View Full Version : Jay Leno's White steam car

05-04-2008, 10:23 AM
I had the tube tuned to Speed Channel this morning and had to stop & watch Leno's 1907 White steamer in slack-jawed amazement. It was on "My Classic Car."

I'll admit I know next to nothing about steam but this machine was amazing. Far as I could tell, it runs on gasoline although the pilot light heater ran on hexane. What looked like a radiator up front was actually a condenser to re-use water. I learned the steam is superheated (750 deg. F!) Didn't know dat! They drove the thing all over Burbank and it looked to be very usable machine. They had Jay's chief mechanic along for the ride though.;)

It had what seemed to me to be an amazing amount of technology for the time. If you get a chance, watch it.

Michael Edwards
05-04-2008, 12:18 PM
There are more videos on Jay Leno's web site. I like the Doble steam car. Lottsa cool bikes too.



05-04-2008, 02:24 PM
Didn't he get a speeding ticket in his Stanley?

05-04-2008, 02:45 PM
I like the Doble steam car.

The Doble (made in Emeryville) was generally regarded as the ultimate in steam cars. A few still survive in New Zealand, where Abner Doble emigrated.

Anybody ever see one?

05-04-2008, 03:16 PM
On a personal scale of ten, the Doble at Northcutt's Museum in Sylmar rates about a seven when compared to their other examples. On a steam scale it rates a ten, plus.

Nothing like driving down San Fernando Blvd (old highway 99), only to realize the car in the next lane is from Northcutt -------- just out for a little exercise.


Rich Carlstedt
05-04-2008, 09:06 PM
Stanleys were awesome.
In 1903, a 10 HP Stanley went 127 MPH at Datona Beach.

This is easily done with steam engines, as they really have no HP ratings.
The HP is determined by the boiler, not the engine.
You could say "steam has no limit" as cubic inches mean little in a steam engine.


05-04-2008, 09:16 PM
Steam engines certainly do have a horsepower rating, it's determined by testing with a dynomometer, just like any other engine. A Prony brake is demonstrated at many of the thresher/tractor shows every season.

05-04-2008, 09:18 PM
Here are a coupla Stanleys not in Jays garage. One is a 1910 runabout and the other is a luxury model. You can see an old Buick(not steam) through the window of the black one.

05-04-2008, 09:23 PM
more picture

My card was full so I had to stop taking pictures.

05-04-2008, 09:30 PM
Here are a coupla Stanleys not in Jays garage. One is a 1910 runabout and the other is a luxury model.

Do they run?

05-04-2008, 09:32 PM
I remember my granddad telling me that Stanley Steamer had a $1000 prize if some one would hold the throttle of a steamer open for one minute. Donít know if it was a fact but he thought no one had lived to collect it.

05-04-2008, 10:00 PM
I know for a fact that they havn't run in over 40 years and probably longer than that.