It’s a joy listening to the hugely knowledgeable Jay Leno explain how his Doble steam car operates. It’s unlike any other car, including other steam cars and is a gem of engineering. It was fast too. Howard Hughes owned this Doble and got it up to 132 mph. Leno has lovingly restored the Doble, and added modern features like disc brakes. The car is driven regularly. He says it is the best steam car ever built.
Leno goes beyond just showing us his steam car though, taking us to a Noble frame to better display the engine technology of this cutting-edge car. The extent of Jay’s knowledge is almost intimidating to be frank, as this steam engine has almost nothing in common with anything you might know about combustion engines. With temperatures exceeding 3,000 degrees, the superheated steam is injected into a unique engine that is all power strokes; steam pushes the piston up AND down. There’s no transmission either, with a direct-drive system sending power directly to the axle.