St. John's | Lot 159
1912 Baker Special Extension Coupe
$148,500 USD | Sold
| Plymouth, Michigan
28 July 2012
Model V. 3-1/2 hp 60-volt electric motor, shaft drive, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and two-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 80"
• Restoration by Bill Auerbach and interior by Mark Larder
• Magnificent interior by Mark Larder
• Offered from the Estate of John O’Quinn
When confronted with “the uncertainties of the Explosive Motor or Steam-Driven Vehicles,” one might be compelled to purchase a Baker Electric. The Extension Coupe offered vis à vis seating for four with a rear-facing, two-person bench in front.
John M. O’Quinn purchased this Baker Extension Coupe from James Cousens’ Cedar Crossing Collection in Clarkston, Michigan, in February 2008. Cousens acquired it from the Clara Holbrock Family Trust in Hamilton, Ohio. Hamilton attorney Hugh Holbrock and his wife were collectors of antiques and this electric automobile was an adjunct to the collection.
As purchased by Mr. Cousens, it was in need of complete restoration; Michigan restorer Bill Auerbach undertook a painstaking and comprehensive restoration. It is easy to underestimate the difficulty involved in restoring an Edwardian-era car, but special attention was required for the aluminum body panels and patent leather fenders, which were reconstructed by Amish craftsmen. The lovely cloth interior was remade by Mark Larder, of Homer, Michigan, in handsome brown broadcloth offset with brocade borders.
The result is nothing short of awesome. The cabin resembles a Victorian drawing room, every bit luxuriously upholstered, as promised by the Baker catalogue, and with windows all around. There are virtually no mechanical distractions. Driver controls are simple: a lever, the tiller assembly, and two foot pedals. Instrumentation consists only of an ammeter and voltmeter unobtrusively mounted on the bulkhead below the front seats. Thus, the car is perfectly suited to genteel conversation at top speeds: in this case, 20 mph. Walter Baker called his electric automobile “The Aristocrat of Motordom.” Riding in this Special Extension Coupe, its new owner will certainly feel aristocratic.
Please note that this vehicle will be sold on a Bill of Sale only.