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Walter Christie - Inventor of "The Freak" Automobile

By: jwilder

Christie Race Car newspaper photo

I ran across the Christie front wheel drive race car while doing some historical research. I had never heard of a front wheel drive gasoline powered car so early in the automobile age, not to mention a front wheel drive race car.

What is cool about the dawn of the automobile age is that there were no real rules for designing cars. There were probably hundreds of automobile manufacturers in United States. Many were simply cashing in on the new automobile craze but there were also those who were truly innovating. It's clear that Walter Christie was an innovator.

Not only was Walter Christie and innovator, he was a race car driver. He actually represented the United States in the 1907 French Grand Prix driving his very own Christie race car.

Thankfully the folks at The Automobile magazine documented many details about the Christie race car in an article on the in January 3, 1907 issue. Below are some photos and facts from the article.

1,214 Cubic Inch V-4 water cooled engine
110 Horse Power
Front Wheel Drive

Christie Race Car

Christie Race Car

American Racing History

Christie Race Car

Christie Race Car

Christie Race Car

Christie Race Car newspaper photo

And Walter Christie also designed tanks.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Walter_Christie

James Wilder

James Wilder is the owner, writer, photographer, designer, and developer for MOTOR Texas.

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