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The Doble may have been the best steam automobile ever produced. It was smooth, powerful, and extraordinarily well made. Ingenious automatic controls made starting and operating the boiler far easier than on other steam cars such as the Stanley.
A Doble could go from a cold start to a full head of steam in under 90 seconds, and then cruise comfortably all day at 70 miles per hour. Top speeds of 100 miles per hours had been clocked on some Doble cars.
Doble quality and performance attracted buyers like silent film star Norma Talmadge, millionaire Howard Hughes, and an Indian maharajah. Why, then, did this wonder car fail? Dishonest stock traders and speculators played a major part in the downfall of the Doble. The Doble brothers, Abner, John, and Warren were not part of the illegal schemes,but the company's reputation was seriously damaged and the stock market crash of 1929 finished Doble off.
Fewer than 45 of these remarkable cars were ever built, and today only a few survive.