Another land speed record falls to the UK. Perhaps one that's not exactly facing ferocious competition these days, but it is the fastest steam-powered car in the world.
On August 25th, 2009 at Edward's Air Force Base in California, USA, the British Steam Car, driven by Charles Burnett III broke the existing land speed record by a steam powered vehicle with an average speed of 139.843 mph over two consecutive runs over a measured mile. This was recorded and has since been ratified by the FIA.
On August 26th, 2009 the British Steam Car, driven this time by Don Wales, broke a second record by achieving an average speed of 148.308 mph over two consecutive runs over a measured kilometer. This was also recorded and again, has since been ratified by the FIA.
From the Steam Car website.
BBC Report here.
Well done, team, and that'll teach them to say steam power is dead! Not to mention the recent construction of an all new mainline steam engine in the UK. (That would be the 170 tonne 18 year project locomotive No. 60163 Tornado.)
Oh, and for those that might be puzzled by the headline, Steampunk (Wiki page) refers to an aesthetic and idea combining generally 19th century concepts (such as steam power) and style with more modern developments, usually along an alternative history line - William Gibson & Bruce Sterling's The Difference Engine being often cited as a pioneer of the idea - and a rattling good yarn too. But they didn't foresee this real-world steam development.
(Thanks to Ross for the pointer.)