Inspiration is a British steam-powered car designed by Glynne Bowsher and developed by the British Steam Car Challenge (BSCC) team.[1]

Inspiration holds the World Land Speed Record for a steam-powered vehicle, set on 26 August 2009, when it achieved a speed of 148.308 mph (239 km/h). This improved on the record set the previous day, which had broken the longest-standing land speed record, set in 1906 by Fred Marriott in a Stanley Steamer.[2]

The car was driven by Charles Burnett III at the Edwards Air Force Base in California, United States. It is 7.6 m long, 1.7 m wide and weighs 3 tons. It is powered by a two-stage turbine driven by superheated steam from twelve boilers containing distilled water. The boilers are heated by burners which burn Liquid Petroleum Gas to produce 3 Megawatts (10.2 million BTU/hr) of heat. The steam produced is at a temperature of 400 ºC (752 ºF) and a pressure of 4000 kN/m2 40 bar (580 psi). The engine is capable of developing 288 kW (386 hp; 392 PS) and consumes around 40 litres (8.8 Impgal) of water per minute).[3]

See caption
On display at the Steam Museum, Swindon
Wikimedia Commons
Manufacturer:British Steam Car Challenge
Top speed:149 miles per hour (240 km/h)
World Land Speed Record for a steam-powered vehicle

The car is on display at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, England.[4]

External links



Glaskin, Max. “Steam-Powered Car Breaks Century-Old Speed Record.” New Scientist, 25 Aug. 2009,
National Motor Museum. British Steam Car “Inspiration.”
The Steam Car Company. British Steam Car Team.
The Steam Car Company. British Steam Car Vehicle Details.