1908 Baker Electric
Very popular with the ladies of its day, this mode of travel was well-known for its smooth and silent operation and ease of handling. Note the tiller steering, flowered upholstery, and very high position of the seats. During the Second World War, people who kept their electrics used them during the period of gas rationing.Source - Luray Caverns Museum
The first electric cars produced by the Baker Motor Vehicle Company of Cleveland, Ohio, had three quarter horsepower motors and a range of up to 50 miles. The Baker-built 'Torpedo' held a electric land speed record in 1902. Baker merged with another electric vehicle maker, Rauch & Lang, in 1915. Then they were absorbed by another builder, the Owen Magnetic Company.
This 1908 Baker Electric Queen Victoria Roadster was originally owned by the White House in Washington, DC, as part of their motorcar livery. President William Howard Taft was the first president to use automobiles. He purchased White Steamers, Baker Electrics and Pierce Arrows throughout his two terms as president. This car was used from 1908 until 1918 and then sold to a member of his household staff. The car was stored from 1922 until 1955, until purchased by an antique car collector from the Midwest. It was displayed in his private museum for many years and was purchased by the current owners near the close of 2007. It made its concours debut at the 2008 Concours d'Elegance.
Sold for $93,500 at 2014 RM Auctions - Hershey.
The Baker Motor Vehicle Company was founded in 1899. At the birth of the automobile, power sources vied for universal acceptance, including steam, electric and gasoline. By the turn of the 21st century, nearly 38 percent of the market was comprised of electric-powered vehicles. Baker electrics had a range of 40-50 miles, making them ideal for suburban use.
One of the first purchasers of the Baker automobiles was Thomas Edison. A wide range of body styles on several standardized chassis and drivetrains were available, all of which were powered by Edison batteries.
This Baker Model V Victoria is a two-seater powered by a 48-volt motor and shaft drive to the rear axle. It wears an older restoration and is finished in black with a black patent leather fender and dashboard, and the seats are upholstered in black tufted leather. It is fitted with a black leather cape-style top.By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2014