This Thanksgiving, be sure to wow your relatives by arriving to Thanksgiving dinner in a steam-powered car made fresh from scratch!   It's an easy holiday treat for the whole family.  A great way to use up some of those leftovers sitting in the back yard.

Preparation time: 10 Hours

1 Basic small car Can be made ahead of time, best when fresh from your local junkyard. Make sure clutch is packed in cavity, and there is no serious bruising or other evidence of mishandling in evidence.
1 Boiler with current inspection certificates
1 Steam engine Double acting, single cylinder.  A 3-5 hp size will serve 4, use multiple cylinders for larger gatherings. 
1 Coupling system. 3:1 ratio step up Chain drive is best, but heavy duty belt drive can be substituted if suitable chain is not available.
2 Boiler refilling systems Force pumps or injectors a mix is best.
15 Gallons Water storage tanks  Can be in multiple tanks, will require regular basting.
1 Large, light, metal pipe For smokestack
4 Wheels Larger diameters are best, Three wheels can be used in a pinch.
13 (or more) Valves Globe style are best, one must be automatic safety. (some will be packed with boiler)
1 Pressure gauge Often packed with boiler.  Must be known to be fresh.
var. 1/2 inch iron pipe As needed.
var. Wire, hose clamps, steel box section To taste
25 lb Best Welsh Steam Coal


Preheat steam to 363F (150 psi).

Cut the car in half, just above the tires, also remove most of the skin from the nose.  In addition to shortening cooking time, it makes the recipe much lighter for all those dieters out there.

Remove the existing engine, and discard, retaining the clutch splines. Truss the transmission firmly in place.  Cover rear of vehicle with foil to protect from burning, and weld the boiler in place over the differential. Stuff rear cavity with feedwater pumps, injectors and safety valves.   A water tank is traditional here, but if the cavity is too full, it can be added to the front cavity, or attached to the outside of the car.

Add smokestack, having cut one end into a frill.  For a really snazzy presentation, you can also garnish with a steam whistle and teapot.

Then, stuff the steam engine into the front cavity and attach to the transmission using the chain drive. Be sure to firmly connect to boiler with pipe.

Chop coal into walnut sized pieces.  Baste engine liberally with good steam oil.  Over a 4" thick coal fire, raise steam.  Steam gently for 90 minutes, then run hard for three laps.

Serve with a good champagne (sprayed).

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