This Steampunk Model Car Is Powered By A Beautiful 19th Century Air Engine

German medical and precision parts manufacturer Böhm just released two new model cars, both powered by an engine that's seriously old school — a Stirling air engine. Not only are they amazingly detailed, but these models can actually drive around, completely without electricity.

The patent for the Stirling air engine goes back to 1816. It was supposed to be a rival to the steam engine, but safer boilers, smaller internal combustion engines and electric motors rendered it obsolete.

Hobby Media reports that Böhm's newest miniature uses a Stirling air engine. Called the "Stirling A1," it's a functional three-wheeler inspired by Carl Benz's inaugural automobile.

If you want your own, it'll run you over $500, but its accompanying trailer will be another $130. A more modern, four-wheeled "Sportscar A4" goes on sale in March for the same price.

We used to lust after a miniature Ferrari F40, but we might be leaning towards this after seeing it thrum around under its own power.

(Hat tip to Francesco!)