1902: When the World's Fastest Car Was Electric! 

Walter Baker and his amazing Electric Racecar

Walter Baker had a dream in 1901 to set the World Land Speed Record in an electric car. 

By 1902, Walter C. Baker had finished three teardrop shaped electric racing cars called Torpedos.

Torpedo stats

11 lead-zinc batteries designed by Thomas Edison 14-horsepower Elwell-Parker electric motor 36-inch fenderless wire-spoked wheels White-pine body modeled after a falling drop of oil

On Memorial Day 1902, the Automobile Club of America held speed trials on the public roads of Staten Island. Bakers Torpedo was there along with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.

Baker and Denzer (brakeman) managed 1 kilometer in just under 36 seconds at almost 70 mph. Baker lost control and the car crashed into the crowd. Several were injured, two died.

Baker had set a new unofficial record for the flying kilometer. As a result of the accident, the Torpedo’s kilometer mark didn't enter any record books.

In 1904 Baker took his Torpedo to Ormond Beach (now Daytona Beach), Florida and pushed it to a speed of 104 miles an hour, a new official speed record. 

He took the vehicle out many times to demonstrate its speed, supposedly reaching 127 miles an hour before the wheels fell off in a dramatic crash.

For a brief moment in automobile history, Walter C. Baker was the fastest human alive.