Sunday, January 24, 2016

Why the Gvang never ran.

Here's some information put together by "Quirky Cars" which I found interesting.

The Gvang was a lightweight orbital steam powered prototype produced by Gene Van Grecken in the early 70s
“At this time there was a growing international interest in low pollution power systems and the GVANG car was a designed as show piece vehicle to draw attention to steam power by initially breaking the 1906 steam land speed record without any advanced publicity. By 1972 the Sydney media had heard about the development and begged for the car to be displayed at the 1972 Sydney Motor Show as the feature exhibit. The vehicle was complete at that stage but the power plant had not been fully developed and was being run on a chassis dynamometer only. Steam development in Sydney was privately funded during the period 1968 to 1980. The demonstration car was designed for a top speed of 200mph for an LSR attempt, the normal road version was intended to have a detuned system and limited to about 118mph.”
There is a rumour I been unable to substantiate that the engine technology was purchased by the Shell oil company and that the chassis/body of the car still exists today, albeit without running gear.
Engine - Lightweight flash steam engine.
Power 300bhp
Torque unknown - but flat curve from rest.
Length 163.5 inches
width 65 inches
height 38 inches
wheelbase 113 inches
track 54 inches
weight 13.5 hundred weight
Wheels 9 inch
Tyres Firestone 10 - 15 -15 Indy High Speed.
Brakes- Girling 11 inch

Shell Co. protecting their interests. Wasn't it Ampol and GM that bought Pritchard's steam engine?


Nona said...

I knew Gene Van Grecken when I was a child back in the 70's. We used to go out and see this amazing car that looked like something out of a James Bond movie. From what I remember he disappeared off the face of the Earth for years. It's so strange that all this stuff about him is out there now.

GerrySontTV said...

Was a friend of his son and yes, sat in and drove around the block in the Gvang when I was 12. Yes Shell tried to buy the blue prints but Gene didn't sell. His factory at Newport was destroyed by fire a little later and Gene went into hiding.

The car was super quiet and super smooth.

What I can't reconcile is why no-one else has just copied the design / idea.

Nona said...

Hi GerrySontTV, I never saw you replied. Yes it was cool to go for a ride in the Gvang. I hope Gene is still alive and creating some where.
I presume people have copied his idea or obviously have their own but they tend to be bought out and patents suppressed or they go missing. I'm sure you know.

Adventures with Boris the bus said...

Up until 25-30 years ago the car did still exist as i tried to get it back to its original complete glory to display in a museum but was unable to get the engine components neccesary..have lost all contact with current owner so unknown car wherabouts..loking at the engine patents it would have been very difficult to seal and be efficient