It seems the people of Britain have a healthy obsession with breaking world speed records - just last week we reported on a British engineer who had broken the world wind-powered car speed record. In this same spirit, another team of Brits are working on breaking a record that has not been broken for over 103 years - the world steam-powered record.

Of course, allowing the record to stand for so long has dealt a harsh blow to the ego of the modern world, which is why the team at British Steam Car have taken it upon themselves to undertake this arduous task.

If you were wondering, the 103-year old steam power record stands at an impressive 127mph. This was recorded by an American man, Fred Marriot, who claimed the record in 1906 at Daytona Beach.

The British Steam Car team, on the other hand, is hoping to bring that record down a notch by posting a speed of around 170mph with steam alone as the propellant. Currently the 3-ton car is under testing, with tests starting off slow to hone the car's stability and handling characteristics.

Driven by Don Wales, the car has reached around 80mph on its second speed run, and Wales commented that following the car's performance in these tests he now feels "more confident about breaking the record".

So just how does a steam-powered car reach the supercar speeds of 170mph? Lightweight material such as carbon-fiber is propelled by 12 boilers being pumped with water at around 13 gallons per minute. This is sent through a 13in diameter turbine, which drives an epicyclical gear train with a 4:1 ratio for a wheel speed of 3,000rpm at 200mph. For more details check out our previous story by clicking here.

British Steam Car first shake-down