Ray’s Steam Truck

In the Slocan Valley on a homestead that was settled by his Grandfather, Jake Kosiancic in the early 1900’s and has been continually inhabited by members of the family. In 1928 his son, Valentine John Kosiancic, built a sawmill two miles up the side of a mountain, behind the family farm and bought a used, 1927 Chevrolet, 1 ton truck. The truck had started its life as the first garbage truck for the near by town of Nelson, BC.

The truck was put to work hauling lumber, Rail road Ties and other products, produced from their sawmill, down the side of the mountain to the rail road siding at the farm. The brakes on the truck were inadequate for descending the mountain with the loaded truck so they pulled a loaded sleigh behind it, creating drag.

1927 chevy

In 1937, Valentine bought a new White truck and the old Chevy was relegated to less strenuous jobs around the farm until it was parked along side the rest of the equipment that had out lived its usefulness, where it sat in a state of decay.

Ray has a passion for restoring old trucks and equipment, you could call him the ultimate recycler and about three years ago he dug out the old Chevrolet, when he found an old marine steam engine.

steam engine

The 15 HP, compound steam engine has a 3” bore in one cylinder and a 6” bore on the second. The steam is injected in the smaller cylinder first (the HP cylinder) and then as it cools and expands it’s injected into the bigger cylinder (the LP cylinder) creating the same amount of power from both. It has a reversing valve so it rotates in either direction and weighs 800 pounds.


The boiler is wood fired, fire tube boiler, with 59, 1-1/8”, by 30-1/2” long, stainless steel tubes.

I can imagine him, when he started this project, looking at the old truck and then at the steam engine and saying to himself, ‘I bet I can restore the old truck and this engine and put them together,’ and so he did and in his own word he wrote.

Ray Kosiancic

The dash is from the original truck with the exception of the steam gauge and the oil cup for lubricating the engine. The original Steering wheel was finger jointed out of solid oak by Ray’s brother, Tom.


In the next picture, during construction, you can see the massive motor mounts and fly wheel, it is hooked via chain drive that increases the 350 rpm engine speed to 1400 rpm and aligns it with the drive line and the original 4 speed transmission, giving the truck a 20 mile an hour top speed.

Although the transmission has a reverse gear, it is not necessary because the engine rotation is reversible, but I can only imagine the torque it develops in 1st. gear.

The original mechanical brakes were relined with original woven lining that, I have been told, cost almost as much as the truck, originally.

motor mounts

As you can see in the following pictures, Ray is not only a perfectionist and a stickler for detail, but very proud of his work.

Steam Truck

Steam Truck

Steam Truck
Notice in the centre of the windshield and on the top of the cab,
this ‘Truck’ has all the bells and whistles.

Ray Kosiancic
A proud Ray Kosiancic; standing beside his Master Piece and so he should be.

This is not the only truck Ray has restored; he has also restored his fathers 1937 White, 3 ton and his 1960, !-1/2 ton GMC and at the present time is working on another truck.

1937 Chev
The 1937 White, in its early working days.

and now........

1937 White
The 1937 White, after Ray restored it!