Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The British Steam Car Challenge

"It looks like the love child of the Batmobile and an F-15 fighter jet. Deep in its genome are traces of a very early automotive bloodline, the Stanley Steamer.

Meet the British Steam Car. It's out to set a land speed record. On Wednesday, it passed a milestone with a run of better than 80 mph on a test track in England."
Jonathan Skillings -- CNET News

"At the end of a run, the British Steam Car deploys parachutes to slow down. The goal of the project is to beat what the group says is the longest officially standing land speed record for steam-powered cars. That record--127 mph--was set in 1906 at Daytona Beach, Fla., by a variation on the Stanley Steamer driven by Fred Marriott. The British group aims to get to 170 mph.

(A 1985 attempt by a separate group apparently got to 145 mph for a single run, but was not able to make the second run required for official consideration.)

According to the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, the overall World Land Speed Record is 763 mph, set in 1997 by a twin turbofan jet-powered car called the ThrustSSC."

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