Kettle car breaks speed record

Celebratory cuppas all round


The British kettle car has successfully smashed the 100 year old record for fastest steam-powered vehicle.

The car hit an average speed of 139.843mph over two runs at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The British Steam Car Challenge was driven by Charles Burnett III and broke 150mph for its fastest trip over a measured mile.

Burnett said afterwards: "We reached nearly 140mph on the first run. All systems worked perfectly, it was a really good run. The second run went even better and we clocked a speed in excess of 150 mph. The car really did handle beautifully."

In total each run was 6.5 miles because the car takes 2.5 miles to get up to speed and 2.5 miles to slow down again, aided by a parachute. It took place early in the morning to take advantage of cooler temperatures.

Steam Record Breaker

My other car's a traction engine

The three ton car uses a two stage turbine running on liquid petroleum gas and gets through a ton of water every 25 minutes. The team website is here.

The record still needs to be ratified by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile.

The previous record was held by a Stanley Steamer driven at 127mph in 1906 by Fred Marriott at Daytona Beach. ®


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