Tampa Bay Auto Museum 1922 Model 27L 5-speed

1922 Milburn Light Electric (more photos)
Photo
Photo courtesy of James Cousens
Owner: Oliver & Susan Cerf (on display at Tampa Bay Auto Museum (since 2012))
Email: info at tbauto.org
Location: Pinellas Park, Florida
Serial number (frame stamp): 2-3175-7   (NJ VIN MIL22231757)
Motor number (title): 119470
Body number (square plate): 17284 (per wood stampings)
Model: 27L light coupe
Wheels: Steel spoke
Color: Milburn blue, with black fenders and trim
Upholstery: Hand done needlepoint cushions, plush mohair trim
Seating capacity: 4 -- Rear seat for 2; auxiliary, fold-down front seats for 2 additional under the windshield
Windows: 6
Steering control: Tiller
Speed control: Tiller
Top speed: 35 MPH
Range: 40 - 50 miles
Forward speeds: 5 (4 speeds with controller, one speed with foot button)
Reverse speeds: 2
Length overall: Bumper to bumper 152", body only 130"
Width overall: 62" at fender width, 53" at center of body
Height overall: 78"
Wheelbase: 105"
Track: 57"
Tires: Firestone 34" X 4" with tubes
Tread: "non-skid" words used as tread design
Brake systems: Contracting and expanding on rear wheels
Curb weight: 1400 lbs. without batteries
Instrumentation: Sangamo amp meter (40 amps) or digital E-meter
Lights: 40-watt headlights & taillight, inside lights, turn signals
Heater: none
Motor: GE classification # GE1085E1W1, 81-volt, 46 amps
Drive train: Worm gear
Controller: Non-arcing rotating drum, 4 speeds forward, 2 speeds reverse
Springs: Semi-elliptical leaf springs, front and back
Axles: 2
Batteries: 6-volt deep cell acid, GP1 size, 8 rear, 6 front (14 total)
System voltage: 84 volts
Charger: Custom-made with Variac, capacity 0-130 amps
Equipment: Electric turn signals, Klaxon horn, Bermuda bell
Price, new: About $2,000
04May2017 UPDATE: It turns out that this car is listed in the 1957 Antique Auto Registry's Milburn section.  It was listed as a 1922, 4.5HP, 4passenger Fully Restored Milburn owned by Mr. & Mrs. Forrest Clouse.

07Jun2013 UPDATE: This car was sold at auction by RMAuctions in 2012 and is now in the collection of the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum.  Prior to this it was in Houston, Texas, owned by attorney John O'Quinn as part of his collection called O'Quinn's Classic Cars.

Analysis Note: NJ VIN# MIL22231757: interpret as "MIL"YY-M-SSSS-M: i.e. 1922, Model 27L S/N 3175

This Milburn Light Electric coupe was purchased by Col. Donald E. Wolff from a museum in Indiana (where it was for 33 yrs), in 1962, then was sold to James Cousens in December, 2005.

Col. Wolff said of the car:

It had been a national first place winner in Hershey, Pa, and I've had tremendous pleasure with it throughout these years. It took a woman almost 5 years to create enough hand-worked needlepoint to upholster the interior, the remainder of which is a plush mohair. The car also boasts silk curtains and 8-inch crystal vases on either side, usually containing seven sweetheart roses in each.

Eventually, the entire car was rebuilt. And it looks and runs pretty darn well. A real eye-grabber! It has appeared in several local parades and car meets. Since it is so unusual and unique, it always wins First Place or Best in Show.

The only difficulty I've had with the car is that once, a few years prior, while climbing a steep hill, my Sangamo meter burned out. I have tried for years to have it repaired or replaced, but to no avail. A friend and I are trying to install a new state of the art meter, which will give us the information that was formerly supplied by the Sangamo meter along with other interesting data.