The Fireproof Champion Traction Engine


Boiler repairs have been carried out; tubes and stays in place ready for bottom inside section to be welded on.

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138 Tallebudgera Drive Palm Beach, Queensland, Australia 4221

The Fire-Proof Champion traction engine was made by the Waterous Engine Works, Bramford, Canada, but the year of manufacture is unknown. Maybe, somebody can help?

Details of the boiler It is an upright boiler, 4 feet in diameter and 7 feet high. It has 99 cross water tubes in it, plus four heavy stays, which are tubes also.

The vertical boiler has a dome shaped water cooled spark arrestor on it this is how it got its name 'fireproof.' This spark arrestor invention was patented and never ever sold to anybody else. Every tube was tested after being expanded.

The engine has a 9' diameter cylinder, 10' stroke; semi-rotary valving reversing is carried out by stopping the engine, then loosening two bolts and sliding it in the opposite direction.

The machine is spring mounted with two only 1' round, 4' diameter, 5' long coil springs. It also had two seats, one for the driver and the other for the off-sider. The off-sider attends to the fire, water, greasing, keeping the wood-box full and keeping the steam up to working pressure of 70 lbs.

It was found 100 miles, northwest of Bourke in Central Australia. It had a rusted-out boiler and no brass whatsoever; the con-rod was missing; it had the wrong flywheel and no throttle control, governor, seat or differential. It had no chains or sprockets or steering. All these had to be made, including the inside and the outside of the bottom half of the boiler. The tube plates also had to be repaired. Number stamped on boiler, also back-axle is 1328. Restoration took approximately two years and since restoration, it has been on four rallies.

I would like to thank the Inverell Museum for the loan of the spark arrestor and the seat, so that I could copy them. They have a portable Champion. My grateful thanks also to Geoff Swilks for doing the castings for me, and to the Rose family, the Glassick family and Jim Whightman for their assistance in rivetting.

The American Encyclopedia does not have a cross tube boiler in it, only upright. It was an invaluable source of information for me, as without it, I would not have known what the original Champion looked like or how I was to proceed.