Connect to the Kimmel Steam Power Website, to view the steam engines that are a part of the Kimmel Steam Engine Collection under the name: Tom’s Collection:
1969 Chevelle SE-124
General Motors contracted with Bill Besler to make this steam conversion. It was made in one year with Roy Anderson doing the drafting and Barney Becker assisting. The original small block Chevy 305 engine was sawed in half with the back four cylinders left bolted to the bell housing and a three speed manual transmission. A small monotube boiler with an air atomizer burner and quartz rod controller was used. The engine is a double acting piston valve compound using the back two pistons for cross-heads. The front two pistons are the cross-heads for the piston valves. The crank was modified for this use. A large condenser is in place of the original radiator. This car is underpowered because of restrictions into the space for the steam generator. The original rear axle ratio was kept, thus limiting top speed. Other than that it was a very successful car and has 5,000 road miles on it. There was a two minute warm up procedure: 30 seconds to make steam and then one and a half minutes to warm up the metal in the engine. When starting there was an automatic timing advance so that any water in the cylinders would be exhausted through the piston valves.