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Posted by Burt 
April 15, 2019 12:35PM
I am a novice here, interested in purchasing a steam auto. The car I would purchase will become a 'driver' rather than a concours car. I know enough to know that I don't know nearly enough. So, my question is: who might I contact to perform on-site inspections of cars being considered for purchase?

Burt Hermey
Costa Mesa, CA
Re: Inspectors?
April 15, 2019 01:23PM
This sort of thing is going to vary from state to state. For example, here in Michigan, no inspection is actually required for steam powered road vehicles. So, first you need to find out if there is a requirement in your state. If there is, the state boiler inspector's office can usually have a certified inspector arrive to verify a hydro test. If there is no legal requirement, you could contact the local live steam community (traction engines or scale locomotives) and see if they have club members who do testing.
Re: Inspectors?
April 15, 2019 03:47PM
Thank you. I'd expect, living in California, that something will be required if/when I get a vehicle ready to roll. I was more interested to find out if there are people I could hire to go and inspect prospective vehicles and provide a second and hopefully unbiased opinion. In my previous life, recently completed, I owned, restored, and operated vintage railroad passenger cars. Prospective buyers could hire folks to go (with or without the purchaser present) to give a car a preliminary inspection. That person would then usually write a report detailing the car's assets and defects/omissions.
Re: Inspectors?
April 15, 2019 09:02PM
Burt, There are many steam car appraisers that would be willing to help you with you inspection for purchase reason. The thing to do is to find out where the prospective car is located and then find an inspector in that geographic location. I have inspected several located here in the Northwest.
Re: Inspectors?
April 16, 2019 11:39AM
Hi Burt,
Seams to be a lot of knowledgeable folks about Steam Cars in this link. Steam Car Network

Perhaps ask the same question there...
Also, I know of Tom. He handled this Gentleman Speedy Roadster sale here in the Eastcoast area. This is a car I went through to blue print the car so to make a replication. Tom's Website

If you have a prospect in the NY or New England area, I'd be willing to help you out.

Curious to know what you might favor in a steam car, i.e. an early non-condensing car, a buggy or a speedster (other)?

Kind regards,
Re: Inspectors?
April 16, 2019 01:57PM
Thank you, Rick. The for sale ad that got my interest is for a condensing Stanley that is located in Tennessee. Some assembly required. What concerns me, thus the reason to have someone competent to give a second opinion and some education, is what's going to need to be acquired and/or made. Fabricating parts doesn't scare me; I just want a clearer sense of what I'd be getting into before writing the check.

The pictures would seem to indicate a fairly complete car, but, as with my former railcars, the devil is frequently in the details. I don't know what I don't know--yet. My intention with the car would be to make it a reliable (such as that is with a 20's era car) driving machine. One that will go and stop well. I'll check out that facebook page link you forwarded. The car is actually advertised on Steam Car Network's website.
Re: Inspectors?
April 17, 2019 05:07AM
Uhmm...Tennessee...Bourbon The wheels are turning.

As a reference and fyi:
The pictures are of a Stanley H Gentleman Speedy Roadster. The gentleman who did own it lives in Maine when I looked at it. The boiler was warped and some other minor details were not right. Tom handled the sale of this car, it was fixed up and it went for just less than $1/4M.

I give you this information as a point of reference. This is probably one of the most sought after Stanley's around. If you are looking at a condensing Stanley, probably a little less cost in this range.

Kind regards,

Re: Inspectors?
April 17, 2019 09:05AM
Hi Rick:
I sent you a PM.
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