The Al Wiseman Collection

30 November - 1 December 2007

Lot 840

1930 Rauch & Lang Gasoline-Electric Sedan

To be auctioned on Saturday, December 1, 2007

Sold for $112,750

  • Chassis no. M3133
History is important to us, and all lots offered are fully researched. All corresponding information and accessories, from certificates to tool kits, stays with the lots we sell. All of this is held at our library on site, under the Access the Knowledge banner, so please visit us there or contact us before the auction if you require further information.


The only successful survivor of three built.

Specifications:
70bhp, 255 cu. in. sleeve-valve inline six-cylinder engine, General Electric gearless electric transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 126"


Edward Howland Robinson Green was the son of Henrietta “Hetty” Green, the world’s richest woman at her death in 1916. Her son, known as “Ned,” was a man of considerable acumen, but, unlike his mother, was a spendthrift and a fan of fancy automobiles. He had difficulty driving because of a primitive artificial leg, a consequence of her stinginess on medical care. An electric transmission, which required no shifting, seemed an ideal aid to his handicap.

Colonel Green (his title, an honorific bestowed by the Republican Party) commissioned the General Electric Company, in which he held a directorship, to build such a system for his automobile. Rauch & Lang, the Cleveland manufacturer of electric cars which had moved to Massachusetts, was chosen to adapt the GE system to a Stearns-Knight chassis. Three such cars were built, the first a roadster, the second was an enclosed brougham, but the third, this car, is externally a Stearns-Knight M6-80 sedan, its unconventional drive train hidden deep within. There were thoughts of series production, but failure of both Stearns and Rauch & Lang, at the time this car was built in 1929-30, squelched the idea. The first of Colonel Green’s cars was scrapped; the second survives as a basket case. This is the only one restored and running.

The condition of this car is as exceptional as its technical specification. Restored in the late 1980s by former owner Bobbie B. Crump, it has aged very little in the interim. The green-and-beige paint is outstanding, and the brightwork, all replated at time of restoration, looks new. The interior is done in gray cloth, also replaced at restoration, and matches the gray carpets and headliner. The door garnishes are woodgrained, and show some slight wear, whereas the wood dashboard appears original and not recently refinished.

The car runs and drives well, its sleeve valve engine exhibiting characteristic silence, the electric, gearless drive providing very smooth acceleration. The odometer shows 26,119 miles, scarcely more than reported at restoration. It was an invitational participant in the 2006 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, part of a display of alternative propulsion automobiles. The word “unique” has been devalued by overuse, often referring to things that are merely unusual. This car fully deserves the description, as there is not another like it in the world.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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United Kingdom

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California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

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Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

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Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

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Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Peter Giddings

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California, United States

A life-long car enthusiast, Peter joined RM’s California office with over half a century of experience in the automotive and rac... read more

Peter Blond

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United Kingdom

Peter Blond joined the RM Europe team in 2013 after being immersed in the collector car industry for more than 60 years. An... read more

Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more

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Ontario, Canada

Jeff Whiteside joined RM Auctions as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer following almost three decades in a diverse r... read more