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1898 Riker Electric to Sell at Worldwide's Pacific Grove Auction


 

Auburn, Indiana. July 1st, 2019. Hot on the heels of a period of major expansion and company-wide relocation to new global headquarters, Worldwide has confirmed today that one of the most venerable and historically important cars ever built will headline its annual Pacific Grove Auction. Slated to cross the block on August 15th out on the Monterey Peninsula is a wholly original 1898 Riker Electric, 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 license plate with Riker’s initials, 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 40 mph 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.

Other consignments to this year’s Pacific Grove Auction include a 1947 Cisitalia D46 Single-Seater Monoposto, raced in 1948 by Roger Loyer, with original chassis, engine and body and an all numbers-matching 1931 Cadillac V-12 Roadster, accompanied by GM Cadillac Heritage Certificate. Consignments of high-quality motorcars or collections are still invite.

The Pacific Grove Auction enjoys the best views in town, with the 2019 event again set to be staged in the spectacular ocean side setting of the Pacific Grove Golf Links, adjacent to the famous 17 Mile Drive and perfectly positioned at the tip of the Peninsula for both Monterey and Pebble Beach. The sale starts at 5pm on Thursday, August 15th, 2019, with auction preview days scheduled from 9am Monday, August 12th up until the sale itself.

Along with The Pacific Grove Auction, Worldwide’s annual schedule includes The Scottsdale Auction in Arizona in January, The Texas Classic Auction in April and The Auburn Auction, held during Labor Day Weekend in Indiana, as well as stand-alone auctions of significant private collections. This year’s 12th annual Auburn Auction is a two-day sale, scheduled for August 30th and 31st at the company’s new global headquarters, located directly opposite and within walking distance of the Auburn Auction Park. The recent move also facilitated a massive expansion of Worldwide’s private sales division, with the introduction of a dedicated physical and virtual showroom, The Salon.