Bill Boddy asks when Australia had its first steam car and mentions P A Robinson building one in 1900 and a second in 1901.
My father graduated as a doctor at Sydney University in about 1900 and, intending to practise in the country, was very excited about the Thomson Steam Motor Phaeton. In May 1900 this steam car ran from Bathurst to Melbourne, the longest car journey made in Australia, nearly 500 miles.
Some details of the Thomson and its journey are mentioned in Steam Cars 1770-1970 by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu and Anthony Bird. Their Appendix A notes the Thomson being produced 1896-1901, but in an earlier text they say: “….by the time they were ready to start serious manufacture the Thomson Motor Company had decided to change to internal combustion.”
I am, yours, etc.
Col C B McLean, via e-mail