Mann Steam Wagon
Steam Test Exp:
On behalf of the owners we are privileged to offer for sale this fully restored Mann Steam Wagon, a very rare engine it is believed to be the only original example in the UK. A capable machine, it offers an interesting and comparable alternative to the more common Foden. It is 3-speed with compound cylinder arrangement which has a true simpling valve where both cylinders take full boiler pressure and exhaust to atmosphere.
The engine has just undergone an extensive restoration by the current owner who is an experienced and very highly regarded vintage vehicle engineer, workmanship throughout has been completed to the highest of standards and is a real credit to him. Sadly, on completion, the owner has decided the engine is a bit too much of a strain physically for him to enjoy so is offered for sale having only been steamed a handful of times. The engine runs and steams very well and although there is nothing the engine needs we will add the caveat that she is in the settling in phase so may be worth giving her a season of use before attempting a Lands End to John o’ Groats run.
The boiler is virtually a completely new unit with only the existing foundation ring and mudhole door ring being used. The original top-half of the hornplates have been retained to carry the motion and welded to new bottoms which form the steam space. The boiler work has all been undertaken by the Goddard family and a full folder of paperwork is included in the sale. The engine runs at 200PSI and is water fed by a steam injector and crank driven pump. It is worth noting the corners of the backhead have slight steam leaks, these are perfectly safe and passed by the independent boiler inspector and will no doubt seal up with use. All steam fittings and valves have been overhauled and work like new.
As anyone who has restored an engine properly knows the list of jobs they have done is endless however a quick summary of the works includes:
- Full repaint of the lorry with professional sign-writing
- Complete motion overhaul with new valve roads and chromed and reground piston rods
- Crankshaft and second shaft changed to grease lubrication
- Overhaul of the braking assembly
- New chimney with liner in both chimney and smokebox
- New vulcanised tyres on the rear wheels
The engine has been designed for single man operation with all controls within easy reach from the driving position. On the road it is an impressive engine which steams freely and tackles hills surprisingly well even in top gear, coming down the other side is safe with an effective footbrake and handbrake which can be wound on for long descents. The gearing is a bit on the noisy side which is pretty standard for overtype Steam Wagons, even the new build miniature wagons we have come in ring well. The gearing is all on the second and third shaft with chain drive to the rear axle, the second shaft is always engaged with the crank even when out of gear which is the noise you can hear when ticking over on the videos.
The engine had an interesting working history with it being sold new to Mr Frampton of Hale, Surrey. In his ownership the engine was predominately for furniture removals on contract to Pimm & Sons of Guildford, hence the livery on the rear box body. It passed to a Mr Pine of Farnham before being sold to estate developers in Weymouth, Hilton Estates Ltd. In 1932 it was sent to Messrs. B, J, Fry of Dorchester for general overhaul but when ready for delivery the cost of the road fund licence had increased dramatically (due to the solid tyres and new government legislation) so they were asked to sheet it up and find a new buyer. A new buyer was never found and eventually ownership passed to B. J. Fry in lieu of payment for the works and storage, the engine remained in their yard and eventually fell into a state of dis-repair before being sold into preservation in 1960.
The engine was saved by a Mr Butler and Mr Whitehead and over the course of almost 12 years underwent an extensive overhaul with pretty much all parts requiring complete refurbishment or replacement. The restoration and story of the engine being saved is documented and included in the sale. It was at this time the recognisable lift body was fitted. In 1988 the engine was sold to well known engineman and dealer Michael List Brain of Kent who kept the engine until 2001. It returned to him in 2003 and purchased by the current owners in 2004. At this time the engine underwent a general overhaul and was used for several years before eventually being pulled off the road for the extensive restoration that has just been completed.
The rear lift body has been converted internally to provide basic living facilities including a cooker, sink and seating areas. This area could be enhanced further should you wish to use it for rally accommodation on a regular basis. Alternatively, the rear body can be easily removed only being secured with 4 large bolts and the tie downs seen from outside.
Included in the sale is an extensive document history of letters from previous owners, copies of Mann literature and lots of other interesting related information. Also included is a full set of firing irons (produced to be as close to the original Mann supplied items as possible), front cab sheets, steam and lubrication oil and a box of original parts that have been replaced.
Length: 21’ 6” (+20” for box overhang)
Wagon Height: 8’6”
Overall Height with box: 11’6"
Weight: 8 tons 3cwt in running order with coal and water.
This fantastic engine is with us in Suffolk and viewing is welcomed by genuinely interested parties. Where possible we would be pleased to help with part exchanges of all steam and vintage vehicles and finance can be arrange by our independent specialists if so required.
For further information or to arrange a viewing please do not hesitate to contact us.
Important Note: We recommend when purchasing any steam vehicle to employ the services of your own boiler inspector for independent advice and not solely rely on previous test reports.