Back in 1902-03, Walter C. Baker built three streamlined electric racing cars. Called Torpedos, these all-but-forgotten electrics should be remembered for four good reasons:
- Number one and most important, they allowed Walter Baker to become the first man in history to break the 100-mph barrier in a motorcar. That was in 1902.
- Second, the Torpedos’ bodies were remarkably streamlined, decades ahead of anything similar.
- Third, because Walter Baker regularly crashed his cars, none of his speed marks went into any record books. Even in his own day, he became known as Bad Luck Baker.
- And finally, what probably saved his life in all those crashes were plain, simple shoulder harnesses, an idea again much too modern for the times.
- Walter Baker and His Remarkable Electric Racing Cars
KD: Interesting stuff, isn't it? Founder Walter C. Baker's Torpedo land speed record racer was the first car to have seat belts. The guy does not even have his own Wikipedia page.
- This is 1902-1903 time frame. What's the reason for such a poor quality of the first photograph. There were better photographs in 1862. I think 1840s had better quality.
1899 Electric "La Jamais Contente".