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UPDATE: Sternad Loco, built in 1917

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UPDATE: The correct name of this vehicle is Sternad not Steran, built by Anton (Andrew) Frank Sternad in 1917. As Mark notes in the comments, there is more information on it here:


Originally published May 5, 2023: 

Merlin mentioned this vehicle (and article), called the Sterand Loco, in a Facebook post. Various sourced indicate it was built in 1902, but he felt it looked more like a 1920s build. I agree with him, that it is a cool car, but I am not steeped enough in early car history to know for sure when it might have been built.

After some internet searches, I found the engine was consistent with 1902 (a Rutenber 4 cylinder engine). However, after Googling and checking newspaper articles prior to 1920, I could not find what I felt was a definitive source for the date of the vehicle’s creation (no info on why it is called a Sterand or any promotion surrounding it’s inception). The most I could find was a postcard (from this website) that discussed what the article stated.

Still, it’s a cool car.

sterand-loco-postcard2 sterand-loco-postcard1



7 Comments on “UPDATE: Sternad Loco, built in 1917

  1. Barney Goodwin

    15.6 HP and can do 60 with all that weight? lol! I do love the Cow Catcher on front. That’s for trying to knock the Angus out of the way as you’re trying to reach 60 on the down hill farm road, the brakes having failed 30 MPH ago. Yeah, that’s a cool car especially for the RR buffs. Makes you wonder if it still exists somewhere. Have to keep our eye out on American Pickers.

  2. Brian in Fenton

    Most cars had front brakes by mid ’20s (1924 for Buick for instance). This car has none.

    The 2 speed trans comment is interesting. These planetary 2 speeds were all but gone by the mid teens.

    The Model T Ford is the exception that had no front brakes and a 2 speed trans thru 1927.

    Based on no front brakes and the tire sizes, I would place the chassis as late teens. The drivetrain early teens.

    The engine is not all that uncommon. Assembled car builders that could not afford to design and build their own engine bought them from Rutenber, Buda, Continental etc.

    The HCCA and AACA have What is it Sites where someone just might now everything about it if posted. Problem is many of the comments are just SWAGs.

  3. SteveK

    Albeit interesting read and design to ponder, or to propose more “SWAGs”, I read the 1902 as associated to the “company referenced” and not necessarily the “build”. Also, Let’s keep in mind our beloved Willys productions were powered by L-Head engines of the 30’s still used by Willys until 1963 via the DJ3As and who knows how long for “industrial/custom builds”??? This might be the earliest form of a “rat rod” I’ve ever seen… lol. The MPH , weight, and “lack of brake power” is a scary thought, but still applies to trains today.

  4. David Eilers Post author

    Thanks for the insights guys! I went down some interesting research paths while trying to chase more information about this, especially related to the engine creator. So, I had hoped to create a longer post.

    Unfortunately, some hand pain has been limiting my ability to type a bunch (Ugghhh). The good news is that it seems to be slowly subsiding.

    – Dave

  5. Mark Dawber

    There is an article about this car in my 1982 copy of The Standard Catalog of American Cars. Its designer was one AF Sternad – note the spelling, something others have obviously not checked – who was a design engineer at Chicago Solder Co. in relation to the mention of 15.6 hp, that is the NACC (sane as RAC) rated power – based on the cylinder bore. A typical 15.6 hp engine would be around 180-200 cid. See more here –

  6. David Eilers Post author

    Thanks Mark. I will make corrections. I just saw what I believe to be your post on the AACA FB site, too!

    – Dave

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