The extraordinary Chrysler Turbine car was manufactured from 1963-1964. The unique engineering of this rare automobile has made its place in history. There were a total of 55 Turbine cars built and only 9 still exists today. The body of the car was made by the Italian company Ghia but the car was fully assembled in Detroit, MI. There was one hand-built Chrysler Turbine assembled every week until the program was canceled.
The A-831 gas turbine engine makes 130 horsepower with 425 feet pounds of torque at stall speed. Jay Leno said that the power is comparable to a base model 318 cubic-inch V8. The engine will run on anything combustible ranging from kerosene, jet fuel, and gas. In France, the car ran on Chanel #5 perfume. A Turbine car even ran on Tequila in Mexico by request of the president.
The engine is mounted to a 3-speed TorqueFlite transmission. The car is able to get around 19 mpg on the highway. It gets poor mileage in the city due to the 22,000 rpm idle. It was capable of reaching speeds of around 120 mph with a 0-60 mph time of 12 seconds. The turbine engine has an extreme redline of 60,000 rpm.
The interior must have looked futuristic in the early 1960s. The 3 large gauges feature a speedometer, tachometer, and a pyrometer.
The Turbine car was used in a “user program”. The program was geared towards gathering pros and cons from the individual drivers. 203 individuals were selected out of thousands of applicants to participate in the user program. After 2 years and a combined 1 million miles driven, Chrysler shut down the Turbine project. Chrysler determined that the Turbine car was too expensive to build. Sadly, Chrysler destroyed 46 out of the 55 Turbine cars. The nine remaining cars are either displayed in museums or are in private collections.