October 31, 2006 In an environment where world’s best practice in any human endeavour is expected to last only a few years, it seems ludicrous that a land speed record could survive for a century but that’s the case with the world steam-powered land speed record. A century ago, when the global automotive industry was in its infancy, the internal combustion engine was by no means the only contender as the power source for the personal transportation revolution – electricity and steam were also viable contenders in the first few decades. Indeed, the steam-powered Locomobile was the world's first successful automobile and a machine based on the famous Stanley Steamer automobile attracted global attention on January 27, 1906 when it smashed the outright world speed record of 109 mph setting a new record of 121.57 mph. Now a British team, the British Steam Car Challenge, is preparing to push the World Land Speed Steam-powered Record past 200mph. The car is powered by a 300 bhp Curtis steam turbine and the team is now completing the high-tech boilers for the car, named Inspiration. The boilers will generate a formidable four megawatts of energy – almost enough to power a small town for a day.
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