Under The Hood

23-year-old steam car mystery solved!

In 1987, Old Cars Weekly featured its first of many references to a vintage photograph of a mysterious mid-1930s coupe. What made this car so mysterious was its engine – the car was powered by a Stanley steamer engine. The initial mystery photo from May 1987 elicited responses throughout the year, and then readers’ pens and typewriters cooled with no solid answers. In 2000, interest picked up again when the car was pictured at the 2000 fall Hershey meet. Still, no one could explain the strange combination.

It turns out that, in 1987, the late Lado Peroutka penned a letter intended for Old Cars Weekly to explain the history of this unique car, but he never sent it. Lado died in 2000 and his son, Roger, found the letter. Roger is also an Old Cars Weekly subscriber and knew of this mystery Oldsmobile-Stanley hybrid. He recently submitted his own memories, and the nearly forgotten letter his father wrote. Now, this mystery has been solved. Check out the June 24 General Motors-themed issue to read all about it.
 

Related resources

Read about prewar cars in Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1805-1942

Get prewar prices in the new 2011 Collector Car Price Guide

Check out Oldsmobile art

Get a book to identify old cars

Get an Old Cars Report on the 1935 Oldsmobile
 
Get an Old Cars Report on the 1912 Stanley steam car

COMMENT