This 1926 Stanley Steamer SV 262 5-Passenger Touring car is a very original car. During the 1970s it was treated to a body-off frame restoration but the body was not re-painted. This car was manufactured in Allentown, PA at the Bethlehem Motor Works factory, which still is standing today. After 1925 the Stanley operation was moved from Newton, Massachusetts to Allentown for one year, after that the firm moved to Chicago.
This car was located in the Chicago area by Bob Lyons, the founder of the Steam Automobile Club of America. It had been sold as part of the auction liquidation of this company. This purchase was in the 1950s; in 1978, after Mr. Lyons passed away, it was purchased by the current owner's father, Revell L. Eckel.
This is one of only two touring Model 262s that are known to survive. One is a 1925 model year, operating in England. This example is the only Model 262 from 1926 in existence.
This vehicle has a cruising speed of about 30-40 mph on the level road. Stanley Steam Cars were known for their speed but in 1917 they added a condenser in the front to reuse the steam and a steel, rather than wood frame. This added 50% to the weight of the vehicle while using the same power plant. This car weighs around 4,000 pounds.
The burner generates steam in the boiler under the hood by burning stove gas (the current owner purchases the fuel at Wal-Mart). The driver releases pressurized steam to the engine using the throttle (the lever superimposed on the steering wheel). The engine, directly connected to the rear axle, turns a spur gear. No transmission is required.