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The Riker Torpedo

Andrew Riker, this writer’s favorite electric racer of all time, set the first recorded speed record for an electric vehicle 111 years ago this November 16.

Balanced atop the Riker Torpedo, Riker torpedoed down a mile-long dirt strip to reach 57 miles per hour, a speed that was unheard of at the time. This electric vehicle speed record remained unbeaten for more than 10 years.

A look at a black and white photo of the torpedo shows that the Riker must have had himself one fun ride. Dang, even today, a ride of 75 miles per hour just off the asphalt surface would still be a great thrill.

[Image Credit:]


About the author: Andrew Greene


Now playing the role of grumpy old man in the foothills of Northern California’s Gold Country, Andrew has had a life-long love affair with vehicles of all sorts, from the bicycle he pedaled across the continent in 1991 to the armored personnel carriers he drove in the Army to the bamboo rafts, elephants, motorcycle taxis, ferries and buses he traveled by during the 13 years he lived and worked in South East Asia. Always eager to learn more about how the people of the world get from here to there in their day-today lives, he, a professional journalist, has been covering the vehicle industry for years.


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