Watch video: World’s first steam-powered Land Rover, and yes it also goes ‘choo! choo!’

This old man's rendition of a Land Rover Defender is perhaps the most British thing you'll see on the Internet today. He replaced his archaic off-roader's engine with a steam-powered one, which he built himself dedicating 400 hours to it.

By: | Published: January 27, 2018 1:47 PM

You've retired, happen to have a liking for all things mechanical, also own a Land Rover and have a flair for building things. Not sure about you, but pensioner Frank Rothwell, from Oldham in the English North West, qualified for all of the mentioned qualities. So, he spent over 400 hours on the astonishing project, out of which 200 were spent on building the steam engine from scratch and the other 200 in integrating it into the car. The car in question is a five-decade-old series Land Rover, which has been converted to run on steam. So, yes, there is a coal burner and a chimney that puffs out steam, and it also makes a noise we all referred to as a train when we were kids. Here comes the 'Choo Choo Landy'.

Land Rover Defender was deemed as too archaic by EU which said it could no longer meet with the ever stringent emission laws. The irony here won't miss any of us - a car that was deemed unfit for the environment is now running on direct combustion of coal that fires a steam engine. The technology peaked in the 1800s and that is why this Defender is that much more wonderful.

There are other reasons why we love it. It gets a traditional steam engine nose and Rothwell has a very old-fashioned name for it too – Mildred. The steam-powered Land Rover Defender has an external crankshaft and can do speeds of up to 20-24 km/h but isn't quite ready to take on hill climbs. No matter what it can or can't do, it is quite a glorious example of shed engineering.

Frank Rothwell is a 67-year-old retired engineer and businessman, and proclaims himself that he "likes doing things that are difficult". Well, he did do something that was difficult and the end result is oh-so-wonderful. “We all need a hobby,” he says in the video, and we are grateful that instead of collecting stamps, he chose to fit the Landy with a steam engine. More power to you, Mr Rothwell.

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