From Christchurch with steam

Observing a 1910 Stanley model 71 steam car generally comes with a warning for the unwitting.

"Don’t stand in front of it. Sometimes, flames shoot out of it," owner Allan Familton said.

The Christchurch car enthusiast has had some close calls in the short time he has owned it, because it turned water into steam by igniting vapourised petrol in open tubes at the front of the vehicle.

Allan Familton takes Des Burrow (right) for a ride along John Wilson Ocean Dr, leaving modern...
Allan Familton takes Des Burrow (right) for a ride along John Wilson Ocean Dr, leaving modern cars in their steam. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
"It can be a little bit temperamental, but we’re getting used to it. We’ve only had it since Christmas last year."

Allan Familton (left) and partner Lesley Colsell, of Christchurch, set off in pouring rain in...
Allan Familton (left) and partner Lesley Colsell, of Christchurch, set off in pouring rain in their 1910 Stanley model 71 steam car, during a visit to Dunedin at the weekend.
Mr Familton took the vehicle down to Dunedin on Saturday because he was a former member of the Otago Model Engineering Society and he wanted to show it off.

"I still come down and support the club a lot and this is something I thought they would be interested in."

He said he bought the car from a dealer in the United States, and although it had been completely restored, it "wasn’t overly flash" mechanically.

"So we’ve had to do quite a bit of improvement work to get it working properly."

The veteran vehicle is shipshape again, cruising at about 65kmh and reaching top speeds of up to 80kmh.

Known as Stanley Steamers, various models were produced by twins Francis and Freelan Stanley between 1902 and 1917, after they sold their photographic dry plate business to Eastman Kodak.

Despite wet weather on Saturday morning, the car drew a large crowd and big smiles at the Otago Model Engineering Society’s premises, where Mr Familton took members for short rides along John Wilson Ocean Dr and Victoria Rd.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

 

 

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