In a perfect automotive world, history reveals that most of the technology we think of as new is quite old. Electric cars? Ask Detroit Electric (1907-1939) how that worked out. Hybrid cars? Dr. Porsche (1875-1951) himself could have expounded at length. Steam powered the Aeolipile, or Hero engine, 2,000 or so years ago in Greece, the industrial revolution few years later, a few automobiles along the way, and speeding locomotives up until not even that long ago. Only Superman could fly faster. Modern locomotives are series hybrids: a diesel engine powers a dynamo, which generates electricity to turn the wheels.
As combustion is better controlled at constant engine speed, the locomotive churns economically across great distances. Taking a series hybrid and a steam engine into a car was Australian engineer Edward Pritchard, who built a steam-powered 1963 Ford Falcon in the early ’70s. The Green Stripe Pritchard Steam Car efficiently burned most any combustible liquid, and drove about just like any other 1963 Falcon. While the Hemmings wood pellet fired 1977 Mercury Bobcat steam wagon is still in the developmental stage, this video reveals a steam powered Falcon that actually worked.