Claude Windgrove's
Big Red 3-Wheeler


Claude Windgrove's Big Red 3-Wheeler   This is a homemade and home designed steam vehicle made by the late Claude Windgrove of Lincoln, Nebraska.  Claude was inspired by watching steam locomotives and so he made this vehicle to mimic the exposed drive mechanism of the locomotive.
  The boiler is of standard Stanley design with many vertical fire tubes swaged into the crown sheets.  The boiler shell is 3/8” and rolled extra long so that when cut off the radius carries through.  There is a vertical weld.  We do not know if this weld was stress relieved.  The boiler was not wire wound, as is standard Stanley practice, and it is not possible to do so because of all the fittings that are attached to the boiler shell.  The engine is copied and scaled up from a toy oscillating steam engine with the rear axle being the crank shaft.  I have not operated this vehicle, but the report is that it would move on level ground but because of pressure limitations it would not climb a grade.  The pressure limitations come from the oscillating valve plates that spread apart and leak steam when pressure is above 125 psi.  The craftsmanship is excellent on this vehicle.  The design is not efficient, safe, practical, or innovative.  Propane is the fuel.