The Steampunk Roadster: Jake von Slatt's final steampunk project, and it's for sale!

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The car is beautiful and his work amazing. I wonder too if he made and diagrams or artifacts of his earlier explorations of a steam-powered version? Those sorts of technical “steampunk” questions are as fun as the aesthetic stuff.

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I never really got to that stage. I did join the Steam Automobile Club of America and they have a tremendous archive of information and many, many members that had already done what I was thinking of doing–and they were all retired folk!


Thank you for that awesome link!! Your work is beautiful. It’s so amazing that you were able to make and share something so cool.


Want! But I would have to get rid of several telescopes to have room in the garage for it.

Vonslatt: Beautiful work. Ten years ago I’d have been on your doorstep with cash tomorrow. Sigh.

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A fiberglass VW kit car is still just that, no matter how many bells and whistles you rivet to it.

Do you go to comic book conventions just to mock the people wearing meticulously crafted but non-functional Iron Man armor?


Why? Is that fun?

I like classic cars and well made cars, and an ersatz Mercedes with doodads on it does nothing for me. The Beetle that was cannibalized for this, restored or maintained, would be much more better.

I’d have a lot of respect for someone that meticulously constructed a suit of Iron Man armor (I don’t believe there is anything but costume Iron Man armor-it’s all non-functional including the movie props). I don’t think I’d think any more of it if they glued bears and stuff on it, though.

Horsepucky. An old VW Beetle, however meticulously maintained, is a cheap, mass-produced economy car, one of only twenty-one million made over the course of six and a half decades.

This thing here, whether it blows your skirt up or not, is a work of art.


How many good example Beetles are you seeing on the street lately? People who appreciate cars appreciate the Beetle.

A car composed of bad compromises tarted up with gingerbread is not a work of art. Have a look at the rusted shock on the right front of this thing, and you’ll start to pick up the hints of shlock that permeate it.

Steampunk is one thing when it’s applied to Tesla coils and computers, etc… But if you’re gonna steampunk a car, go hard or go home.

Please point to the place where the hobbyist touched you.


Yeah, heaven forbid a car in Massachusetts should have rust in the undercarriage. :scream:

I live in L.A. I see old Beetles every damn day. I just saw two lovely late-60s specimens parked nose-to-tail on Bronson Ave in Hollywood not five hours ago. The Bug is a venerable classic, but not endangered, and still the single most common automotive design in the world. Had one myself, once upon a time. It was fun. And cheap.

You don’t like the car, fine, nobody cares. Preserve yourself a fine old Beetle exactly the way Herr Porsche dreamed it up and be proud of that shiny tin rollerskate to which you contributed precisely no imagination, and which looks and drives and smells exactly as common and utilitarian and cute as it did half a century ago.

Ya crab.


One of those wood gasification units to power the bug engine would have given you a chimney and many pipes and dials for the look. Still not steam, but hey.

Yeah, sorry, I just don’t get bolting stuff on cars and calling it style.

Ya Philistine.

:wink: That’s me!

…he sez to the guy who claims that old VW Bugs are aesthetically unimprovable…

Didn’t claim that, but live your fantasy, I guess. All I said was they are superior in intact form to the bastardized creations made with plastic bodies bolted to their frames in pale imitation of gorgeous sheet metal from a bygone era. Kit cars suck. Creative modifications of any car can be great. This particular car fails to transcend its intrinsic kit car shittiness, in my opinion.

Ah, there you go. Well, we’re all hobbled by the occasional indefensible opinion. I, for one, prefer the craptastic Mustang II to the early Fox-bodied Mustangs, but as you pointed out, I am a Philistine.

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But, isn’t it the beauty of opinions, that they are personal taste, and one woman’s Philistine is another’s aesthete? As a car lover, I am blinded to the appeal of certain things, and revel in others. Such things are inherently indefensible, because they depend on abstract concepts.

The Mustang IIs get way more shade than they deserve. Good power to weight, and innovative for its time among U.S. products with rack and pinon and disc brakes. Styling wise, the later ones had it all over the Fox bodies, to me. Not really my cup of tea, but the King Cobras had all of the great cliche muscle car signifiers. If you’re after performance, it’s Fox body without question. But I can see the appeal of IIs.

Depends what you mean by ‘kit car’ whether it sucks or not. For those that like that sort of thing, there are some genuinely amazing machines you can build yourself from a donor car. I knew someone had a Lotus seven clone kit car that would pull wheelies if you booted it in second. Wesfield, Factory Five and Lister for instance produce some amazing things.