|"Likamobile" steam car - stock code 6111|
We've had several of these Locomobile replica steam cars over the years, they never fail to amaze visitors whom we regularly inveigle into having a ride - they usually set out with a mixture of sceptisism and apprehension, always come back beaming and quite amazed at what the machine can do.
So - this is a "Likamobile" steam car, Steam Traction World's take on the original 1900-era "Locomobile", externally period but with discrete updating inside resulting in a highly driveable car that goes well. Started in 2008 and first registered for the road in 2012, this one has been particularly well put together, nicely detailed and superbly finished, with a remodelled body (complete with prototypical "louvres") coach painted by brush and hand lined. Many parts have been nickel plated, which gives a rather nice veteran feel.
Every time we've had one of these in the past, Mrs P and I have planned to put it on the road and use it for a while. It's finally happened with this one, I spent a happy afternoon pottering about at the weekend - never seen some many people stop and stare (and remember after all these years our village is pretty used to seeing us running around on all manner of steam-powered contraptions). With heating oil at 60p a litre, no road tax or MOT to worry about and insurance at £41.25 (and that's an "any driver policy", which has delighted No.1 son - I guess steam car drivers are a careful bunch) I can't think of a single reason why everybody doesn't want one!
Nearly forgot the technical stuff - water tube boiler fired by heating oil, 240psi working pressure, feed by mechanical and hand pumps. Single speed transmission with differential in back axle. Hydraulic disc brakes all round (which whilst not prototypical are reassuring in modern traffic, even here in the sticks). The boiler's party piece is to get up steam from cold in eight minutes - you just switch on the burner, talk nonchalantly to your guests while they look concerned (the burner emits a decidedly menacing sub-sonic rumble which you can feel through the ground) then leap aboard and drive off - usually accompanied by a round of applause from your audience.
Ready to use, complete with V5 and boiler documentation - there's a short video of it here, running around outside the workshop.