World’s Oldest Running Car and Other (Car) News of the Week

The $4.6 million 1884 Steam Runabout. This baby is apparently still running. Now that's what I call reliability!

As you know, a random question by The Four-Year-Old has sent Caterpickles Central into a tizzy over very old cars this week. Turns out I can’t shake my fascination with them.

Particularly the steam-powered kind, which I suppose makes sense given the excellent steampunk fiction I’ve been reading lately.

The World’s Oldest & Newest Steam Powered Cars: While researching this week’s crop of posts, two articles on the lingering presence of steam-powered cars have caught my eye. The first was a report that the world’s oldest (running) car was sold earlier this month for $4.6 million. And, in an exciting development for steampunk enthusiasts and green activists alike–Cyclone Power Systems of Florida is building a modern version of steam-powered cars: Steamed Over Gas Prices? Try a Steam Engine.

The World’s Oldest Running Car and Other (Car) News of the Week continues below the fold with:

  • DaVinci’s Spring Powered Car
  • My Husband’s Encounter with an Electric Charging Station in Boston

DaVinci’s Spring Powered Car: How Stuff Works reports on a 2004 effort to build DaVinci’s spring-powered car. Yeah, it’s old news, but new to me this week.

Electric Charging Stations Popping Up All Over Boston: On Tuesday, my husband parked near a Juice Bar electric car charging station in a parking lot under the Charles River. Turns out Boston has begun setting up free charging stations in shopping malls, MBTA stations, Logan Express bus stops, and library parking lots all over the city to encourage its citizens to buy new all-electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf. So far car charging stations have been planned and/or unveiled in Coolidge Corner in Brookline, the Lenox Hotel in Boston, and City Hall Plaza.  The program appears to be going statewide, with charging stations planned for Lexington and 24 other Massachusetts communities, thanks to a combination of federal grant money and a fine imposed on an Ohio-based power plant for pollution-control violations.

Tag! You’re it. What have you been reading about this week?

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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