Brooke's Vehicles

© Brooke Clarke 1999 - 2008

Vehicle Types
1964 Sprite
1966 427 Cobra moved to seperate web page CSX3282
Motorized Bicycles - separate web page
Low BMEP Engine - Pete Brock
'69 Bentely
'98 Intrigue
Honda 2000 Odyssey EX van with Navi
Valetine 1 Radar Detector
What Goes Wrong
'29 Phantom II & '34 20/25 Rolls Royce
Lotus Super 7
Three Wheelers
Live Steam & Old Gas Engines
Vehicle Books & Links


I grew up as sports cars were just being introduced to the U.S.  There was a BMC (British Motor Cars) dealer in each town of any size selling the MG, Sprite, Austin-Healy, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Benteley, Rover,or  Moris Minor etc. You could order a Morgan. With a last name of Clarke you can see that I have a leaning to British iron.

Vehicle Types

I'm writing this after watching a July 2008 TV show in Taiwan on Luxury items.  In the show they were confused about what the following types of items mean.  For example they classified a bicycle that can be folded up into a small package as a luxury item when in fact it's a utility item.  Maybe they were confused about what constitutes an elegant design.  Elegant has to do with the sparseness and/or visual aspects of a design and is different from Luxury.

Vehicles (and other things) can be categorized into Types based on their features.
A Vehicle typically can be categorized in two or more of the above categories.  It's uncommon for a vehicle to be designed for just one of them.  But a pure type vehicle often is elegant whereas a vehicle that has elements of all four types may be a mis-mash design.  Note that there is some purpose for the vehicle that governs (restrains) the design.  For example utility trucks are designed for many different payloads and driving environments. 

Typically you need to sacrifice all the other types to optimize the one you really want.  For example a pure luxury car will not be economical, will not be very utilitarian and it's performance will not be as good a a sports car.

Reliability is a quality measure that can be imposed on all the above vehicle types.  The first Rolls Royce cars were designed with Reliability as the goal.  Because they were reliable when entered into a race they could finish where other cars broke down and did not finish.  Since Rolls Royce only built the chassis and a coach builder did the carriage they typically were luxurious.

1964 Sprite

I had a '64 Sprite that I used for my daily commute and had made major racing type modifications so that I could autocross on weekends. (Won some trophies) A measure of the handling was that you could drive through a freeway on/off ramp at double the posted speed without drifting.  The parts came from the San Francisco BMC dealer (Joe Huffaker Sr.) who was racing a number of BMC cars as well as building the Geinie two seater sports racing car similar to the Lotus two seater.
The Sprite Car Club of Australia Inc. -
British Sprite Site -

1966 427 Cobra moved to seperate web page CSX3282


In the process of writing the computer program for analyzing the performance of the 427 Cobra I learned how tires work.  It's really simple, but not easy to find.  There is a "contact patch" on the ground where the tire flattens.  For example if you put carbon paper under the tire and lowered it onto the ground then lifted the tire up, you could measure the contact patch area.  If the tire pressure is multiplied by the patch area you get the weight on that tire.

You can see that the tire must be sized such that at the inflation pressure there is enough contact patch to support the  weight.  That's why tires that need to carry heavy loads are big.  In the case of trailer tires that need to be small, they have high inflation pressures to make up for their small size.

In the case of AA fuel dragsters and funny cars the tires start out "under inflated" so the rolling radius is shorter than it would be if the tire was inflated more.  As the car (and the tire) picks up speed the tire expands increasing its rolling radius and therefore acting as a variable transmission.  On these very fast cars the effect is quite pronounced.

Pete BrockLow BMEP Engine

I went to a talk by Pete Brock because he was involved in the design of Cobra cars and in particular the  Cobra Daytona Coupe.  A web search will find Pete in relation to Datsun, Pebble Beach and a company in Southern California designing cars.  He talked some about his background and some Cobra stuff but then the really good thing was about the new engine that he was building.  As he talked he pulled parts of the engine from a back pack and showed them to us.

Automobiles and most motorcycles got off to a bad start because government agencies taxed them based on the displacement of the engine.  I think this is still the case in Italy.  In many automotive racing classes the displacement of the engine is a major factor.  I know that the early Rolls Royce cars had names like Silver Ghost, Phantom and also numeric model numbers like 20/25 or 40/50.  This referred to the official Horse Power/Actual Horse Power.  The idea was you only paid taxes on 20 HP but you got 25 HP.  So car manufacturers and others have been locked into the idea of getting the most horse power per cubic inch.  This is a mistake.

When you look at airplanes with piston engines the most important factors are reliability and HP per pound of weight.  In the case of ships the important factor is HP per pound of fuel burned.  In both of these cases the engines are lightly stressed.  A technical way of saying this is that they have low Brake Mean Effective Pressure (BMEP).  An engine with low BMEP does not turn at high RPM and does not produce a lot of HP per cubic inch of displacement.  Harley Davidson and BMW motorcycles have this type of engine today.  The very high performance motor cycles from Japan are an example of a high BMEP engine, very high red line for RPM, very high HP/Cubic inch.

Pete showed us the valve from a Ford 5.0 L V8 engine.  It looked like most automotive valves.  The thing is that at 5,000 RPM it takes 30+ (as far as I remember) HP to run the valve train.  That is because there needs to be valve springs strong enough to close the valve and the engine needs to compress these along with moving the mass of the rest of the valve train.  He showed us the valve from his engine, it looked like a #2 pencil lead with a quarter on the end.  Very much lighter that the Ford valve.  The spring looked a lot like what is used in a ball point pen!.  You could easily see that Pete's engine will not need a lot of power to run the valve train.

His engine is a V2 design with a capability of stacking to get a V4, V6, V8, etc.  There is a single size hex head bolt used for all fasteners.  A special Allen wrench with a long handle that acts as a torque limiter is the single tool needed to take apart and assemble the engine.

If the Ford V8 engine is removed from it's car and a V8 version of Pete's engine installed, the performance will be comparable because of the lighter weight of Pete's engine.

Pursuing this project cost Pete a lot and it was dormant for a number of years.  I talked to him a few days ago (Oct. 98) and it looks like the project may come alive again.

There are better ways to design cars and trucks if you can get rid of the old ideas.  Pete has some great ideas about utility vehicles for underdeveloped countries.  These would be easy to make and very practical to operate and fix.  One idea is to have all the wheels be non-steering and use differential engine control for steering, like on the Bob-Cat front loaders.

'69 Bentely

I got this car used in the mid nineteen seventies.  Used it cost about what a new top of the line Mercedes would have cost then.  I had this car over 20 years.  It turns out (in my humble opinion) that the Rolls Royce V-8 engine has a fatal flaw.  It is made from aluminum with steel cylinder liners.  The thickness of the block walls between cylinders is on the order of 1/8".  If the engine ever over heats the stress can cause the Al block to crack.  The engine is very likely to overheat because the o-rings that seal the liner to block joint are a rubber derivative and bio-degrade.  Also there are numerous water hoses that are made from rubber.  The water pump is designed so that a thin rubber part is both sealing the pump and holding the frictional torque of the rotating seal.  When the block cracks a new block is called for since the Al has a plastic coating that makes welding impossible.  Needless to say, that a new block costs a lot of money.

'98 Intrigue

Intrigue Photo
This is my current everyday car.  It has very good handling (I drive in hills every day and going to San Francisco is at freeway speeds in hilly country).
My Intrigue and all cars sold in the U.S. beginning with the 1996 year models have an On Board Diagnostic system called  OBD II..  On my car the connector falls to your right hand if you are the driver and feel at the lower edge of the instrument panel below the steering wheel.  The OBD II web page  by B&B Electronics  has information on what data can be read by their AT1 GM data link.  The AT2 data link for Ford is available, and the AT3 for Chrysler cars is coming.  Things like MPH, RPM, and a lot of emissions control information is available.  This is used by the technicians at the dealership to diagnose what caused the "check engine" light to come on.  Some road tests: Edmunds, Wheels, , Press Release, Auto Extra. I checked the NHTSA defects - recall page to see if there were any, none found.
ELM Electronics - sells an 8 pin PIC microcontroller that can be used to build you own OBD II interface

Honda 2000 Odyssey EX van with Navi

This van has the ability to hold a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood flat on the floor with the rear door closed.  This is possible because the second row seats can be completely removed in a matter of seconds and the third row seats fold down flush into the floor.

It also has the optional Satellite Navigation system.  The main electronics package is about the size of a VCR and is located under the passenger seat.  It contains a CON US data base on a DVD disk. The GPS receiver is aided by a gyroscope( might be a misnomer, magnetic compass might be more correct) and speedometer input.  When stopped the direction of travel stays correct.  The dash panel color touch screen LCD display needed the space used by the manual AC controls.  There is a button beside the display that brings up a manual AC control panel.  This system has been customized by Honda for this application.

In addition of a map display there is a mode that will guide you to your destination, similar to the "never lost" system that's optional in Hertz rental cars.

This system has  parts made by:
Alpine Electronics, Inc. - Honda system software - Alpine Navigation and Information System
Navigation Technologies Corp. - Honda data base contents

US05808566 09/15/1998 Electronic navigation system and method
US05893113 04/06/1999 Update transactions and method and programming for use thereof for incrementally updating a geographic database
US5953722 09/14/1999 Method and system for forming and using geographic data
US5951620 09/14/1999 System and method for distributing information for storage media
US05974419 10/26/1999 Parcelization of geographic data for storage and use in a navigation application
US05968109 10/19/1999 System and method for use and storage of geographic data on physical media

Pacific Audio & Alarm - Multimedia Control Timer - to allow watching DVD videos on Alpine CVA-1005.
Will this work on the Honda version? probably not because the Alpine hardware may be different.

INFO USA Corp. - Honda data base contents

I have gotten the latest DVD direct from Honda's web page (Order Nav System DVDs in drop down box) but have not really checked it out yet.  One thing I have noticed is that the recommended path from my house to the SG Bay Area has changed.  I used to take 101 South, cross the Richmond Bridge, 880 South and 237 West.  Now it says to take the Richmond Bridge then the Bay Bridge back to 101, the two bridges are to avoid going through San Francisco where there is no through freeway.

There is also a built in wireless remote that can be programmed for conventional and rolling code garage door openers, and other features.
It uses the Homelink protocol.

It's been to the dealer for routine maintenance a few times and the bill is always $49.95 and they only did the routine stuff.

Valentine 1 Radar Detector

This is the only one to have, accept no substitutes, and do without until you can get one.  I have seen up to 4 CHP radar traps all lined up in a row (the counter tells you how many bogies.  The Forward, Back or Side indication is really cool.  I have seen traps off to the side because I know when to look, otherwise they would never be seen.  For approaching cars with moving radar you get a lot of warning as well as knowing that they are in front of you (of course it also could be a car parked on the shoulder behind tall grass).  On a few occasions I have picked up the local oscillator of a cheap detector in a nearby car and can tell which car it is in.

US05917441 06/29/1999 Police radar detector for sweeping K and KA radar bands during one local oscillator sweep
US05900832 05/04/1999 Input stage for police radar detector including input signal preamplification
US05856801 01/05/1999 Input stage for a police radar detector
US05852417 12/22/1998 Police radar detector including nuisance alert suppression
US05300932 04/05/1994 Motor vehicle police radar detector for detecting multiple radar sources
US05250951 10/05/1993 Motor vehicle police radar detector for detecting multiple radar sources
USD0338841 08/31/1993 Radar detector housing
US05206651 04/27/1993 Motor vehicle police radar detector for detecting multiple radar sources
US05151701 09/29/1992 Police radar detectors for detecting radar signals and determining the directional origin of the signal source
US05146226 09/08/1992 Motor vehicle police radar detector for detecting multiple radar sources
US05125110 06/23/1992 Microstripline microwave mixer using waveguide filter
US05116248 05/26/1992 Power plug for radar warning detector
US05083129 01/21/1992 Police radar detector for detecting radar signals and determining the directional origin of the signal source
US05068663 11/26/1991 Motor vehicle radar detector including amplitude detection
US05020754 06/04/1991 Method and apparatus for mounting radar detector
US04994775 02/19/1991 High-pass filter for microstrip circuit
US04973925 11/27/1990 Double-ridge waveguide to microstrip coupling
US04908767 03/13/1990 Acceleration measuring system

This contains the coordinate transformations to get from a3-axis accelerometer to acceleration in the plane of the road.  It depends on the roll and pitch spring constants being known and constant or using an independent roll & pitch input.  This is required if you want to monitor the handling of a high performance car.  You can not really use the accelerometers in the plane of the car since the car leans relative to the road.
US04878061 10/31/1989 Broadband wide flare ridged microwave horn antenna
US04748848 06/07/1988 Accelerometer
Speed Traps -
Cop Car Registry -
California Codes - Vehicle  800-427-ROAD phone number for road conditions

Hummer by A. M. General

One day while driving down the 101 freeway going South to Santa Barbara I passed a very long column of Hummers being delivered to the army at Hunter Liget. There were all kinds of models, most fitted with military radios. I started to study them at that time. It turns out that A.M General would not sell me a Hummer at that time because they were not street legal and they had their hands full building them for the Army and other U.S. and foreign services. Later they developed the "Heavy Hummer" that had a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) in excess of 10,000 pounds. This required not only adding heavier springs for the vertical load but also a lot of changes to the drive line to handle the higher torque that propelling the heavier vehicle required. With this higher GVW the rules change for street licensing and made the Hummer street legal. A friend purchased one of the first 100 and had it custom painted a civilian camo (the factory could not use the same robot pattern they used for the Army for legal reasons). My friend ended selling his back to A.M. General because of all the problems it had. One of the problems was that there was nowhere he could go that had trained mechanics. If the mechanic is not trained on the Hummer in the process of fixing one problem, he can create one or more new problems.
The Military Vehicle Forum is a web site where owners and others post Hummer related information.
There is a Radio Controlled (RC) Hummer model made by Tamia.
Surplus Enterprizes, Inc - no parts listed on web, need to call them
HummerNet.Com - on line magazine
Stinger Accessories - custom components
D.Lain Fabrications - Custom Heavy-Duty Cargo Rack
National Transmission - Mattracks Systems
Lamborgini made a similar vehicle the LM002 based on an off shore boat engine produced in 1984 it weighed 3100kg had a v12,dohc,4v/cyl. 455hp,369lbft,tranie 2x5m ,0-60 in 7.9 ,top speed of 120 ,also it was 4wd front-engine- have not found a web reference yet
David W. Uhrig - Military Vehicle Broker & Appraisal Service - note that Army Hummers are not street legal (see above)
Military Vehicles magazine - Links -
Geoff's Humvee page -
Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) - Links -
Wenzlu Engineering - HMMWN Info Center - quick erecting telescopic masts -
Military M998 HMMWV Series - - hummer pages - "The Most Serious 4x4 On Earth" - Introduction To Buying and Owning Military Vehicles -
Military Vehicles Mailing List - instructions on how to sign up for this list server - Military Vehicles Mailing List Archive - look here with your browser
Portrayal Press - military related books
DRMS - official government sales -
General Motors' Hummer H2 Vision Vehicle - GM makes a knock off version as a show car to test reaction
Hummer of Sacramento - new & used full size Hummers & the GM H2 + a Hummer Trailer -

What Goes Wrong

Reading the Hummer Forum,  my friends experience and my experience lead me to believe that when you have an car that is made in relativity small numbers, you are going to have trouble getting service.  In my friends case the mechanic would make new problems as he tried to fix existing problems.  This same thing happened to me with an '86 Turbo Inter-cooled 745 Volvo wagon. The block had a bad freeze (casting) plug, so the dealer, under warranty, replaced the raw block because the model was so new there were no short blocks available.  In the process he cross threaded the plastic radiator, causing me grief on a trip to Santa Barbara.  Some cars like the Corvette ZR-1 have a V-10 engine so complex that the local dealer is not allowed to work on it, instead it is sent to the factory for repairs.

Rubber parts cause a lot of problems.  Rubber and the synthetic version of it all biodegrade in air and water.  Any rubber hose or gasket is a problem waiting to happen.  If rubber is used as part of the insulation on wires they will get hard, crack and short's just a matter of time.  The '29 & '34 Rolls Royce cars have no rubber parts except for the tires.  There is a metal tube between the frame and engine that carries the fuel.  It has a few turns about 3 inches in diameter to allow for flexing.

'29 Phantom II & '34 20/25 Rolls Royce

I have owned a number of other cars including a '29 Phantom II (WJ14) and '34 RR 20/25 (GWE72).  These were both works of art.  The firewall is an aluminum casting.  There are no rubber parts other than the tires.  The fuel line between the frame and the engine is metal with about 5 turns to allow for the rocking movement of the engine.  Note that rubber (and it's modern replacements) bio-degrade when exposed to air or water.  I believe this is the cause of many "failures" in cars.  The '29 Phantom II was made close enough to the beginning of automobiles that it still had the "start from the switch" function although it also had an electric starter.  Early cars did not have electric starters, they had a crank that needed to be turned to get the engine going.  RR (and probably others) had a feature related to the manual spark timing lever at the center of the steering wheel.  When you were about to turn off the engine, you first put the advance lever all the way up, then turned off the ignition switch (the key was separate from the switch).  In this way the engine would turn over maybe a turn or two with no spark and in the process inhale some fresh air and gas.  When you wanted to start the car, after shopping or whatever,  you would turn on the ignition switch and then move the advance level smartly down.  This would cause the points to open and fire whichever cylinder was just past top dead center, starting the engine without cranking.  I got this to work, but not all the time.  At the time RR started most cars were very unreliable.  Henry Royce worked hard to make a car that was reliable.  To promote the reliability they entered endurance races, where just finishing meant winning.  The early RR cars were made into armored cars (early tanks) and used in the African desert by Sir Lawrence who praised them highly for their reliability.  In the movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom the ruler of the dessert where the temple is located refuses gold and jewelry but accepts a Phantom II RR.  As of about 1988 there was a Phantom II used by a women on the East coast on a regular basis.  Although it will not maintain freeway speeds, it will keep running almost forever.
I bought these at Coys of Kensington.
Beaulieu - motor Museum with on site restoration shop -

Lotus Super 7

Although I never owned one, the Lotus Super 7 has held a fascination for me.  This was a car built to be very light and had a 4 cylinder engine.  Because of the light weight it does not need a lot of horsepower to go fast.  It is also narrow so that on an autocross circuit the road looks wider allowing the Super Seven to often take top time of the day.  Of course if there was a hot go cart or motorcycle they could take TTOD.  The principal is still true.  If a car was made, say using carbon fiber technology with a goal of minimum weight, it would be even faster than the Super Seven.
Super Seven web page with information about "The Prisoner's" car
British Cars web page -
More British Car web page links -
Yet more British car Links -
Sevens & Elans, Ltd. -
Autocourse Inc.- Caterham Dealer for California
Caterham UK - has the right to make the Super Seven which Lotus no longer makes
New England Classic Car Company -
WorldClass Motorsports is continuing the tradition of making light powerful vehicles(6.3 lbs/hp).

Three Wheelers


The Morgan Car Co. in England (yes they are still in business) made a  three wheel "motorcycle".  There is a legal distinction that is still true today, i.e. if it has three wheels it will be treated as a motorcycle by the government licensing agency (the DMV in California).  The idea was to lower the cost of ownership. It had two steering front wheels and a driven rear wheel.  This is a stable configuration meaning that you are less likely to crash it.  The single steering wheel in front and two driven wheels in back is an unstable configuration.  These definitions come from vehicle dynamics.  The story is that Mr. Morgan, a preacher's son, wanted to take girls out on dates in the new car so it had to have side by side bench seating.  In the nineteen seventies I went to the Morgan factory and asked about a tour.  They said that they did not have the staff to do tours, but that I was welcomed to just walk around and have a look!  It is interesting that wood (not in the frame, but used between the frame and body panels, is a material very much like carbon fiber in plastic.  They both have a lot of strength for their weight.
MORGAN PLUS FOUR  CLUB  of Southern California -
 JZR Pilots Association - replica 3-wheel Morgan using Honda V4, Harley EVO or Moto Guzzi engines.


The Tri-Hawk was made in Dana, Southern California as a autocross car.  It would not roll over and developed very high lateral G forces in turns.  It had both steering and drive on both front wheels supplied by a compact car front engine-driveline assembly. The single rear wheel was fixed.   I think that Harley Davidson bought them out, but I never saw an HD based recreation of the Morgan.  This would make a desirable modern version of the Morgan.  The key is to lower the center of gravity so that the car will not roll over during hard cornering.  People have been killed driving the original Morgan 3 wheelers in modern times because they have a high CG and can roll over.


The Messerschmitt KR-200 was built by the German aircraft factory that built the Messerschmitt planes.  It has two front steering wheels and a single rear driven wheel.  The hinged bubble top looks very much like it came from a fighter plane. Automobile Quarterly - Second Quarter 1973 - Vol XI, Number 2:. "Ist Das Nicht Ein Kabinenroller?", "Ja! Das Ist Ein Kabinenroller!" page 162 and Under the bubble: a Short Flight in a Messerschmitt KR 200, page 172.  This car appeared in one of the Adams Family movies driven by "thing". KR200, TG500,

Corbin Motors Inc.

Sparrow - I saw one parked at Fry's in Sunnyvale, cute as a bug! It's a one passenger electric powered, enclosed 3-wheeler with 2 wheels in front.
Merlin - is a V2 gas engine version of the Sparrow due to be available in 2002.

New Design 3-Wheeler

BIG BRUTE V8 Super Cycle - makes a chev V8 motorcycle.  has a right anlge drive that can handle some torque
Boss Hoss - Chevy 350 V8 engine powered cycle, maybe good for 3-wheeler parts?  The trike they make has two rear wheels, not a stable arrangement, two in front is the way to go.

Tilting Three-Wheelers

There is another class of Three-Wheelers that are designed to tilt into turns like a motorcycle rather than lean out like a car.  The above 3-wheelers lean out.
Patents related to Tilting Three Wheelers
Maxmatic - Max Hall's page of interesting vehicles

Exotic Rental Cars

Dream Car Rentals - Las Vegas, Maui, Kauai, San Jose, Ft. Laudrdale, Miami
Exotic Rentals - Boston
Red Hot Cars - Phoenix - New York
Bespokes - England

Live Steam & Old Gas Engines

All through history there have been "hi-tech" fields.  At one time it was designing and building Cathedrals.  At another the Steam powered rail road system.  At all times in history very bright people have spent a large amount of time studying, designing and refining their "hi-tech" products.   A man found that the new horse less carriages were so unreliable that they could not make it across London.  He started his own car company to make a more reliable car.  Henry Royce was an engineer apprenticed at the Baldwin Locomotive works (hi-tech live steam).

Up until 1948 the Fowler company was making and selling live steam "heavy haulage" trucks that out performed diesel based trucks for hauling very heavy loads.

In England there are a large number of people devoted to various hobbies related to live steam and there are quite a number of them in the U.S.

At first steam engines were stationary and used in manufacturing plants to power machinery by means of line shafts and flat leather belts.  Mr. Watts invented a 4-bar linkage used on Beam engines, a handsome type of stationary engine.   Later with skids under the steam engine it could pull itself (called a mule or yarder) by means of a powered spool and rope, or with carriage wheels it could be pulled by horses - a portable engine, a version of this is the "Fire Engine".  Then with the steam engine powering it's own wheels, the traction engine.  Traction engines were the predecessors to tractors.  The Showman's traction engine was used around the Circus and had lights and music.  Some traction engines are very large. A short history of steam.

Note that an engine burns fuel and works based on heat.  A motor does not burn fuel and it's operation does not depend on heat. Examples: starter motor in a car, diesel engine, electric motor, gas engine, Sterling engine, a WWII submarine has motors for propulsion and engines to charge the batteries, most ships have engines.

Kew Bridge Steam Museum - links-
Cambridge Museum of Technology - with live steaming days
Steam & Engine of Australia - general steam stuff
Roland's Cornish Steam Engine Page - information about various steam topics
Steam Engine Library - many books that can be read on line
HOLLYCOMBE STEAM COLLECTION - UK Gallopers - National Fairground Archive - links - working full sized carousels,
M u s e u m s around the UK -
London Transport Museum - links -
The New England Wireless and Steam Museum - Steam Engines -
How Stuff Works - Steam Engine -

Actual Full Sized Historical Equipment

There are a number of people who have restored and have in excellent working condition all types of steam powered vehicles.  They have meetings where Traction Engines race, have tug of wars, and other events so people can enjoy seeing these magnificent machines working like when they were new.  Some of these huge machines, that I saw in England, were licensed for traveling on public roads.  There is a driving school for traction engines.
Roots of Motive Power - Is in Willits just North of me (Events Schedule).  It is a museum with a lot of live steam machinery that was used for logging in this area.
1932 Bucyrus-Erie 5O-B Steam Shovel - My Erie page -

Murray Brothers Single Drum Donkey "D11"  c1900 (Mur_d11.dwf) To view this drawing you need the Autodesk WHIP! Plug-in.  For Netscape 4.05 or higher there is a <Shift><Click to download as file>  whip.jar file (about 2.8 megabyte).
c1900 Murray Brother's Single Drum Donkey - My Murray page -

Just across the street is the office of California Western Railroad  that runs the Skunk and Super Skunk trains between Willits and Fort Brag on the California coast.

Historical Traction Engine Pages - links to Societies - Three Counties Steam Tour - great photos of engines on the road
Historical Construction Equipment Association - Big Toys
Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum - links -
Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association - TECHNICAL DATA - links - Santa Rosa, CA branch -
The Traction Engine Pages - links - For Sale - THE BENSON MOUNTAIN COMPANY - videos, books, etc.
The Stationary Engine Publications Archive - Harrolds' Antique Tractor and Engine Links -
STEAM INDUSTRIES, INC. - 1/2 Size Case Traction Engine - big enough to ride = 20" OD flywheel, 2' front & 3' OD rear wheels
Steam on the Internet - some photos of BIG engines
U.C. Davis Antique Mechanics - early farm tractors
Stanley Steamers - Stanley links -
1903 Puritan steam car -
Harrolds' Antique Tractor and Engine Links -
Tod Engine Project - At its design speed of 80 rpm, the engine produced 4,000 horsepower, with a reserve of 4,000 hp stored in the 20', 75 ton flywheel, making it possible to deliver 8,000 hp to the rolls at times of peak load
Antique Steam - South Peace Centennial Museum - live steam days for traction engines and others - When an engine has a name like 25 -75 HP it means that the draw bar has a rating of 25 HP and the flywheel has 75 HP.  The 25 HP is close the the boiler HP rating derived from it's surface area.
ChemicaLogic - steam related software


You can buy finished live steam models ready to run, kits of parts that are ready to assemble, kits of parts that need some work to assemble, raw castings that need machining, and plans for build form scratch models.  There is a good sized industry in the United Kingdom to fill the needs of this model builder market.  In the U.S. there are a number of live steam railroads built to a scale where people can ride on or in smaller sized rail cars.  Many of these are in peoples gardens.


1 HORSEPOWER STEAM ENGINE  by Mike Brown & Sensible Steam Consultants -
Bill Newcombe Steam Models -
Brunell Model Engineering - nice line of engines
Caloric Engine Co. - model gas engines
Maxwell Hemmens - dealer - very nice showman's traction engine - financial info -
Kenneth Rhodes - builds (machines & assemples) model steam a gas engines
Reeves - has a wide assortment of Models.
South Street Trading Co Ltd. - about 3 dozen very high quality models
Stuart Models - have kits with all parts machined ready for assembly.  I built one of  their stationary engines.
TINY POWER: STEAM ENGINES  - small  engines for doing work


Bailey Craftsman Supply - Stirling Cycle Engines - The Stirling Outlet - Sterling engine models - Excellent Sterling links - American Sterling
LindsayPublications Sterling plans
Bay Area Garden Railway Society - California garden railway group & Steam in the Garden - with good links for garden railroads
ENGINEERING in MINIATURE - magazines - Books -
Live Steaming - If you are interested in model RR engines that use live steam to drive real pistons, then this is a page for you
The Traction Engine Pages Steam Links - Many live steam links on the U.K. web page.
Live Steam - a U.S. magazine devoted to live steam - Stemgag Publishing - Antique Power - Modeltec -
Model Engineering and Home Shop - web page
Modeltech - magazine
The Model Engineer - a magazine with lots of construction articles - I'm not sure if this is the web page for the magazine
Web Model Steam Engine that you work with your mouse - shows the linkage and valves (takes a couple of minutes to load)


Toys in my defination are made using sheet metal and lower cost construction methods.  These are the sheet metal type models, not the ones made from castings like the Reeves line.
Yesteryear Toys and Books Inc. - in U.S.A. -
Mamod - dealer -
Wilesco? - dealer -
Dave's Toy Steam Engine collection -
Toy List - some steam models and toys
Tim the Toy Man - Steam & Things - links -
A Collection Of Toy Stationary Steam Engines And Pop-Pop Boats -
Krick - steam boat engines - dealer -
Jensen Steam Engine Mfg. Company - stationary engine plants
Eureka, I Found It! - used live steam toy dealer -
Paul Pluta - Wilesco & Mamod
LGB - these are G scale electric trains. the link is here even they are not steam because I used to have a lot of them.  I found that putting 2 magnets under the engine made the switches work more reliably.  Using the switches you could have layouts with many independent trains all running by themselves.  Since there are only 2 rails the polarity would need to be switched to allow a train to go either way on a given section of track.  I remember one layout that had a yard with 4 trains.  One would leave go down a long track and at the end go around a loop and come back on the same track.  Near the yard it would branch and go back onto the same track where it came from.  That would release the next train to run.  They would all take their turns.  I resisted the temptation to build my own parts of the system.  If I started doing that, there would be no end to what could be done.  A friend liked to build with Legos.  He build a working grandfather clock that kept time reasonably well, but used only Lego parts, he did not want to get into making his own parts.
Lilliput Motor Company - has some live steam toys


Kew Bridge Steam Museum - good links page - Rod Stewart's link page -
Hary's Old Engine page - Stationary Gas Engines - links - Antique Gas Engine & Related links - Fairbanks Morse - 10.5" flywheel gas model castings & plans -
Tractor Related Sites -
Coker Tire - for old american iron from motorcycles to trucks

Vehicle Books & 

Electric Vehicles, Design and Build Your Own by Michael Hackleman, Earthmind/ Peace Press, 1977, ISBN 0-915238-17-9 is an excellent book for many uses. I used it as the basis of my vehicle acceleration computer program.

How to Make Your Car Handle by Fred Puhn, H.P. Books, 1976, ISBN 0-912656-46-8 - The best book on handling that I have seen.  It is both understandable and practical.

Are You Eligible for a California Vehicle License Fee Refund from DMV? -
AutoWeek - automotive magazine with good articles
Antique Power - tractor magazine - This old truck -
Beaulieu - National Motor Museum - Core Collection - Cars & Vans - Motorcycles, Bicycles & scooters - extensive collection &  restoration
BMW motorcycle- USA factory bage
Classic Motorbooks - they've got a book on about every car ever made & a lot of books on special interest cars, tractors, motorcycles, etc.....
Cornell - Formula SAE - used to do vehicle dynamics calculations, like used for the car stunts in the Burt Renolds "Smokey and the...." movies
Edmonds - new, used, road tests, etc.
Electric Auto Association -
Electrical Vehicle Association of the Americas -
Hemmings Motor News - all auto related calssified ads
Motorsport News International -
New Scientist -
R.Q. Riley - Electric And Hybrid Vehicles - An Overview of the Benefits, Challenges, and Technologies - Plans: Cars, Three-Wheelers, EVs & Hybrid
Skinned Knuckles Magazine - if you're doing automotive restoration work this is a must have, the "what went wrong" is very informative as are other sections
Special Car Journal - on line mag

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