The Bradmore Steam Car


The Service Engineering Company occupied premises at 16 Far Street, during the Second World War and afterwards.  In 1949 the Light Steam Power magazine reported that over the previous 6 years  the company had developed a 5/6 seater steam car, with the engine, boiler, condenser and ancillaries all housed under a bonnet of normal size.  The company was planning to start full production in September 1949, at about 25 vehicles per week, most of which were expected to go for export.

The car could run on anything from paraffin to recycled engine oil; it had a two-cylinder double acting engine with a solid high tensile steel crankshaft; gearbox and crankcase were all in one casting.  The engine was designed to run at 2,000 rpm and the car was said to have a road speed of 80 mph.  With independent suspension and Girling brakes on 16” wheels, and even a radio, it was available for £530 plus purchase tax.

One car was seen being built in the workshop and was said to be of “modern but restrained design”, discreetly streamlined with rounded wings joined across the front of the body.  

The oil-fuelled power unit was designed by T.W.H. Fairclough in partnership with Mr Howard.  Traditional petrol engine cars could be converted with a power unit, and there was apparently a marine version of the engine moored for inspection on the Trent at Beeston.

Sadly, it seems the car was never launched and no further information about it appeared in the magazine.  It is assumed that it was overtaken by the lifting of petrol rationing in May 1950.

Thanks to Mike Peregrine for passing on this information previously unknown to us.


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