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4.5" Wallis & Steevens simplicty roller



Year Built: 1990

Steam Certificate Expiry: 10/2020
Hydraulic Expiry: 10/2023
Location: Hadleigh, Suffolk



A really rather nice and unusual engine this 4.5" Simplicity roller is quite a rare sight on the rally field, personally i am quite smitten with it and if we had somewhere suitable in the office to display it it would probably have stayed.

The Simplicity roller was Wallis and Steevens answer to a low cost and easy to maintain engine for use on dirt roads, primarily for the far eastern market. The roller is single speed, with drive through a differential on the second shaft. The original engines were one of the smallest engines to be produced only weighing around 3-4 tons, as such for performance and size comparisons consider it similar to a 3" Traction engine. 

Construction is as the name suggest relatively simple, as such these are often taken on by newcomers to model engineering. It would be safe to assume it was not the case with this engine, everything is built to a good standard and it runs like a little sewing machine. These have a small internal flywheel as such they spin up and rev quite a bit higher than a conventional traction engine. 

The boiler looks to be professionally built, with a build test date of 1987 stamped on the boiler. Since completion though the engine has only been steamed a handful of times as was a display piece for most of its life. For testing our independent examiner treated it as a new boiler and it was hydraulic tested to twice working pressure which it passed with no issues. On inspection it really does look almost brand new condition.

Water feed is through a reliable steam injector and a driven pump, as per the full size the pump is driven off the 2nd shaft so you have to be moving to use it however when running it is quite effective and fills the boiler up quickly. 

Driving the engine is really good fun and on the road it makes all the noises of a full size roller with the clanging rolls on the tarmac. We have paired it up with a driving trolley which came in with another engine as it suits it really well, this along with firing irons, 12 volt blower and the necessary consumables are included in the sale. A full days tuition is also included.


Length:   54"

Width:     24"

Height:    37"

As always we are happy to consider part exchange on all steam and other vintage vehicles. Export can also be arranged.

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