By Steve Lehto
In 1964, Chrysler gave the area a glimpse of the long run. They equipped a fleet of turbine cars--automobiles with jet engines--and loaned them out to individuals of the general public. The fleet logged over 1000000 miles; the workout was once a raging success. those turbine engines might run on any flammable liquid--tequila, heating oil, Chanel #5, diesel, alcohol, kerosene. If the vehicles were mass produced, we would have autos this present day that don't require petroleum-derived fuels. The engine used to be additionally a lot easier than the piston engine--it contained one-fifth the variety of relocating elements and required less upkeep. The vehicles had no radiators or fan belts and not wanted oil changes. but Chrysler overwhelmed and burned lots of the autos years later; the jet car's short glory used to be over. the place did all of it get it wrong? Controversy nonetheless follows this system, and questions on how and why it was once killed have by no means been satisfactorily answered. Steve Lehto has interviewed all of the surviving individuals of the turbine vehicle program--from the metallurgist who created the unique metals for the internal of the engine to the attempt motive force who drove it at Chrysler’s proving grounds for days on finish. Lehto takes those first-hand money owed and weaves them right into a nice tale in regards to the coolest vehicle Detroit ever produced.
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Additional info for Chrysler's Turbine Car: The Rise and Fall of Detroit's Coolest Creation
The pamphlet is undated, but it features Huebner on the cover—of course—standing next to the Turbo Dart. It is filled with praise for the program, by Chrysler and others. “To quote the Chicago Daily News: ‘Other major motor manufacturers are working on their own versions. ’” The document resembled a movie poster, with excerpted reviews from newspapers around the country. “The turbine engine is an automotive dream coming true,” the Syracuse Post-Standard was quoted as writing. “Biggest news in the industry” was the blurb from the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel.
One was the new Ford Mustang, which, quite frankly, was the worst-kept secret in Detroit—there were plenty of pictures of that around. The second was the Chrysler Turbine Car, which was far more interesting. It had a totally new and different powerplant that had never been put in an automobile before: a jet engine. To be honest, I don’t remember all that much about the Mustang from the World’s Fair. But I remember everything about the Chrysler Turbine Car. Chrysler had a huge display at the Fair, and the centerpiece was a small track where they were giving rides in the car.
The Turboflite traveled the auto circuit and visited New York, Chicago, London, Paris, and Turin. Along with the Turboflite, the engine was installed into an otherwise ordinary 1960 Plymouth. And, to prove the engine’s versatility, one was put into a 1960 Dodge two-and-a-half-ton truck. After a few refinements, the third-generation engine was also installed into a 1962 Dodge and a similar Plymouth Fury. These were called the Turbo Dart and the Turbo Fury. Chrysler sent these cars on a cross-country publicity trip, which they accomplished without difficulty.