You and I think of the soon-to-be-departed Land Rover Defender as an archaic machine, an old-times 4x4 that miraculously survived into the 21st century.
Frank Rothwell thinks of the truck as a bit too modern. So he retrofitted a steam engine, the pinnacle of 19th-century engineering, to power his red Defender.
As Rothwell explains, he's a retired engineer who was just looking for something to do when the idea of a steam-powered Defender dawned on him. Four hundred man-hours and £24,000 later (just over $33,000 by today's exchange rate), he's successfully created Mildred, likely the world's only Defender powered by external combustion.
You have to respect this kind of dedication. And there's something undeniably satisfying about the way this thing runs. Check out the exposed crankshaft poking through the hood, the hand-plumbed gauges, the clunky throw of the levers that operate this steaming Frankenstein.
Here's what seems to be an earlier video of a test run in Mildred, published to in late 2017:
And an even earlier video, from all the way back in 2011, that seems to show a much more rudimentary prototype of Frank's. This iteration used a more modern Defender (or at least, a newer front-end clip with wide-set headlights), though it didn't quite have the guts to climb a slight hill.
Of course, for maximum viewing enjoyment, you'll have to watch .