At the dawn of the auto industry, just about every method of propulsion was given a try before gasoline took hold. This included steam-powered cars built by Stanley Steamer, and today these early alt-fuel vehicles are few and far between these days. If you’re in the market for a rare and cool collectible car, you can’t do much better than this 1924 Stanley Steamer Touring Car for $120,000.
The Stanley Motor Carriage Company was founded in 1897 and up until the introduction of the Ford Model T, sold well enough. The primary advantage of steam cars over combustion engines was the easier means of starting; prior to the introduction of electric starters, you had to manually turn over the engine to get it started. Steamers were still rather expensive though, with some models selling for the equivalent of $50,000 or more. As a result, production never exceeded 500 vehicles.
Still, Stanley Steam did have some successes, including setting the record for the world’s fastest mile in 28 seconds in 1906, a record that wouldn’t be broken until 1911. The speed record for steam-powered vehicles stood until 2009, when a British team undertook a million-dollar effort to finally break it.
Steam powered cars have been touted as an alternative to gasoline, though they remain a tiny niche in a niche car community. Still, there aren’t many people who wouldn’t be impressed with a steam-powered cars from the 1920s, and if you can bring the price down closer to $100,000, it might just be an investment-grade car. What say you?
Source: Hemmings Auto Blog