Steam-powered cars are a lot of work

Video shows what — and how much time — it takes just to get such a vehicle fired up for a drive

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Ever wonder why steam-powered cars went out of favor? The video of the day shows why.

For one thing, it took as long as 45 minutes to bring the “engine” up to a temperature at which it was producing steam. For another, during that process someone had to be in the car manually pumping fuel.

Once under way, the level of steam had to monitored depending on whether you were on the level, traveling up or down hill.


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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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