Ernie Kanzler

I found an interesting advertisement in the 1974 Steam Automobile Club of America quarterly publication, The Steam Automobile, Vol 16, No 4, by  Kanzler Steam & Transport, Inc. of Costa Mesa, California.  The ad is for “a range of exciting new boilers base on proven design concepts.”  A couple of years ago Ernie showed me a copy of an expensive full color brochure advertising his boilers.  These appeared to be based on the Lear boiler that Seifi Ghasemi had designed for Lear and that Lear put his name on the patent as the inventor.  There is a person who had worked for Lear who moved to Newport Beach to work on steam powered boats about that time.  I will find the name some time in my files.  This would be an interesting addition to the museum of all things steam if anyone comes across one or more of these.  As you will all recall, Kanzler made the ill-fated AutoCoast steam race car.  That is another story and a long one with few positive lessons to be learned.

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4 Responses to Ernie Kanzler

  1. Tony Endres says:

    Interesting regarding Ernie Kanzler. I met Peter Bryant who developed the Ti22 Can Am race car for Ernie back in 1970 and went to work for Ernie in 1971 where we developed a very advanced technology 100 hp boiler. I worked for the gentleman that came from Reno to work on developing the high performance boiler. I have his name if you want it. I was in charge of building the boilers and participated in some R&D projects at KST. Contact me for further information.

    • tkimmel3 says:

      Dear Tony Endres, I am interested in more information on Kanzler and his work. When I visited him in Newport a few years ago he handed me a copy of a brochure for his steam boiler. It had helical coils and looked quite good. I did not hear that it ever sold. He said he had a few million into the development work. And I am interested in the name of the fellow who came down from the Lear steam work to work with Kanzler. I thought there was to be some steam boat work eventually. As for the Can Am race car, from what I heard it had a R. J. Smith boiler and converted Mercury outboard engine in it. The people installing the Smith boiler cut a piece of metal from the outside of the boiler to get it to fit into the frame space. That piece of metal was a critical part of the temperature control system as it was one end of an expanding rod. Therefore the controls did not work and when this was fired up for a demonstration in front of the press and everyone up in or by Dodger Stadium the boiler blew a tube from over-heating. It is an interesting, typical, and sad story about steam work. Usually there is an error made by someone without knowledge and then things do not work and steam gets another bad reputation. As for the car as a race car, it would have developed less than 100 hp and thus not done very much as a real race car. At the time Smith components were the only things available for sale.

  2. Anthony Endres says:

    We actually sold a number of the KST 100 hp boilers. A number were sold to Ferrell Ross for use in a grain exploder project as well as to other clients. The task we had was to pump 12,000 pounds of field corn against 165 psi steam on a continuous basis. Quite a task. When a few of the folks at KST left to work at Ferrell Ross to continue the development of the grain exploder, Ernie shut down KST. Our boiler was rated at 400 psi and could produce superheat. From a cold start to 100% capacity took about 60 seconds. It was also 90% thermally efficient. Nothing at the time could come close. The physical size was about 3′ square x 4.5′ high and contained the feed water pump, combustion system, fuel train, heat exchanger and controls. It weighed around 1,000 pounds.

    • tkimmel3 says:

      Dear Tony Endres, Please pardon the delay in responding. I usually need to have my IT girl tell me how to use the computer, but this time I figured it out on my own. I am interested in your information. Do you have any idea where Mike Wood is so that we can contact him? I am talking right now to a confederate of Richard Smith who supplied the boiler and engine for that AutoCoast car and who knows the whole sad story of how it was installed incorrectly and thus blew a tube while on display at Dodgers Stadium. I am interested in why Kanzler was interested in boilers and steam in the first place. When I talked to him in Newport Beach a few years ago he wanted to tell me about his step brother pushing him out of the back of a car and him hitting his head on the pavement and not being the same ever since. The boiler was a good basic design. It looks like it might have been a multi-path which is hard to keep from burning out tubes. But it might have been a traditional monotube with counter flow. Anyhow, it was an interesting story and one that I want to tell correctly in my upcoming book on the history of steam developments. If you have any idea where any of these boiler might still be, they would look good in my collection. Thanks again. George Kimmel

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