who saw her and that car. To me she was saying, think "Electric." If indeed she was, she was surely ahead of her time. A visionary, perhaps.

As to the Detroit Electric Car. Just to say that it was, well, electric. Also, aluminum body and "Chainless" Shaft Drive. Notice in the video the lever operation. The ad says it is a no-brainer (contemporary jargon) to operate. Looks complicated to me. But, hey, we have been with the steering wheel and floor pedals for a long time.

Nowadays, electric cars are back. Could lever controls be far behind?


Anonymous said...

I saw your picture about the electric car and seeing Mrs. Fisher driving it. And I saw her too. Or someone else? And who would that have been? I lived on University Place in the 1950s between Charlevoix and Waterloo and saw her driving down our street, erect stature behind the wheel and hearing the car's quiet approach to the stop sign.
Thank you for posting this picture and for your rememberings.
(I was Barbara Crooks married for many years and much later)

David D. Wronski said...

Thank you for your comment. Your recollection seems similar to mine. Nice to have corroboration. My cousin who lived on Lake Shore Drive at the time was the one who told me it was Mrs. Fisher at the wheel.