The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum | Lot 327
1956 Eshelman Model 200
$3,450 USD | Sold
| Madison, Georgia
15 February 2013
An extremely rare survivor.
Manufacturer: Eshelman Motor Co.
Origin: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.
Production: Very limited
Motor: DC electric motor
Power: 1 hp
Length: 5 ft. 4 in.
Identification No. TBA
In February 1956, Cheston Eshelman’s Baltimore plant caught fire. Despite the efforts of two fireboats and 200 firefighters, it was consumed to the extent of $500,000 in damage. In recovering from the loss, Eshelman chose to escape Baltimore’s taxes on equipment and inventories by contracting production to the Charles D. Briddell Company, a manufacturer of cutlery in Chrisfield, Maryland.
Among Eshelman products manufactured by Briddell was the new Model 200, an electric-powered car. In contrast to the heavy, earlier Eshelmans, the 200 was built on a plywood base with a molded fiberglass body. A one-horsepower DC electric motor powered the rear wheels. Electric propulsion brought with it two advantages; first, a reverse gear was provided by simply reversing the polarity of the electric motor, which was enabled with a pedal marked “Reverse.” Second, the battery provided the means for electric lighting.
Largely original, this Eshelman Model 200 bears the remains of the Eshelman decal on the dashboard. The red vinyl seat is padded and has room for two slim people. Although the exterior dimensions are those of the Adult Sport Car, the 200’s appeal was mostly for children’s use. Small electric headlights are provided, with reflectors in the rear. Exact production volume of the Eshelman Model 200 is unknown, but it was by all accounts quite minuscule, making this car a rare survivor in remarkable condition.