Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Question about Stanley Steamers.

Frequently Asked Questions

When driving a one hundred year old steam powered vehicle you get asked a plethora of questions. Unfortunately we don't always have time to answer all of them, do to tour time constants, lack of day light hours, small fires, etc. I hope this page is able to answer some of your queries.

Where do you find tires?

  • Tires are actually readily available for approximately 95% of all antique cars. There are three or four major suppliers and for most vehicles there is even a selection of different tread patterns and colors.  

What do you burn for fuel?

  • Our car burns a 75/25 mixture of gasoline and kerosene on the main burner and Hexane for the pilot burner. Not all Stanleys run on the same fuel though, some run on kerosene or diesel straight. It is dependent on the way the fuel system is constructed.

Where were Stanley's manufactured?

  • The Stanley factory was located in Newton Massachusetts from 1901 till the demise of the company in 1927.

How fast does it go?

  • This 10 horsepower Stanley will cruise comfortably at 40-45mph. As for a true top speed I can only assume it would be somewhere around 60mph mark. The larger 20HP and 30HP cars can travel at speeds well in excess of 80mph.

How long does it take to start a Stanley?

  • From cold it usually takes 20 to 45 minutes to get a full head of steam. This will very from car to car with some people being able to start there cars as quickly as 5 minutes. A lot of preventative maintenance is done at the same time as you the heat boiler so it's not like you stand around with nothing to do.

Why do some Stanley's make a howling sound?   Where is it coming from?

  • The howling sound comes from the main fire coming in contact with the bottom tube sheet of the boiler. Some Stanley's burners make a howling sound whenever they are being fired and others barely howl at all. Most operators find the sound to be quite reassuring as it will only happen when the main burner burning.

What kind of transmission does it have?

  • Stanley's don't have a transmission. The engine is coupled directly to the rear axle with a set ratio depending on the model. To put the car into reverse you actually change the direction of the valves thus reversing the engine. Therefore, in theory, they travel just as fast in reverse as they will going forward.

How far can you travel on one tank of water? 

  • My Stanley will go approximately 45 miles on one tank of water.  In its current configuration it holds 45 gallons of water and achieves one mile to the gallon. The tank capacities of Stanley's vary from model to model.

How many Stanley's were produced?

  • Total 1901 - 1924 production by Hardman estimate: 10,930*. There are some discrepancies in the documentation and this number may be incorrect by a few hundred. Stanleys were produced for another two years under the name of S V Corp but the production was extremely limited. That is quite a low production run considering that between 1909 and 1927 Henry Ford built more then 15 million Model T's.

*Production figures as per