Jay Leno’s Garage – 1909 Stanley Steamer
Jay Leno is known for his collection of classic cars, and one of his rarest vehicles is a 1909 Stanley Steamer. He has spoken about its unique design and amazing power in numerous interviews.
Leno is quick to point out that the best part of the car is its makeup. It is completely constructed from wood. The only metal piece is the hood. Even the chassis contains wood poles.
The 1909 Stanley contains a dry engine. This means that a driver will need to stop every 50 miles and squirt the bearings in the car, and there is no oil in the engine. To work the steamer, one must heat the pilot to keep the boiler hot. It is similar to a home’s hot water heater. As the fuel is opened, the liquid hits the pilot, where it is turned to gas and gets shot under pressure into the burner. To get a Steamer moving, it will take approximately 20 minutes.
There are no electric pieces to worry about in this vehicle. All pumps are run by hand and are located under the floor boards. While on the road, it is a direct-drive effect. There is no engine, transmission, clutch or gauges. The engine is directly connected to the wheels, creating a totally unique way to cruise. However, the most incredible part is how quiet the Steamer runs.
To drive the vehicle, all cylinders must be cleared. Once on the road, the car has no brakes. In an emergency, a person must throw the car in reverse and open the steam valve. It is similar to how a locomotive operates. At the end of the day, it must be steamed down to clean the boiler.
When it was originally manufactured, no other car could shift as quickly, and it broke speed records. In 1906, it topped 127 mph. Even though this type of vehicle is a lot of work, it has power and torque. It provides 700 pounds at rest.
After taking a look at this exciting vehicle, some people may wonder if steam engine cars will ever make a comeback. A few years back, Volkswagen claimed to create a steam engine named the “Enginion.” It was never featured in a commercial vehicle, but it shined hope that this type of car is not dead. Down the line, it is highly unlikely that steam cars will surpass the popularity of internal combustion engines, but future generations may eventually revisit the idea of steam power.