|Owner: Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Paris (France)
The two brothers Henri and Léon Serpollet were keen supporters of the steam engine. They managed to enhance it so that, at times, it was better than any other cars in their generation. In 1902, they built a steam-engined car that broke the Land Speed record, reaching 120.797 km/h in Nice (France).
They managed to create a steam engine where the boiler does not contain any water. Pistons are pushing a tiny quantity of water through very hot flattened hoses. The water instantaneously turns into steam. This system has been called flash type of steam generator.
Despite this major enhancement, which allowed for a quicker starting process and a lesser risk of explosion, the steam engine lost out in the competition with petrol-fuelled engines. After the death of Léon Serpollet in 1907, the fate of the steam-propelled vehicles would quickly follow suit, even if
we must note that other carmakers, especially in the U.S.A., carried on producing steam-cars up until the 1920s.