A steam car is a car (automobile) powered by a steam engine. A steam engine is an external combustion engine (ECE) where the fuel is combusted away from the engine, as opposed to an internal combustion engine (ICE) where the fuel is combusted within the engine. ECEs have a lower thermal efficiency, but it is easier to regulate carbon monoxide production.
The first steam powered vehicle was supposedly built in 1672 by Ferdinand Verbiest, a Flemish Jesuit in China. The vehicle was a toy for the Chinese Emperor. While not intended to carry passengers, and therefore not exactly a “car”, Verbiest’s device is likely to be the first ever engine-powered vehicle. The first real experimental steam powered cars were built in the late 18th and 19th centuries, but it was not until after Richard Trevithick had developed the use of high-pressure steam, around 1800, that mobile steam engines became a practical proposition. By the 1850s it was viable to produce them commercially: steam road vehicles were used for many applications.
Development was hampered by adverse legislation from the 1830s and then the rapid development of internal combustion engine technology in the 1900s, leading to their commercial demise. Relatively few steam powered vehicles remained in use after the Second World War. Many of these vehicles were acquired by enthusiasts for preservation.
The search for renewable energy sources has led to an occasional resurgence of interest in using steam power for road vehicles.
A steam engine is an external combustion engine (ECE: the fuel is combusted away from the engine), as opposed to an internal combustion engine (ICE: the fuel is combusted within the engine). While gasoline-powered ICE cars have an operational thermal efficiency of 15% to 30%, early automotive steam units were capable of only about half this efficiency. A significant benefit of the ECE is that the fuel burner can be configured for very low emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and unburned carbon in the exhaust, thus avoiding pollution.
The greatest technical challenges to the steam car have focused on its boiler. This represents much of the total mass of the vehicle, making the car heavy (an internal combustion-engined car requires no boiler), and requires careful attention from the driver, although even the cars of 1900 had considerable automation to manage this. The single largest restriction is the need to supply feedwater to the boiler. This must either be carried and frequently replenished, or the car must also be fitted with a condenser, a further weight and inconvenience.
Steam-powered and electric cars outsold gasoline-powered ones in many US states prior to the invention of the electric starter, since internal combustion cars relied on a hand crank to start the engine, which was difficult and occasionally dangerous to use, as improper cranking could cause a backfire capable of breaking the arm of the operator. Electric cars were popular to some extent, but had a short range, and could not be charged on the road if the batteries ran low.
Early steam cars, once working pressure was attained, could be instantly driven off with high acceleration; but they typically take several minutes to start from cold, plus time to get the burner to operating temperature. To overcome this, development has been directed toward flash boilers, which heat a much smaller quantity of water to get the vehicle started, and, in the case of Doble cars, spark ignition diesel burners.
The steam car does have advantages over internal combustion-powered cars, although most of these are now less important than in the early 20th century. The engine (excluding the boiler) is smaller and lighter than an internal combustion engine. It is also better suited to the speed and torque characteristics of the axle, thus avoiding the need for the heavy and complex transmission required for an internal combustion engine. The car is also quieter, even without a silencer.
The steam engine is a type of external combustion engine. Therefore it differs from the internal combustion one due to the fact that the fuel is burned out of the real engine. On cars with this type of traction the heart of the traction system is the steam generator (or boiler), whose task is to produce the steam necessary to move the engine. The steam is generated by the heat produced by the combustion of a fuel, which occurs in a burner . In order for the engine to produce movement, the steam must be generated at specific operating conditions (ie at a certain pressure) and in sufficient quantities. After being produced, the steam under pressure is sent to the actual engine, where it generates mechanical energy thanks to the movement of the pistons. As a thermodynamic cycle, the steam engine describes a Rankine cycle.
On the steam cars of the early 20th century, the boiler was the most important component of the car. This weight was higher than that generated by the gearbox and clutch group of internal combustion engine vehicles. In fact, thanks to the great torque that was provided at all regimes, the steam engine was connected directly to the drive wheels without using the two mechanical components mentioned. Cars with this type of traction, once the operating pressure had been reached, could in fact be started with considerable accelerationbecause the energy was stored in the boiler thanks to the steam, and therefore the power was deliverable in full at any time and at any regime . In addition, the large cooling fans associated with the steam engine also weighed more than the gearbox and friction of cars with internal combustion engines. So, on the whole, this greater weight canceled the advantage that the steam engine had to work without the gearbox (when the engine was still, the engine was stationary, and therefore it did not waste energy with the rotation in neutral). From the upper mass, it also ensured that the steam cars were, as a rule, globally heavier than the cars with internal combustion engines, and therefore their conduction required more attention from the driver .
Another important restriction of the steam engine of the early 20th century models was the supply of water to the boiler. At the time, in fact, the mentioned liquid had to be transported and added frequently because the cars produced up to the early twentieth century dumped the vapor into the atmosphere. In order to avoid these frequent top-ups, a condenser was installed on the following models, ie an additional rather bulky, heavy apparatus which also gave rise to many drawbacks, the purpose of which was to condense and recycle the exhausted steam . The condenser looked like a radiatorof internal combustion cars but, compared to it, had larger dimensions that were due to the heat exchange content; the latter, in fact, had to be – as well as larger – even faster. In addition to being very voluminous, the condenser had to be exposed to the air due to the significant subtraction of heat that had to be realized. The same thing was not necessary for the actual engine which, also due to its limited size and the fact that it was connected to simple pipes to the boiler and the condenser, was instead placed in the most convenient position for driving the driving wheels., for example under the floor.
In addition to those mentioned, for steam cars of the early twentieth century, however, there was another major problem: the time needed to achieve operational conditions. In fact, it took more than a minute to get them and to make the engine start. To solve this limitation, on the models produced later a type of boiler was developed where the times of reaching the operating temperature were much shorter than those of a traditional one, since a small amount of water was heated in it. The latter provided the engine with enough energy to start the vehicle before the entire amount of liquid was heated. On the Doble steam carsmore recent, there was also a burner ignition system that operated on diesel fuel and which further accelerated this phase.
However, the steam engine had many advantages. The engine (excluding the boiler) was in fact much smaller and lighter than the internal combustion engine. It was also better suited to run at a higher speed and required a simpler transmission than that required by a car with an internal combustion engine since, as already mentioned, the gearbox and the clutch were missing . The car was also much quieter even without a muffler (in fact there were no ” explosions ” in the engine). Another undoubted advantage of the steam engine, in addition to its noiselessness, was that in this engine the combustion was continuous. Therefore, the burner could be configured in such a way as to have an optimal combustion minimizing atmospheric pollution thanks to the low emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides andunburnt hydrocarbons in the exhausts.
A French inventor, Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, built the first working self-propelled land-based mechanical vehicle. There is an unsubstantiated story that a pair of Yorkshiremen, engineer Robert Fourness and his cousin, physician James Ashworth had a steam carriage running in 1788, after being granted a British Patent, No.1674 of December 1788. An illustration of it even appeared in Hergé’s book Tintin raconte l’Histoire de l’Automobile (Casterman, 1953). The first substantiated steam carriage for personal use was that of Josef Božek in 1815. He was followed by Thomas Blanchard of Massachusetts in 1825. Over thirty years passed before there was a flurry of steam cars from 1859 onwards with Dugeon, Roper and Spenser from the United States, Thomes Rickett, Austin, Catley and Ayres from England, and Innocenzo Manzetti from Italy being the earliest. Others followed with the first Canadian, Henry Taylor in 1867, Amédée Bollée and Louis Lejeune of France in 1878, and Rene Thury of Switzerland in 1879.
The 1880s saw the rise of the first larger scale manufacturers, particularly in France, the first being Bollée (1878) followed by De Dion-Bouton (1883), Whitney of East Boston (1885), Ransom E. Olds (1886), Serpollet (1887), and Peugeot (1889).
This early period also saw the first repossession of an automobile in 1867 and the first getaway car the same year – both by Francis Curtis of Newburyport, Massachusetts.
1890s commercial manufacture
The 1890s were dominated by the formation of numerous car manufacturing companies. The internal combustion engine was in its infancy, whereas steam power was well established. Electric powered cars were becoming available but suffered from their inability to travel longer distances.
The majority of steam powered car manufacturers from this period were from the United States. The more notable of these were Clark from 1895 to 1909, Locomobile from 1899 to 1903 when it switched to gaosoline engines, and Stanley from 1897 to 1924. As well as England and France, other countries also made attempts to manufacture steam cars: Cederholm of Sweden (1892), Malevez of Belgium (1898-1905), Schöche of Germany (1895), and Herbert Thomson of Australia (1896-1901)
Of all the new manufacturers from the 1890s, only four continued to make steam cars after 1910. They were Stanley (to 1924) and Waverley (to 1916) of the United States, Buard of France (to 1914), and Miesse of Belgium (to 1926).
Volume production 1900 to 1913
There were a large number of new companies formed in the period from 1898 to 1905. Steam cars outnumbered other forms of propulsion among very early cars. In the U.S. in 1902, 485 of 909 new car registrations were steamers. From 1899, Mobile had ten branches and 58 dealers across the U.S. The center of U.S. steamer production was New England, where 38 of the 84 manufacturers were located. Examples include White (Cleveland), Eclipse (Easton, Massachusetts), Cotta (Lanark, Illinois), Crouch (New Brighton, Pennsylvania), Hood (Danvers, Massachusetts; lasted just one month), Kidder (New Haven, Connecticut), Century (Syracuse, New York), and Skene (Lewiston, Maine; the company built everything but the tires). By 1903, 43 of them were gone and by the end of 1910 of those companies that were started in the decade those left were White which lasted to 1911, Conrad which lasted to 1924, Turner-Miesse of England which lasted to 1913, Morriss to 1912, Doble to 1930, Rutherford to 1912, and Pearson-Cox to 1916.
Assembly-line mass production by Henry Ford dramatically reduced the cost of owning a conventional automobile, was also a strong factor in the steam car’s demise as the Model T was both cheap and reliable. Additionally, during the ‘heyday’ of steam cars, the internal combustion engine made steady gains in efficiency, matching and then surpassing the efficiency of a steam engine when the weight of a boiler is factored in.
Decline 1914 to 1939
With the introduction of the electric starter, the internal combustion engine became more popular than steam, but the internal combustion engine was not necessarily superior in performance, range, fuel economy and emissions. Some steam enthusiasts feel steam has not received its share of attention in the field of automobile efficiency.
Apart from Brooks of Canada, all the steam car manufacturers that commenced between 1916 and 1926 were in the United States. Endurance (1924-1925) were the last steam car manufacturer to commence operations. American/Derr continued retrofitting production cars of various makes with steam engines, and Doble was the last steam car manufacturer. They ceased business in 1930.
Resurgence – enthusiasts, air pollution, and fuel crises
From the 1940s onward, various steam cars were constructed, usually by enthusiasts. Among those mentioned were Charles Keen, Cal Williams’ 1950 Ford Conversion, Forrest R Detrick’s 1957 Detrick S-101 prototype, and Harry Peterson’s Stanley powered Peterson. The Detrick was constructed by Detrick, William H Mehrling, and Lee Gaeke who designed the engine based on a Stanley.
Charles Keen began constructing a steam car in 1940 with the intention of restarting steam car manufacturing. Keen’s family had a long history of involvement with steam propulsion going back to his great-great-grandfather in the 1830s, who helped build early steam locomotives. His first car, a Plymouth Coupe, used a Stanley engine. In 1948 and 1949, Keen employed Abner Doble to create a more powerful steam engine, a v4. He used this in La Dawri Victress S4 bodied sports car. Both these cars are still in existence. Keen died in 1969 before completing a further car. His papers and patterns were destroyed at that time.
In the 1950s, the only manufacturer to investigate steam cars was Paxton. Abner Doble developed the Doble Ultimax engine for the Paxton Phoenix steam car, built by the Paxton Engineering Division of McCulloch Motors Corporation, Los Angeles. The engine’s sustained maximum power was 120 bhp (89 kW). A Ford Coupe was used as a test-bed for the engine. The project was eventually dropped in 1954.
In 1957, Williams Engine Company Incorporated of Ambler began offering steam engine conversions for existing production cars. When air pollution became a significant issue for California in the mid-1960s the state encouraged investigation into the use of steam-powered cars. The fuel crises of the early 1970s prompted further work. None of this resulted in renewed steam car manufacturing.
Steam cars remain the domain of enthusiasts, occasional experimentation by manufacturers, and those wishing to establish steam-powered land speed records.
Impact of Californian legislation
In 1967, California established the California Air Resources Board and began to implement legislation to dramatically reduce exhaust emissions. This prompted renewed interest in alternative fuels for motor vehicles and a resurgence of interest in steam-powered cars in the state.
The idea for having patrol cars fitted with steam engines stemmed from an informal meeting in March 1968 of members of the California Assembly Transportation Committee. In the discussion, Karsten Vieg, a lawyer attached to the Committee, suggested that six cars be fitted with steam engines for testing by California District Police Chiefs. A bill was passed by the legislature to fund the trial.
In 1969, the California Highway Patrol initiated the project under Inspector David S Luethje to investigate the feasibility of using steam engined cars. Initially General Motors had agreed to pay a selected vendor $20,000 toward the cost of developing an Rankine cycle engine, and up to $100,000 for outfitting six Oldsmobile Delmont 88s as operational patrol vehicles. This deal fell through because the Rankine engine manufacturers rejected the General Motors offer.
The plan was revised and two 1969 Dodge Polaras were to be retrofitted with steam engines for testing. One car was to be modified by Don Johnson of Thermodynamic Systems Inc. and the other by industrialist William P Lear’s Lear Motors Incorporated. At the time, the California State Legislature was introducing strict pollution control regulations for automobiles and the Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, John Francis Foran, was supportive of the idea. The Committee also was proposing to test four steam-powered buses in the San Francisco Bay Area that year.
Instead of a Polara, Thermodynamic Systems (later called General Steam Corp), was given a late-model Oldsmobile Delmont 88. Lear was given a Polara but it does not appear to have been built. Both firms were given 6 months to complete their projects with Lear’s being due for completion on 1 August 1969. Neither car had been completed by the due date and in November 1969, Lear was reported as saying the car would be ready in 3 months. Lear’s only known retrofit was a Chevrolet Monte Carlo unrelated to the project. As for the project, it seems to have never been completed, with Lear pulling out by December.
In 1969, the National Air Pollution Control Administration announced a competition for a contract to design a practical passenger-car steam engine. Five firms entered. They were the consortium of Planning Research Corporation and STP Corporation; Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio; Continental Motors Corporation, Detroit; Vought Aeronautical Division of Ling-Temco-Vought, Dallas; and Thermo Electron Corporation, Waltham, Massachusetts.
General Motors introduced two experimental steam-powered cars in 1969. One was the SE 124 based on a converted Chevrolet Chevelle and the other was designated SE 101 based on the Pontiac Grand Prix. The SE 124 had its standard gasoline engine replaced with a 50 hp power Besler steam engine V4, using the 1920 Doble patents; the SE 101 was fitted with a 160 hp steam engine developed by GM Engineering. Power was transferred via a Toric automatic gearbox. The results was disappointing. The steam engine was heavy and weighted 300 kg more than a standard V8 and gave about half the power.
In October 1969, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the California Institute of Technology put out a challenge for a race August 1970 from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Pasadena, California for any college that wanted to participate in. The race was open for electric, steam, turbine power, and internal combustion engines: liquid-fueled, gaseous-fueled engines, and hybrids. Two steam-powered cars entered the race. University of California, San Diego’s modified AMC Javelin and Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s converted 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle called the tea kettle. Both dropped out on the second day of the race.
The California Assembly passed legislation in 1972 to contract two companies to develop steam-powered cars. They were Aerojet Liquid Rocket Company of Sacramento and Steam Power Systems of San Diego. Aerojet installed a steam turbine into a Chevrolet Vega, while Steam Power Systems built the Dutcher, a car named after the company’s founder, Cornelius Dutcher. Both cars were tested by 1974 but neither car went into production. The Dutcher is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
Modern steam cars
After disappearing from the market for decades, cars with this type of traction have reappeared in the prototype stage in the second half of the 20th century. The steam engine, in fact, if produced with modern technologies, has many characteristics that could make it valid as an alternative propulsion system.
The main novelty of contemporary steam engines, compared to those of the early twentieth century, is that of reducing the weight of the components that make up the propulsion system. Thanks to technological progress, it has indeed been possible to make the dimensions of the steam generator and of the condenser modest. This was achieved by drastically reducing the working fluid mass (water), increasing the heat exchange surface and improving the efficiency of the generator. Modern equipment makes it easy to regulate combustion and water supply. As a consequence, it is possible to obtain steam in very accurate operating conditions (in other words, it can be obtained at a very precise temperature and pressure). Instrument detection systems can also speed up the adaptation of the operating parameters to the optimal ones, which are also linked, inter alia, to driving conditions. With the advancement of technology, this type of engine is no longer affected by the problem of the time needed to start up, which has in fact become a few seconds.
The steam engine is technically much more free from the characteristics of the fuel used than it is to the internal combustion. The continuous combustion (not “to burst”), instrumentally controlled and conducted in an optimal manner, in addition to minimizing pollution, also allows the use of various environmentally friendly fuels with the current anti-pollution regulations (eg raw vegetable oils, alcohols, etc.) . In addition, compared to internal combustion engines, steam engines provide a higher yield and do not require, as already mentioned, a complex transmission. When the car is stationary, for example at a traffic light, the boiler operates in “stand-by” mode (ie in the conditions of maintaining temperature and steam pressure) and the engine is stationary; for this reason, the engine, unlike the internal combustion engine, consumes very little energy and produces no noise.
In fact, in modern steam engines, there is no longer a “boiler” in the common sense of the term: the steam generator consists of a series of evaporators consisting of very thin bundles of tubes, or other devices with a very high surface of exchange that contain very little water. The water and the steam are contained in a hermetically sealed circuit and therefore the minimum topping up of working fluid is not necessary. As with all closed circuits, the fluid used is a pure technical product, and although it is water, this is not common water, it is in fact purified, demineralized and degassed.
As the use of special materials has been widely used in modern steam engines, the use of conventional oil-based lubricants is rendered useless. Their lubricating function is in fact carried out in an excellent way by the working fluid itself, both in the form of water and in the form of steam . In the steam engine, mineral lubricating oil was in the past the main reason for damage, unreliability and malfunctions. In fact, after emulsifying with water and steam, it came into contact with the hot surfaces and carbonized quickly. The carbonaceous residues and the gelatinous emulsions deposited on the exchange surfaces damaged the transmission of heat, and clogged the condenser tubes, forcing them to continuous and costly maintenance interventions, ultimately making the management expensive and unreliable .
Both Johnson and Lear had contemplated constructing steam-powered cars for the Indy 500, Johnson first in the early 1960s when with Controlled Steam Dynamics and in 1968 with Thermodynamic Systems and Lear in 1969. A third steam racing car was contemplated by a consortium of Planning Research Corporation and Andy Granatelli of STP Corporation. Lear proceeded with the idea and constructed a car, but ran out of funds while trying to develop the engine. The car is thought to be at the National Automobile and Truck Museum of the United States in Auburn, Indiana. Johnson was also noted as working on a steam-powered helicopter.
William D Thompson, 69-year-old retired San Diego automotive engineer, also announced he planned to enter a steam-powered race car. Thompson was working on a $35,000 steam-powered luxury car and he intended to use the car’s engine in the race car. He had claimed that he had almost 250 orders for his cars. By comparison, Rolls Royces cost about $17,000 at that time.
With Lear pulling out of attempting to make a steam car, Donald Healey decided to make a basic steam-car technology more in line with Stanley or Doble and aimed at enthusiasts. He planned to have the car in production by 1971.
Ted Pritchard Falcon
Edward Pritchard created a steam-powered 1963 model Ford Falcon in 1972. It was evaluated by the Australian Federal Government and was also taken to the United States for promotional purposes.
Saab steam car and Ranotor
As a result of the 1973 oil crisis, SAAB started a project in 1974 codenamed ULF (short for utan luftföroreningar, Swedish for Without Air Pollution)) headed by Dr. Ove Platell which made a prototype steam-powered car. The engine used an electronically controlled 28-pound multi-parallel-circuit steam generator with 1-millimeter-bore tubing and 16 gallons per hour firing rate which was intended to produce 160 hp (119 kW) of continuous power, and was about the same size as a standard car battery. Lengthy start-up times were avoided by using air compressed and stored when the car was running to power the car upon starting until adequate steam pressure was built up. The engine used a conical rotary valve made from pure boron nitride. To conserve water, a hermetically sealed water system was used.
In 1974, the British designer Peter Pellandine produced the first Pelland Steamer for a contract with the South Australian Government. It had a fibreglass monocoque chassis (based on the internal combustion-engined Pelland Sports) and used a twin-cylinder double-acting compound engine. It has been preserved at the National Motor Museum at Birdwood, South Australia.
In 1977, the Pelland Mk II Steam Car was built, this time by Pelland Engineering in the UK. It had a three-cylinder double-acting engine in a ‘broad-arrow’ configuration, mounted in a tubular steel chassis with a Kevlar body, giving a gross weight of just 1,050 lb (476 kg). Uncomplicated and robust, the steam engine was claimed to give trouble-free, efficient performance. It had huge torque (1,100 ft⋅lbf or 1,500 N⋅m) at zero engine revs, and could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) in under 8 seconds.
Pellandine made several attempts to break the land speed record for steam power, but was thwarted by technical issues.[specify] Pellandine moved back to Australia in the 1990s where he continued to develop the Steamer. The latest version is the Mark IV.
From 1996, a R&D subsidiary of the Volkswagen group called Enginion AG was developing a system called ZEE (Zero Emissions Engine). It produced steam almost instantly without an open flame, and took 30 seconds to reach maximum power from a cold start. Their third prototype, EZEE03, was a three-cylinder unit meant to fit in a Škoda Fabia automobile. The EZEE03 was described as having a “two-stroke” (i.e. single-acting) engine of 1,000 cc (61 cu in) displacement, producing up to 220 hp (164 kW) (500 N⋅m or 369 ft⋅lbf).[dead link] Exhaust emissions were said to be far below the SULEV standard. It had an oilless engine with ceramic cylinder linings using steam instead of oil as a lubricant. However, Enginion found that the market was not ready for steam cars, so they opted instead to develop the Steamcell power generator/heating system based on similar technology.
The prototypes produced
Following the energy crisis of 1973, Saab developed a project – started the following year under the guidance of Ove Platell – which was aimed at the construction of a steam engine . A prototype was built that had a boiler consisting of a multi-parallel circuit of thin tubes with an internal diameter of about one millimeter. This steam generator produced a power of 250 hp and was the size of an automobile battery . In order to allow the prototype to start immediately, an auxiliary compressed air propulsion system was provided. The steam engine of this vehicle was equipped with nine cylinders.
Between 1973 and 1974 the British designer Peter Pellandine produced in Australia – with the Pellandini Cars brand – his first steam engine. The project was the result of a contract with the Government of Southern Australia. The chassis and the monocoque of the vehicle were made of fiberglass, while the mechanics were based on that of the Morris 1100 and the Mini. In 1977 Pellandine, after returning home, built a second steam engine, the Pelland Mark II Steam Car, this time with the Pelland Engineering brand. The engine of this last prototype, which had a W configuration, was a double-acting three-cylinder.
In the nineties of the twentieth century, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen group operating in the field of research and development, Enginion AG, designed and built a steam engine called “ZEE” (acronym for “Zero Emissions Engine”, ie “zero emissions engine” “), which produced 220 hp of power . This engine delivered steam almost instantaneously without the use of free flame and did not need lubricating oils, since the steam itself was used for this purpose . The cylinder liners were made of ceramic material. This engine was also characterized by very low pollutant emissions and a higher efficiency than the common internal combustion engines. However, Enginion AG realized that the market was not ready for steam engines, and preferred to proceed with the development of the “Steamcell” engine, ie an energy and heat generator (cogeneration) based on a similar principle. ]. In fact, the company could not convince any company to mass produce its own steam engine.
At the beginning of the 21st century, Harry Schoell experimented with the Cyclone steam engine. This engine, which is able to start from cold in about ten seconds and reach full speed in about one minute, is characterized by particularly low polluting emissions. The Cyclone engine, which was produced within the “Cyclone Power Technologies”, has a yield of 46% and has a centrifugal combustion chamber, hence the name .
On August 25, 2009 the British Steam Car Challenge beat the land speed record valid for steam vehicles. This record lasted since 1906 when it was registered, as already mentioned, by Stanley Rocket. The new record, which was 225.055 km / h, was built at Edwards Air Force Base, in the Mojave desert, California . The car was driven by Charles Burnett III. Given that these earth speed primates are based on the average of two passes traveled in opposite directions over a time period of one hour, the maximum speed reached and recorded in the mentioned record was obtained considering the 219,037 km / h of the first pass and the 243,148 km / h of the second. On the same day, the record was confirmed by the FIA. The following day, Don Wales, nephew of Malcolm Campbell, made a new attempt with the same car reaching a record average speed of 238.679 km / h. The record was again beaten along two consecutive departures calculated, this time, over a distance of one kilometer. This record was also recorded by the FIA.
Source from Wikipedia