Between 1971-72, Gene Van Grecken, along with Bob Britton and Stan Smith, developed a lightweight prototype orbital steam-powered vehicle in Australia with the aim of attempting the steam-driven land speed record. This vehicle was introduced at the Sidney Motor Show in 1972 and featured a steel frame chassis with aluminium bodywork that included a full canopy for cabin access.
The prototype engine of the vehicle was a 40hp unit, but there were plans to build a larger two-cylinder steam engine with oscillating pistons, boasting a capacity of 2.9 liters and estimated power output of 300-400bhp. The engine was intended to be located between the rear wheels and have no clutch or transmission.
It is unclear if the larger engine was fully developed, as the car project was not completed and the body/chassis of the vehicle was sold at auction. According to reports, the prototype vehicle still exists in Australia, specifically in the Blue Mountains-Sydney region. Despite its incomplete status, the orbital steam-powered vehicle prototype represents an ambitious and innovative effort to push the boundaries of automotive technology in pursuit of a land speed record using steam power.