Columbia was a pioneer in the electric automobile field, introducing an electric Wagonette as early as 1900. The Hartford, Connecticut based company produced electrics as well as gasoline cars from the late 1890s through 1914. They were one of the more successful early electric manufacturers, although the company’s fate was sealed when, in 1910, it was swallowed up by US Motors, only for the parent company to collapse three years later.
This 1905 Columbia Mark XXXV features formal open-drive Brougham coachwork that clearly shows its horse-drawn carriage roots with its lofty chauffeur’s position and fully enclosed passenger compartment. It is a large an imposing machine, with massive artillery wheels and solid rubber tires of 38- and 42-inches in diameter. Unlike similar electrics that used a single motor to drive a shaft or chain to the rear axle, the Mark XXXV features an unusual dual-motor layout, with the two huge electric motors directly driving ring gears affixed to the inside of each rear wheel.
This car was discovered tucked away in a New York City livery stable in 1948 by the famed collector and historian Henry Austin Clark, Jr. The Columbia was displayed in his world-famous Long Island Automotive Museum for many years, until it joined another prominent collection in 1982. It is believed that the opulent leather interior is original to the car.