Oldest world record broken by UK-built steam car
26 August 2009

A team of British engineers has broken the longest-standing world land speed record in California.

The steam car, called Inspiration, recorded an average speed of 139.843mph at Edwards air base, in the Mojave Desert, smashing the 1906 record of 127mph.

See the steam car world record bid picture gallery

To have the record ratified by the FIA, the Hampshire-based team had to finish two runs in opposite directions, less than an hour apart.

The 25-foot-long, three-tonne car was driven by its main financier Charles Burnett III.

It reached a peak speed of 136.103mph on the first run and 151.085mph on the second.

Burnett said: "I wouldn't like to leave it this close again, it was the last but one day we had to do this.

"It was absolutely fantastic I enjoyed every moment of it. The car really did handle beautifully.

"It is a privilege to be involved with such a talented crew. What we have achieved today is a true testament to British engineering, good teamwork and perseverance."

The team is due to return home today.

The car will be brought back to England and will end up at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire.

It is made from a mixture of lightweight carbonfibre composite and aluminium, wrapped around a steel spaceframe chassis and fitted with 12 boilers containing nearly two miles of tubing.

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26 August 2009

"The steam car, called Inspiration, recorded an average speed of 139.843mph at Edwards air base, in the Mojave Desert, smashing the 1906 record of 127mph."

Very well done gentlemen - but I wouldn't describe breaking a 103 year-old record by 12 mph (- or just 10%) as "smashing" it ...

26 August 2009

Fully agree with you 38carssofar. I'm not engaging in Brit bashing - it's great that we've got the record - but is this really the best that can be done 103 years on...? Bloody Mallard did 126mph pulling a train. Anyone up for borrowing it, taking off the carriages and going for it?

26 August 2009

I apologize as I did chuckle while reading this, I am sure H. G. Wells would be pleased.

You don’t need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows
—Robert Allen Zimmerman

26 August 2009

I agree with the above. 12 mph increase after 103 years and all the aero package this one had and technology tools available since then. It is slightly embarrassing to be even mentioning this story. Far better to celebrate the achievements of the original record, which was very impressive for the time and put in the context of this latest attempt, very impressive now.


26 August 2009

Well done guys, anyone that puts their heart and soul, time and effort in to an endeavour like this deserves congratulations, no matter how much they broke the record by.

That said, apart from just breaking the record there is very little relevance with todays motoring needs? Is this now going to lead to a breed of environmentally friendly steam powered cars? I didn't think so.



It's all about the twisties........

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