The City: Reno #8


Original Caption:

Reno -- Industialist William P. Lear shows how his newly-developed steam turbine for low pollution vehicles fits under hood of an automobile. The turbine, weighing only 20 pounds, is a major component of the Lear steam system which also includes vapor generator, reduction gear box, condensers and control system. Complete system fits under the hood. Lear expects his steam car to be running "early next July" (1970)

4 comments:

MichaelRyerson said...

Okay, I'll bite. What do we have here? Another one of those shadow-industrial conspiracies to bury emerging, non-petroleum based technologies? Lear was certainly no neophyte. He had a track record and should have been able to attract some substantial money-men. I wonder what happened.

MichaelRyerson said...

Okay, reporting back. It would seem the estimable Mr. Lear may have been a bit of a snake oil salesman.

Peter L. Winkler said...

The simple fact is that steam engines that are small, reliable and produce enough horsepower are easier said than done. That's why the Stanley Steamer was succeeded by cars powered by internal combustion engines.

mndean said...

Indeed. There were a few buses retrofitted with his turbine out here in the Bay Area to test this idea out.

They failed.