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Grand Canyon to be Revisited by 1902 Steam Car

August 04
16:37 2014
1902 Toledo Steam Car

The original car and crew on their way to the Grand Canyon

If you enjoy history, then you’ll be interested to know that a little bit of northern Arizona history will be revisited by an original 1902 steam car later this month.

According to Tom Martin with the Grand Canyon Historical Society, two men from Great Britain are planning a road trip from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon. But this will be no ordinary drive. Nick and Chris Howell of Cornwall, England, will be traveling aboard the very same Toledo steam car that was used on the original trip in 1902.

That trip 112-years ago began on January 4, 1902 and included driver, Oliver Lippincott, as well as two Los Angeles based writers and a guide from Flagstaff. Though they planned a three-hour excursion, the sixty mile trip ended up taking two days. They did not have paved roads and spent most of their trip going through what are now the Coconino National Forest, Babbitt Ranch and Kaibab National Forest.

The Howell brothers bought the original 6-wheel Toledo Steamer at auction ten years ago. A lot of work has gone into the vehicle, but it still possesses much of its original components, including the interior upholstery.

I only needed to replace three small pieces of wood in the body, and make a new burner, boiler and pilot light whilst restoring and conserving the car” – Nick Howell.

There are only 14 Toledo steam cars still in existence in the entire world.

Since this is a steam car that uses lots of water. The vehicle apparently only goes about one mile to the gallon of water! They will depend on local sources for water along the way, filling up with forty gallons at a time.

Their trip is scheduled for August 26-27 out of Flagstaff. Their destination will be near the old Grand View Point Hotel on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, where the first trip ended so long ago. Following their drive, the brothers will ship the vehicle to Los Angeles and then back home to England.


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