The Parker Steam Car
From the Autocar. 7th
The steam car. Courtesy of the late Jim Boulton.
|Some little time since, we were invited to inspect a
newly designed 10h.p. steam car, which was then nearing completion
in the works of the Wearwell Motor Co. of Wolverhampton, in
accordance with the designs and under the supervision of Mr. Thos.
|The frame of this vehicle is formed of 2.5 inch
channel steel, and is 8ft. 6in. x 3ft. over all. It is placed on
semi-elliptical springs, 3ft. 6in. front and 3ft. 9in. back, the
whole carried on 36in. artillery built solid rubber-tyred wheels
running on ball bearings. The engine, which weighs 3 cwt. complete
is a 10 n.h.p. compound of the open launch type set in the rear half
of the frame, and driving the rear live axle through suitable bevel
gearing. The high pressure cylinder is 4in. bore, the low pressure
6in., and the stroke 4in. A specially adapted Joy's valve gear is
used. A jet condenser, with a special oil separator in combination,
is fitted. The water tank is placed in the centre of the frame, and
the direct acting circulating pump, worked from cross-head,
slide-coupled directly thereto. The engine bed plate carries the
bearings for differential, gear and engine crankshaft.
|In connection with the condensing apparatus are
500ft. of Loyal radiating tube, 250ft. of which is fixed in front
and 250ft. in rear of the vehicle below the frame. The bevel wheel
driven off engine shaft is strongly bolted round the differential
gear box, the gear within, which is of large dimensions. The bevel
pinion on the crankshaft is of steel, while the bevel wheel which it
drives is of phosphor bronze. The boiler is of the flash type, set
forward of the dashboard beneath a motor bonnet, and its 300ft. of
tubing is of five eighths of an inch external and a quarter of an
inch internal diameter. It is fired by a specially designed burner
consuming heavy oil, and its working pressure is from sixty to one
hundred pounds per square inch. The oil tank has a capacity of
fifteen gallons, and the water tank already mentioned of eight,
Rear view. Courtesy of the late Jim Boulton.
|The bonnet, which hides the boiler from view, is of
browned steel, with brass mountings, the appearance being very
Another view of the car. Courtesy of the
late Jim Boulton.
|The differential gear is of the three-star type
enclosed in an oil-tight phosphor-bronze case, with a cast steel
shaft passing through sleeves, which are each entire, with their
respective brake drums and differential wheels, the whole being
carried complete on the engine bed. The bearings throughout are
large and long in proportion to the work they have to perform, while
their lubrication is amply provided for. Thrust blocks are provided
at the crankshaft bearings.
|The engine and gearing are fixed to the frame by
three strong channel iron slings, as also is the boiler. While the
body of the vehicle, whatever type be adopted, has only one
connection with the mechanism of the car, and that is the union
connecting up the oil supply from the oil tank before mentioned, the
oil tank being placed behind the driver's seat.
|To allow the engine and gear being carried upon the
frame supported on the springs, the driving axle is fitted with four
flexible raw hide connections, two inside brake drums next
differential gear, and two just inside driving axle spring bearings.
These raw hide connections give a pliability to the driving axle
after the manner of the Cardan driving axles on the De Dion
The vehicle is more than amply supplied with brakes, having two
double-acting band brakes on road driving wheels, and two on
differential gear box, all four being actuated through Bowden
wires, each of one ton breaking strain, the differential brakes
being applied by pedal from footboard, and the road-wheel band
brakes by side lever. Worm and wheel steering (Ackermann type)
The engine with the body removed. Courtesy
of the late Jim Boulton.
The side view of the generator and
engine, with the bonnet and body removed. Courtesy of
the late Jim Boulton.
|In addition to the side brake lever, two other
levers are set at the right-hand side of the car; one for
working the hand pump, and the other for reversing the
engine. A pedal is placed on the footboard, and by this
steam is arrested to the engine.
The body is of the tonneau type, well rounded, and
excellently built. The weight of the vehicle complete with
oil and water tanks full approximates to 23 cwt.
|The whole of the construction, erection, and
body building has been carried out at the Wearwell Motor
Works by Mr. Parker, who is to be congratulated upon the
design of so practical a vehicle.
Since we saw the car it has been put through its trial
trips, and has, we understand, behaved very well, the speed
being easily controllable from one to thirty miles an hour,
the only thing requiring adjustment being the feed pumps,
and these are now having Mr. Parker's attention.
View from above with the body removed.
Courtesy of the late Jim Boulton.
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