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Serpollet Type Paris-madrid - 1903
A pioneer in the development of steam cars in europe, leon serpollet introduced an instant oil-fired flash boiler and also manufactured road cars capable of 50 mph. Backed by an american, frank gardner, he entered some of his cars in competition. In 1902 a serpollet set a world record of 75 mph for the flying kilometer.
Top speed of 75 mph
engine typedrivetrain: Overhead-valve, opposed 4-cylinder
displacement 1,150 cc (1.15 l) power rating 30 hp transmission direct drive chassis: About 1,650 lbs.
in preparing cars for the 1903 paris-madrid race, serpollet for the first time installed the water tank in front of the driver and the condenser up front. These steam cars now seemed to have the same hood and radiator as gasoline-powered automobiles. The following year, he moved the engine and boiler up front as well. The last serpollets were made in 1907, the year he died.
an early traffic jam
serpollet fielded seven of the 179 cars that left paris in what proved to be the last motor-car race in europe on unrestricted open roads. Three million spectators lined the congested route, and at least five drivers and mechanics were killed, including marcel renault, as well as several spectators. The race was halted at bordeaux with all the serpollets arriving safely, though not
among the leaders. Because of the carnage, the cars were not even allowed to return to paris on their own power: Instead they were towed to the train station by horses.
The serpollet steam cars that contested the 1903 paris-madrid race resembled gasoline-powered automobiles because the water tank and condenser were up front.
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