CCM is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Quirky Car Chronicles: The 1976 Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar

The 1976 Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar
The 1976 Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar / Credits: RM Sotheby's

The story of the 1976 Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar is a fascinating chapter in the annals of automotive history, especially for those intrigued by early electric vehicles. This quirky microcar, birthed from the energy-conscious 1970s, showcases an era’s attempt to reconcile with fuel scarcity through innovation. Manufactured by Sebring, Florida-based Sebring-Vanguard, Inc., the CitiCar emerged as a direct descendant of golf cart designs, morphing into an emblem of minimalist automotive engineering.

1976 Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar Rear

With about 2,300 units rolling off the production line from 1974 to 1977, the CitiCar not only marked Sebring-Vanguard’s footprint in automotive history but also positioned the company among the top U.S. auto manufacturers of its time. This electric microcar, with its wedge-shaped silhouette and basic amenities, promised a top speed of around 40 mph courtesy of a modest 5 hp electric motor. Despite its limited range and speed, the inclusion of features like a heater, defroster, and fan underscored an effort to blend practicality with the era’s technological limits.

1976 Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar Engine

The CitiCar story didn’t end with Sebring-Vanguard. After the company’s acquisition by Commuter Vehicles, Inc., the design evolved into the Comuta-Car and Comuta-Van, extending its legacy until 1982.

1976 Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar Electric

With the production of all its variants considered, the CitiCar saw a total of 4,444 units manufactured by 1979, holding the title as the most produced electric car in North America since 1945, a record it maintained until Tesla’s rise in 2011. This notable achievement underscores the CitiCar’s significance in the electric vehicle landscape, marking it as a pioneering effort in the shift towards sustainable automotive solutions.

1976 Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar Dashboard

This tale of innovation, from its golf cart-inspired origins to becoming a symbol of 1970s automotive experimentation, reflects a time when the industry stood at the crossroads of change, highlighting a journey towards sustainable transportation solutions.


RM Sotheby’s



Subscribe To Our Newsletter. It's 100% Free!

* indicates required

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top