Coney Island, New York is well known for its amusement park attractions, but on this day in 1901, it hosted a different kind of wild ride. A crowd gathered to witness a new type of spectacle, an automobile race. A mishmash of vehicles, including eight gas powered, six steam powered and one electric car known as the Riker Torpedo Racer all bolted around a one mile course. The race showcased the speed and capability of the rapidly advancing automobile industry. While Andrew Riker’s battery powered Torpedo finished third, he set a new US land speed record for electric motor carriages at a harrowing 57 miles per hour.
November 16, 1901 – New electric vehicle land speed record
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