Ahh, 1960. It was about 15 years after the end of WWII, the cold war was brewing up nicely between Russia and everyone else, England had returned back to its jolly ol’ self, and pipe smoking doctors were taking their antique steam engines for cruises into town so their wives could buy groceries. Life was grand!

This video is cool as it comes from the British Pathe archive and clearly it was made with some fun intent. Steam traction engines were a huge part of the British world for a while and that translated into steam trucks and other vehicles. As you will hear the announcer say, this particular unit is “50 years old” which is kind of shocking in and of itself, right? In 50 years transportation had gone from that to the normal gasoline and diesel vehicles that have been incrementally improved upon ever since. Interesting stuff .

There is one number mentioned here that is kind of shocking and that is the number 16, which is claimed to be the top speed of this massive beast! Sure, 16 miles per hour is nothing in any sort of vehicle OTHER THAN THIS but trying to get the iron giant stopped, turned or not chuffing through someone’s house could be a sweat generator at 16 mph.

We love this whole scene. The color video, the good doctor having his pipe in his coveralls, and his way too excited to be on a smelly and greasy steam traction engine wife ambling to the market and back. Classic.

Press play to see this funny video about a dude cruising his traction engine

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