Steam engines without a railway in sight

- Advertisement -


THE very high number of classic and vintage cars owned and kept in Jersey means motoring enthusiasts get ample opportunity to see some of the finest machinery history has to offer.

However, this week we were given a rare treat when a fleet of pre-First World War steam cars arrived. The Stanley cars and their owners came across from the UK to enjoy Island roads in one of the best weeks of weather this year.

Each year they meet up and go away somewhere together, and this year it was Jersey’s turn.

Ian Sparks and his wife, Dawn, brought over their stunning green 1910 Stanley Model 75.

He said that it was a refreshing change to come to Jersey, where ‘everyone was friendly and gave you the right of way’.

Stanleys have a fine pedigree and one set the 1906 land speed record with an unbelievable 127 mph. Mr Sparks’s car cruises along nicely at 50 mph.

‘Steam cars are very smooth and really quite quick,’ said Mr Sparks, a retired engineer. ‘We run a petrol and diesel mixture as the fuel. It is like a big primus stove.’

The car uses around a gallon of fuel for every mile travelled and carries around 30 gallons. The boiler runs at around 600 psi, and it takes around 20 minutes for the car to build up that pressure.

The cars in Jersey this week range in age from 1904 to 1914, although the era of the steam car spans from the 1890s to the 1920s. Stanleys were made in America from 1896 to 1925.

It was the electric starter which finally killed off the steam car. Its invention and application in motor cars just before the war in 1913 removed the need to crank up the internal combustion engine car to get it started.

Pictures: Rob Currie

Picture sales: Click here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.