Grass Antarctica
Working Out Biodiesel Kinks in Cold Weather

British Steam Car Challenge


The BBC profiles Glynne Bowsher, chief designer, and the British Steam Car Challenge team in their quest to break the steam-car speed record with their vehicle, Inspiration. The extant record was set in 1906 by a Stanley Steamer that reached 127.659 mph.

He knows engine and vehicle design like old friends, having worked on Richard Noble’s record-breaking Thrust 2 jet car and having designed ThrustSSC, the first vehicle to break the sound barrier on land.

His team, the British Steam Car Challenge (BSCC), is hoping that its Inspiration vehicle will live up to its name and not only break a long-standing steam-car speed record, but also inspire thinking about alternative fuels for the future.

Motive power comes from a two-stage steam turbine fed by four independent boilers fired by LPG. The 13-inch diameter turbine produces 225 kW of power at 12,000 rpm, and drives an epicyclical gear train with a 4:1 ratio for a wheel speed of 3,000 rpm at 200 mph.

Each boiler section is being designed to produce steam at 500 psi and 725° F with a mass flow rate of 625 lb/hr. The LPG is fed into the boilers at a relatively low pressure—a little over 2 bar (29 psi).

Resources: British Steam Car Challenge


Dave Gillard

In the interest of a green environment. I would like to offer a question/idea. How feasible would it be to build a multi-stage microwave oven/boiler to create the steam. maybe powered from the vehicle engine itself? Good day!
Dave Gillard

Chad Perkins

actually, microwave would be less efficient than direct-to-electrode steam heating, due to microwave inefficiency; but the concept is very sound and still could be worked as a power-take-off (PTO) from the vehicle's engine... spectacular car!

C. Romano

How would be the best way to get in touch with Glynne Bowsher. I would like to discuss an alternitave fuel to liquid gas to create steam.

Thank you Chuck Romano

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)