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Brits take the world steam land speed record – twice +video

Sat, 29 Aug 2009 00:00:00 -0700

The British Steam Car Challenge team has set a new land speed record for a steam car at 148.308mph

All of which tends to suggest – admirable though the achievement is – that steam technology has not moved on much in 100 years. An improvement of around 1mph a decade. Still, a challenge is a challenge, and the team on the British Steam Car Challenge rose to the occasion. In fact they did more. Having broken the record on Tuesday they had another bash on Wednesday and reached an average 148.308mph over two runs – with a peak speed of 155mph – with test driver Don Wales at the ‘Wheel’.

And actually, the second record was the big one. Because although this record attempt was under the jurisdiction of the FIA – so it’s an official record once ratified – there was an unofficial record set in 1985 by ‘Steamin’ Demon’ at 145.607mph. And the second run beat that too, so there’s no argument.

It’s taken the guys on the Steam Car Challenge a decade to get here, and no doubt a shed load of cash. But you have to admire them. But I think it’s something in the British psyche. We feel records are there to be broken, however pointless they may seem. After all, no one is seriously suggesting that steam cars are the future of transport. There are no big bucks to be made. Just the challenge of achieving the record.

We’ve also stuck up a video below of the Steam Car. It’s not the record run – we can’t get hold of video of that at the moment – but it does show the car in all its glory – with lots of steam!

Well done, guys.


By Cars UK