Skip to Primary Content Skip to Footer Navigation

Write Brothers Era Electric Vehicle Donated to Museum

Joshua   Noble
Posted On:
Feb 10, 2015  at  at 9:00 AM
Kingman News
History and Culture

Custer Chair Car

The Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation recently announced the addition of a 1914 Custer Chair Car to their collection.  Its Inventor, Levitt Lucern Custer, was an entrepreneur and contemporary of the Wright Brothers. “Custer had worked with the Wrights and was an accomplished balloonist and aviator in his own right” says Larry Fisher, Foundation Curator.

The Custer Chair Car was largely for seniors, however the Great War (World War I) brought with it the opportunity to create a mobility solution for returning wounded soldiers. The three-wheeled Custer Chair Car answered this by promising "Miles of Smiles for a Penny." The Custer Specialty Company offered the cars first with electric power, and later optional gasoline power.  Hundreds were produced, although few survived the scrap drives of World War II.

The Route 66 Historic Electric Vehicle Exhibit has had several vehicles donated since debuting at the International Route 66 Festival in August.  Among them are a very rare, sporty Tropica Roadster and a hybrid trailer built by JB Starubel (Tesla Motors co-founder and Chief Technical Officer) which was featured in the May, 2007 Popular Science magazine being towed behind Starubel’s electric-converted Porsche 944

Donated vehicles will be added to the collection later this year after restoration and prep work has been completed.  The Foundation is seeking assistance from sponsors and volunteers to transport the vehicles to the Electric Vehicle Exhibit in Kingman, Arizona

“It is our mission to tell the whole story of the development of Electrical Vehicles” Says Roderick Wilde, Executive Director of the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation.  Every addition to the collection makes for a better story.  For more information, visit