They haven’t been seen in 100 years. Now a San Diego businessman is hoping to bring back the Electriquette.
The Electriquette was an electric wicker-covered cart that was used by visitors to the Panama-California Exposition at Balboa Park in 1915.
“I learned about it through looking at some old photographs in Balboa Park,” said Sandy Shapery who designed and built the Emerald Plaza building 23 years ago.
“I thought it was great. I just loved it,” he said while driving a modern incarnation of the Electriquette around his downtown San Diego building.
“It’s an accurate reproduction,” he said.
Shapery spent $100,000 of his own money researching and building three reproductions. He hopes to negotiate a contract with the City of San Diego to have the carts available for the park’s centennial celebration next year.
“Everybody thinks this would be such a wonderful hit,” said Shapery.
He said each Electriquette will cost about $5,000 to build, which means he’ll probably need to rent them out to guests beyond next year.
“[I’m] talking to people about putting it down on the Embarcaderro,” he said.
The electric carts travel about 3.5 miles an hour and are controlled with a simple lever.