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'Whistling Billy' The Racing 'White' Steam Car.

Welcome to the new section for Whistling Billy, here you will find a selection of great 'new' images, period photos, the history of Billy (available in part 1 and part 2) and details about the build.

'Whistling Billy' The Racing 'White' Steam Car.
Dr Robert R. Dyke

This is a faithful rebuild of the car from the photographs made easier by the statement by the White Sewing Machine Company that their racing car was made almost entirely from standard parts.

The engine is from a 1907 20hp tourer that was written in London in 1908. It has the required high pressure piston valve and the original car's water pumps, oiler, pedals, instruments and other parts. The flywheel has been lightened.

The only rear suspension comes from the flexion in the chassis. The rear axle is geared 2 to 1. It has one gear and neutral to run the engine and to bring the steam up to temperature before a race.

The chassis is under-slung made from American oak with 1/8inch steel flitch plates. The wood work on the wheels was done by Robert Hurford. The seat was from an early racing car. There are only rear wheel brakes.

There is no clutch – the torque is enough when the engine is simpled. The middle “steering wheel” is the throttle (or rear wheel steering). The car was controlled on dirt balancing the two wheels one with each hand. Apparently no other cars could keep up with it accelerating out of the bends as the steam pressure had built going into them.

The main fuel tank is as originally made. Pilot fuel is hexane in a small tank behind the driver. Much experimentation will have to be done with fuels and jets. At about 70mph there was a lever on the dash that the driver opened to use the forced draft coming around the front axle on the right side where the water tank was cut away.

The steam pressure is 600 to 800psi (plus a bit!) with a temperature of 750 deg F. The top speed should be near 100mph - one report puts the original at 130mph! The engine speed is up to about 2200rpm.

Originally Billy was a dirt racer and needed re-gearing for hill climbing using a standard rear axle giving two gears. Billy is 14 ft long and a handful! The original weight was stated as 19 cwt (2128lbs).

One must not forget that this car was 1905 and then state of the art using steam power. There was little concern for the brave (or foolish!) driver.

Whistling Billy Videos:

Whistling Billy Whistling Billy Stithian Showground Steam Rally Race Retro debut for Whistling Billy Whistling Billy at Stithians Show

Whistling Billy Gallery
Whistling Billy History Part 1
Whistling Billy History Part 2
Latest News for Billy's progress can be found in the Forum HERE

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