We are deeply saddened to pass along the report of the passing of Coburn Benson (1935-2019) of Limerick, Maine. Coburn was a very knowledgeable fellow on vintage motor vehicles and steam cars in particular.
A great selection of photos from the recent Eastern Invitational Steam Car Tour in the Litchfield Hills, Southbury, Connecticut, USA. Thank you to Andi Mead, Steve and Sabrina Howard Bragg, AJ Joyce, Michael Zerega, Herb De La Porte, Daryl Kendall, and Nate Dickey for the photos.
Chris Wedgewood writes- Any ideas What, where.?.
Richard Stanuier- This is an 1895 steam car built by James Sumner, the co-founder of Leyland Motors, England.
Spring City Steam Works Reports:
22nd July 2019
While it's crazy hot and in between the new kid prep.... I'm printing some fixtures to test out and help decide on the fixtures for the pancake coils for the Mason. Hopefully a little bending and fixture time this week!
23rd July 2019
One may have been thinking... Why the need to pallet jack the weld table around.... Well, I'm trying to take a 21 foot piece of pipe and wind it into a double stacked pancake flat coil of pipe to replace some coils in the Mason's monotube steam generator. Shops too small, so out in the driveway it goes!!
As for the 3d printed pieces, I'm working out how to fixture the hairpin bent pipe so that the top leg is ~1/4" gap above the lower when it gets wound into a coil. The center section will be made of steel and there will be a clamp on top as well as the pipe getting tack welded to the clamp. Then the 11 foot long top pipe will swing a huge circle as the lower pipe is wound on itself to make the pancake coil. The whole mess then gets flipped over and hopefully that leg winds into a nice pancake below it. Works in my head, got to refine the pieces a little and make some chips and then try that plan out!!!
Article Courtesy of ENDURORALLY.COM
Mitch Gross’ and his dream of completing the Peking to Paris Rally, with a more unusual method of propulsion
What are you most concerned about?’ I ask Mitch Gross, about his upcoming Peking to Paris adventure. ‘The roads when we hit Western Europe’ comes the unexpected reply. ‘The car doesn’t like running at high RPM for an extended period of time, so we will have a few long days behind the wheel covering the extra mileage asked of us in Europe’. The answer is a surprise, as when you immediately consider the task of travelling 8000 miles from Peking to Paris, across the expanses of Eurasia, it is the challenges of remote places like the Gobi Desert and the less than agreeable roads through Kazakhstan that one might expect to be playing on Mitch’s mind, but after some background on his car, his answer begins to make sense.
The machine in question is a 1910 White MM steam car, yes you read that correctly, and more than that there are only around three of this particular model left in the world. Two reside in museums, the last, highly original example belongs to Mitch’s extensive collection of steam propelled cars. Not as popular in Europe, the steam car was a much more common sight over the water in America, making up around 50% of the machines on the road at the start of the 20th century. The White produced cars were some of the finest and most luxurious, and the White Brothers dynasty, that began with sewing machinery and finished up with heavy goods vehicles, is still evident today with its DNA found in Volvo trucks.
Chateau Impney Hill Climb writes
"Arguably the most famous steam car ever produced, ‘Whistling Billy’ was one of the fastest cars of the American dirt track races in the early 20th century.
This 1905 steam car, which took eight years to painstakingly recreate, returns to Chateau Impney Hill Climb in 2019 after making its competitive debut here in 2016."
JC Tractor Restoration writes:
"1926 Bryan steam tractor restoration.This is one of the rarest and most complex steam tractors in existence. This is also the only restored and currently running Bryan in the USA. Runs at 600 psi and burns any liquid fuel that can vaporize. We can restore any tractor that come here. Call us about restoring your machine on 219-771-9915."
GMA Engineering writes:
Laser cut and formed, stainless steel Lace handwheels for White steam car pilot lights.
Developed and made here on the Isle of Man.
More parts coming soon.
Basil Craske's 1908 Stanley Model K being prepared for the New Season ahead.
The latest owner of the 1899 Locomobile Serial 002 would like to know more about it's history prior to the late Peter Lumsden's ownership, in particular any information on the car's restorer Bruno Galiano, and any photos or articles taken during the car's restoration. Please contact us if you know anything!
Photos of a 1924 Stanley 750 Roadster at an RACV Event in Melbourne, Australia courtesy of Jim Hatton.
Billings Cooke writes:
It has been a while since I posted a progress report on my restoration of the 1903 Grout. Work has been progressing slowly but progressing. We are still hoping to be under steam later this spring or summer.
After about a 5 week wait I have received the rebuilt Wheels back from Stutzmans Wheel Shop. Noah, did a beautiful job on rebuilding the four wheels. I was amazed at the speed in which he got them done and how economically he got them done. Now it's on to paint.
Courtesy of Prewarcar.com
We came across this fantastic article about the first American woman who got her driving license in 1900 and never had a dent. Anne Rainsford French Bush was the first official woman licensed to drive an automobile in America. On March 22, 1900, she received a Steam Engineers's License (Locomobile Class) issued by the City of Washington, D.C. Her unofficial title was, how can it not be, Miss. Locomobile of 1900! The article is full with anecdotes from her and also gives a good idea of the issues and way of thinking in the early days.
The interview is a delight to read. Originally published in Life Magazine, on September 8,1952 and written by Milton Lehman. Enjoy!
'Next to the mother-in-law and the farmer's daughter, the lady driver has long been the weariest butt of male American humor, which assumes that women always make left-turn signals when they plan to turn right, wigwag to pass when they plan to back up, and will crunch 85% of the fenders damaged in the U.S. in any given year. This libel, however, definitely could not be applied to Mrs. Walter M. Bush, who was the first licensed woman driver in the U.S. She has never made an improper signal; she has never dented a fender; she has never exceeded the speed limit; she has never been scolded by a cop. Mrs. Bush, however, does not provide a complete answer to anti-feminists on the road. She stopped driving in 1903.
Recently I bucked the swarming 1952 traffic from Washington, D.C. to South Brooksville, Maine, to visit her at her daughter's summer home. While we talked, her grandson Lincoln Smith worked in the backyard, hip deep in the random parts of his 1949 Ford convertible, which he had just bought with the proceeds from raking blueberries. Sitting on the front terrace overlooking the blue waters of Bucks Harbor, Mrs. Bush was delighted to recall the days when she was Anne Rainsford French, a belle of Capitol Hill, a licensed steam engineer and Miss Locomobile of 1900.
This month the vigorous Mrs. Bush will return to Washington in person to help the American Automobile Association celebrate its Golden Jubilee as the motorist's best friend. At that time, the District of Columbia Fire Department had promised, she will be able to indulge her whim to ride in a red fire engine down Pennsylvania Avenue. The Department will thus repay a long-standing debt. More than 50 years ago Anne French and her father conditioned the city's fire horses for the horseless age.
This takes a little explaining: Mrs. Bush's father, William Bates French, was one of Washington's most noted doctors, and among his duties was being physician to the District Fire Department. Dr. French decided on a drastic treatment. He and his daughter would drive their hissing steamer to the firehouse and sit there, while the horses snorted and reared, until the Locomobile noisily blew its safety valve. After several such treatments the horses calmed down and Dr. French was able to pronounce them cured of their automotive phobia.
While Mrs. Bush rejoices in her pioneer role, her experiences have never made much of an impression on her grandchildren. When she told Lincoln, a high-school pitcher and hotrod pilot, that the District speed limit was nine miles an hour and htat her father was once fined for going 12 miles an hour, Lincoln advised her that when he tried to get his convertible down to 12 miles an hour, the motor stalled. Her collegiate granddaughter, Rachael, was more aroused by grandma's driving costume than by her mechanical skill "If the car broke down," Rachael asked, "couldn't you get a boy friend to fix it?" "Certainly not," said Mrs. Bush "I knew more about the engine than they did!"
"Just try to get across the young folks how we felt!"she said, settling back in a canvas deck chair. "We don't seem to speak the same language. It's not that I'm a slowspoke." Mrs. Bush added.
"About 15 years ago, my younger brother drove me down to Washington in his heavy Chrysler, and our cruising speed was 90 miles an hour. I loved it and I didn't do any back-scat driving. When I got to Washington my sister took me up in a sightseeing plane over the city. I had a fine time and I'd do it again. But the old Locomobile was much more exciting than that."
The Stanley Museum writes- Steam Meet, Woodstock, Vermont, 1962. A fine lineup of Stanleys and Whites at an early steam gathering in Woodstock, Vermont, over half a century ago. Many of these cars are still touring today, even if many of their custodians in this picture are no longer with us.
Brett Ventura Writes:
The coils are rotted from the inside, Visited Tom Kimmel last month, (what a collection!) he is currently winding new coils and I am making a new coil shell & combustion chamber.
The I disassembled the differential yesterday, I think the guy welded the original Packard axle tube onto the Stanley. All the bearings need replaced, the threads on the end of the one shaft are stripped, and the taper was not cut right for the drums & required a shim (the axle with the shim had the stripped threads, would have lost a wheel). He also made a wheel spacer to widen the stance. I have decided to do away with all of this, and go to a modern drum setup from a Chevy truck. I would have to cut the old tubes off, and start over fresh. Does anyone know if the axle & housing are cast iron or cast steel? I can do the drill or spark test but figured I would ask here first. Open to any other ideas.
Also, the center of the spider/spur gear has some wear, just make a bushing I’m guessing?
What did the Stanley axle have originally to hold the wheel on? Was it a taper or just a key? I have not seen one apart.
Chris Wedgewood recently visited Australia, catching up firstly with Trevor Gaut and his immaculate 1925 Stanley and 1908 White Model L Project, before moving onto Sydney to see a Model F Serpollet being restored.
Those at Steam Car Network would like to wish all Steam Car Enthusiasts Worldwide a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and thank all those who sent in contributions over the past year!
Spring City Steam Works writes:
"These coils are dizzying. But should be fun to get working on soon. There are 2 coils down below this I'll be replacing once I get the old ones out. I've had fun starting to figure out my plan.... More to come!".
Check out this original film footage from 1906 of a trip down Market Street, San Francisco before the Fire. Note a number of White Steam Cars in the video.
Gunnar Modig's Locomobile Locosurrey has just arrived in his workshop. We look forward to hearing his progress with this car in Gunnar's Blog!
Herb de la Porte writes: "The Stanley is, once again, becoming this winter's primary project. It really has been a very reliable car for the last few years but there is a page full of problems that needs to be looked after".
Spring City Steam Works' recently purchased Mason Steam Car, in steam for the first time in their ownership. A leak was found in the steam generator,18" deep in the combustion chamber and repairs are now in hand.
George Hounslow writes:
Through Steam Car Network, I was contacted by Jamie and Charley Allen, as they were having a few problems with their newly acquired 1899 Locomobile, and had yet to try their 1925 Stanley which they had acquired at the same time, the latter joint owned by Charley's brother, Adam Brown. So a day was spent going through a few things on both cars, and by the end of the day they were able to be steamed successfully, the Locomobile in particular running very well. It proved to be a very enjoyable day for all, and I am glad I could help in some way.
All four Whites entered in the 2018 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run completed the run. Photos courtesy of Chris Wedgewood.
Photos taken prior to the run courtesy of Stefan Majoram Photography.
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