Apparently, steam vehicle aficionado Chuk Williams wants the U.S. to reclaim that record. According to Gas 2.0, Williams has secured a powerplant from Cyclone Power Technologies that he hopes will propel his 21-foot-long, 1,600-pound streamlined vehicle to a top speed of more than 160 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in August of 2011.
That Cyclone Power engine is a unique piece of engineering. According to Gas 2.0, it's a "Rankine Cycle heat regenerative external (yes, external) combustion engine" that weighs in at just 200 pounds, cranks out 180 horsepower and boasts a maximum starting torque of 850 foot-pounds. Sure sounds impressive. We wish Williams the best of luck in his endeavor to secure the record. Check out a video of Chuck and his steamer at this link.