Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 132,188 pages of information and 209,710 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Some vehicles were assembled in Britain.
In 1896, Leon Serpollet invented and perfected the flash boiler, which made steam a much more practical source of power for an automobile. The oil-fired flash boiler fed steam to a very advanced four-cylinder enclosed engine similar to the contemporary petrol engine design including poppet valves and an enclosed crankcase.
Serpollet produced his own automobiles under the name Serpollet and Gardner-Serpollet until his death in 1907.
1899 The Serpollet Syndicate Ltd was removed from the register of British public companies
1901 The steam vehicles were represented by the British Power, Traction and Lighting Co
c.1902 Serpollet became Gardner-Serpollet
1902 The steam vehicles were sold by the Speedwell Motor Co but there was a legal dispute with Gardner-Serpollet as to whether they were official agents.
1908 The English Serpollet Syndicate was removed from the register of companies
There is a 1903 Gardner-Serpollet on display at Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Besides being an inventor and manufacturer, Leon Serpollet became the first driver of a non-electrically powered car to hold the Land Speed Record. His ovoid steam car Oeuf de Pâques (Easter Egg) reached a speed of 75.06 mph over the flying kilometre on the Promenade des Anglais at Nice, France on 13 April 1902, exceeding the long standing record of Camille Jenatzy's La Jamais Contente.