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Lot 757
1918 Walker Electric Model 42 Truck Chas

Sold for US$ 14,375 inc. premium

MOTOR CARS

18 Sep 2004, 10:00 PDT

San Francisco

1918 Walker Electric Model 42 Truck
Chassis Number: 7249
In the 1910s and 1920s, the internal combustion motor vehicle had not yet irrevocably asserted its dominance. Although the electric and steam automobile were being gradually supplanted by the longer-range gasoline engine vehicles, for certain uses electric vehicles still had great appeal. Before the advent of the electric self-starter, the electric automobile made much sense for the women of affluent houses. They were comfortable, silent, clean and easy to operate. And although electrics had a very modest range, they were perfectly suited to short trips within a close range of home, where they could be charged nightly.

For city delivery vehicles, electrics also made sense. Companies with large fleets found that electrics worked very well for delivery routes. Dairies, butchers and caterers often took advantage of the great torque and ease of operation provided by electrics.

In 1906 the Automobile Maintenance Manufacturing Company was founded in Chicago to produce electric vehicles marketed under the Walker Balance Gear nameplate. According to truck historian Albert Mroz, when the company reorganized as the Walker Vehicle Company in 1912, the model range consisted of 750-pound to 3 1/2-ton vehicles. These strictly commercial vehicles used a single electric motor mounted integrally in the rear axle.

One Walker truck destined to remain in Chicago for its working life was the 3-ton delivery vehicle sold to the Bowman Dairy, a wholesale dairy supplying the hotel trade. This unrestored Walker electric is fitted with a wooden delivery body and rides on solid rubber tires fitted to solid steel wheels.

Never modified or damaged, it has been stored and preserved in enclosed storage subsequent to purchase by the Wiglesworth Collection.
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