The most important electric car ever built will headline Worldwide’s annual Pacific Grove Auction on the Monterey Peninsula next month. This wholly original 1898 Riker Electric was owned and raced by Andrew Riker himself, founder of the Riker Electric Vehicle Company and an early automotive pioneer who went on to become the head engineer of Locomobile and first president of the Society of Automotive Engineers. The car was donated to the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan in 1929 before being returned to the Riker family in 1985 and has never been offered for public sale.
“This is the most important electric car ever built and its consequence today cannot be overstated,” said Rod Egan, principal and auctioneer. “The enduring debate over alternative fuels and the ongoing development of renewable energy and ‘green’ automobiles is obviously a hotter and more critical topic than ever in 2019, making it even more remarkable that this historic electric motorcar was conceived well over a century ago by a true pioneer of green energy, a veritable Elon Musk of his day. There are very few cars of this historic significance in existence and certainly hardly any that are available for sale. Our sincere wish is that it will find itself in a place where it will be seen and enjoyed and lauded as the remarkable pioneering achievement that it is, one of the earliest American electric cars in existence and certainly the earliest one that raced.”
The 1898 Riker Electric has exceptional provenance and fascinating race history. It retains its original leather licence plate with Riker’s initials and was the very first car registered in the state of New York and possibly the very first in the US. Andrew Riker drove the car to victory at the Mechanics Fair at Charles River Park in Massachusetts in 1898 and again in 1900 at a race at the 1900 Paris Exposition. He also won first place at the very first 50-mile road race in America, on Long Island, New York. In its heyday, the Riker could reportedly reach 40mph and travel 50 miles on a charge. It is offered for sale in amazing original, unrestored condition, making it a perfect preservation class car and eligible for the most celebrated events like the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. For more information or to register to bid see www.worldwideauctioneers. com or call 001 260 925 6789.