Jay Leno has a special place in his heart for steam power. The comedian has a collection of vintage vehicles that have more in common with a classic train than a modern car, and of those, his 1906 Stanley Steamer seems to be one of his favorites.
In 2007, the Stanley suffered a bit of a catastrophic failure, and Leno and his team of steam mechanics have been working to get the vehicle back into ship shape ever since. Of course, in Leno’s vocabulary, “ship shape” means better than ever. The Stanley now wears hydraulic drum brakes from a Jaguar XK120 instead of the manual drums found on the original Steamer.
The crew also worked in a set of electric fuel pumps and replaced the acetylene headlights and oil tail lamps with electric versions. The team also managed to bump up the horsepower. The Steamer originally cruised along with a 23-inch boiler, but Leno had a new 30-inch boiler made and installed. It took his shop 26 tries to design boiler baffles that could accurately and evenly spread heat across the full surface, but now Leno has the equivalent of a hot rod Steamer. Pure awesomeness. Hit the jump to check out the lengthy video for yourself.