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Century-Old Steam Car Speed Record Safe for Now
The British Steam Car Challenge, a team that includes a legendary name in speed records, Don Wales (his uncle is Donald Campbell), recently tried to set a new land speed record for steam-powered vehices. Unfortunately, they couldn't get their Batmobile (pictured below) to run. They'll take another shot at the record later this year.
Astoundingly, the land speed record for steam cars was set all the way back in 1906 by the Stanley Rocket, also called the Stanley Steamer. That vehicle hit 127.7 mph, a record for steam cars that still stands.
The name sounds familiar doesn't it. However, the Stanley Steemer (note the change in spelling) is what you rented to clean the vomit stains from the carpet in your last apartment. They are not associated with the speedy turn-of-the-century vehicle. They are however associated with this less-than-speedy vehicle.
Steam-powered cars—like electric cars, like ethanol cars—were plentiful back in the day but found themselves in the powertrain graveyard following the rise of the gasoline-powered, internal combustion engine.
For the record, please note that I have completed this entry without succumbing to a single steam-related pun, such as 'full of hot air.'
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