Chuk... and his homemade Steam Car (continued)
Chuk's car runs on any combustible fuel including kerosene, but for convenience sake, he uses mostly regular unleaded gasoline. The boiler ignites the fuel and produces heat. The water piped through the boiler turns into steam. The steam is then channeled into piston chambers which actually power the vehicle.
One by-product is the steam that exits, making, of course, the characteristic chugging and hissing sounds when it is released from the vents.
As far as fuel efficiency, it is not the most environmentally friendly car around, as it only gets about 8-10 mpg. But since it can also run on bio-diesel, it does get some credit. Efficiency aside, it does get high marks for being fun and interesting. In fact it is a real treat to experience one of these vehicles. Not only is it a hoot be be around, it carries with it a sense of history.
Having a steam powered car, however, is not for everyone. "I couldn't afford to buy this car outright", Chuk says, but by using his talents (and several month's of sweat equity) and the internet for parts, he has cobbled together something fun, entertaining, and educational. As Chuk says, the kids love it and call it the "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", and young and old alike delight in getting a chance to see an example of good old fashioned ingenuity in action.
Click on the video links on page one to see more of the sights and sounds of this special vehicle. (back)
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