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List of Vehicles in the Collection

Explore the vehicles in our Collections and see which ones are on display in the National Motor Museum. Please note that vehicles on display can change at short notice. If there is a particular vehicle that you wish to view please contact us on 01590 614541 in advance of your visit to check that it is on display. You can also sponsor any vehicle in the Museum owned by the National Motor Museum Trust.

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British Steam Car ‘Inspiration’

On Display

On 25 August 2009, at Edwards Air Force base in California, Charles Burnett III drove the British Steam Car ‘Inspiration’ to a new Land Speed Record for steam power, recording an average speed of 139.843mph. The next day Don Wales, grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell, drove the car even faster, setting a kilometre record with an average speed of 148.166mph. Altogether the team claimed five international and American speed records.

The record that the team broke had been established at Daytona in 1906 when Fred Marriott drove the Stanley steam car ‘Rocket’ to a speed of 121.57mph. At the time this was the outright Land Speed Record and would stand for three years before it was broken by Victor Héméry at the wheel of a Benz. The record speed for a steam car remained unchallenged for 103 years.

Engine: Two-stage Curtis type steam turbine, 12 boilers, 360hp

Year2008
CountryBritish
Performance155mph (top speed achieved on Don Wales’ run)
Price newNot marketed
ManufacturerBritish Steam Car Challenge
Loaned byPrivate Owner

 

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