British Steam Car in Steam

Following successful static testing at which members of the British Steam Car team were delighted to be engulfed in steam, the project is on track for the World of Speed event at Bonneville, USA, from 15-21 September - at which attempts will be made to establish a new steam car world speed record.

This represents 'plan B' for the British Steam Car team, having reluctantly decided to miss the Bonneville Speed Week in August. Matt Candy, British Steam Car Project Leader, says: "It was a difficult decision. The car was in steam but we'd run out of time to undertake dynamic testing. We could have shipped the car to America and done the testing there but that might have meant difficulties overcoming any problems. We decided to stick to our plan of doing test runs in the UK, knowing we had full technical backup available. This means we'll miss Bonneville Speed Week and go to World of Speed instead - an eventuality we'd planned for if time got tight."

All the car's components, electronics and 192 safety sensors are now in place and have been satisfactorily tested. The highly advanced firebox containing 12 micro boilers is successfully producing steam. With safety concerns paramount, the vehicle has been inspected by Bonneville officials and has been pronounced sound. UK testing is now beginning (a limited number of media places are available to witness these tests).

After completion of the dynamic testing schedule, two 40ft shipping crates will be used to transport the three-ton, 25ft-long British Steam Car and its backup equipment to Bonneville on 28th August. It will sail from Portsmouth to New York and then be taken overland to Bonneville, Utah.

The last official steam powered record attempt took place in 1906, with Fred Marriott driving a Stanley Steamer built by the Stanley brothers. It achieved 127.659mph. In 1985, Bob Barber reached 145.607mph in a steam car but only made one run - to qualify as a world record the average speed of two runs in opposite directions is taken. The British Steam Car team will officially unveil the car and carry out preparatory testing at the World of Speed and the attempt(s) on the record will take place from 22 of September on the famous Bonneville Salt Flats.

Monthly updates are available at steamcar.co.uk (which includes profiles of team members and technical specifications for the British Steam Car).

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British Steam Car dates:

W/c 11th August          UK Testing begins28th August -            Vehicle departs UK for Bonneville15th - 21st September -  Official unveiling and preparatory testing at World of                    Speed, Bonneville with test driver, Don Wales22nd- 27th -             National and World Record AttemptsOctober             Return of British Steam Car to UK and then on permanent                    display at National Motor Museum Trust at Beaulieu