WIlliam "Red" Lewis' 1917 Model 27

1917 Milburn Light Electric
Photo courtesy of Joe Chabal
Owner: William "Red" Lewis
Email: Bob DeFreitas
Location: DePere, Wisconsin
Serial number (frame stamp): 2-395-7
Motor number (title): 458156
Body number (square plate): 496 (stamped into wood body)
Model: 27
Wheels: Steel spokes
Color: Ford Burgundy and black
Upholstery: Restored cloth
Seating capacity: 4
Windows: 6
Steering control: Tiller
Speed control: Lever
Top speed:  
Forward speeds: 4
Reverse speeds: 2
Length overall:  
Width overall:  
Height overall:  
Tires: Michelin 33X4 with tubes
Brake systems: Dual band
Curb weight:  
Motor: GE 1051E14W6, 33Amp, 76 volts, speed 1950
Drivetrain: Worm gear, Rear End Housing: #A3703 casting
Controller: Rotating drum, 10 position, GE S141A, No. 291320
System voltage: 84 volts
Price, new:  
08Jul2015 Update: Car sold recently to William "Red" Lewis of DePere, Wisconsin with plans to include it in a new museum.

Research Notes (by Myles Twete):
This is one of the few Milburns existing today that we know the entire history of.  It has had 4 owners so far.  DeFreitas bought this car from Joe Chabal in 2008.  Chabal did some restoration including adding batteries, changing the upholstery from faux leather to cloth and replacing the headlights which were stolen after he purchased the car.  Other notes include: Rear end casting housing #A3703, Chassis Spring bracket "#MWCoA-4937- triangle".  Reviewing the Milburn Parts List, this appears to translate as "Milburn Wagon Company # A-4937", which according to the Parts List is "Rear Spring Rocker Bracket, Part # 4937".  The "A" is likely the drawing size.  The "MWCo" is likely  "Milburn Wagon Company".  Another observation is that the Rear End Casting Housing is marked "#83703".  Per the Milburn foldout drawing in the Parts List, this housing is  Milburn #"A3703".  The car also includes an original battery plate (3 3/8x4 3/4") that is inscribed "40cell, Type MVG 1PLAIR, 4 trays".  It also lists "Electric Storage Battery Company, P.O. - W4508".  This is interesting in that Milburn ordinarily used Philadelphia batteries and not the Exide batteries from ESB.
Analyzing a bit: the "MVG 1PLAIR, 4 trays" is incorrect.  Rather, it probably states "MVG 11 Plate, 4 trays", which would equate with Exide's "MVG" batteries of 1917.

1916 Milburn originally owned by Richard H. Wright
S/N: 23957 (i.e. 1916 Model 27)

History per former owner, Richard Spain on 10/2006:

2 owners, Richard Spain (4/2005 – 3/2007) Durham North Carolina tobacco magnate Richard H. Wright and estate (Duke U. campus includes a 9000 sq. ft. Wright mansion)

Spain indicated that he bought this 1917 (?) Milburn and a 1912 Regal last year from an estate sale in Durham N.Carolina where the cars from the Richard H. Wright estate were sold. He indicated that there were also a REO a FLINT, a 1916 Knight and other cars sold. It was understood that Wright would purchase cars new each year, drive them for a couple years, then park them. This Milburn sat for some 80+ years indoors.

The Milburn’s interior was all cotton and bad with surface rust. He replaced all the metal spokes at approx. $2each from a Calif. Company (likely Burlington Spoke---he respoked it himself).

He put on new Michelin Coker tires. Total original except trunk lid & hood - sheet metal shop remade these. Original top & floormat. Had 1921 original Exides, 40 x 2v PbA batteries. Currently no batteries in the car.

Henry Austin Clark had catalog of all U.S. cars. Year was estimated based on looks. Car didn’t have a visor, and he claimed it has a 5-digit S/N.

Richard deduced it’s a 1917 or earlier. When he got the vehicle, nothing would turn. All lubes had turned to varnish and he had to use heat & paint remover to get fluids to flow.

Color is original "Ford" maroon color, yellow wheels, black fenders. He reupholstered the interior w/ cloth headliner & had seats redone w/imitation leather.