Ever wonder what happened to the Chrysler turbine cars? We hate to break it to you, but most went to the crusher. Those with a penchant for 45,000-rpm turbine engines in Italian coachwork, be forewarned: graphic footage ahead.
The 1963 Chrysler Turbine Car was one of the most audacious engineering and research programs Chrysler ever undertook. It involved building fifty prototypes fitted with a gas turbine engine capable of running on practically any fuel at a safe speed of 44,500 rpm, with a redline over 60,000 rpm. On regular gasoline, it made 130 hp and an instantaneous 430 lb-ft of torque, the kind of torque that required a specially designed wet-clutch transmission. The crazy part? When Chrysler finished putting the Ghia-bodied coupes together, they gave them to regular citizens to test in the real world. This was, it seems, before the existence of lawyers.
After field testing, Chrysler determined the public just wasn't ready for turbine power (the atrocious fuel economy didn't help matters much), so the company sent most of the cars to the crusher. Only nine remain. Seven are scattered across the country in museums like The Henry Ford and the Peterson in Los Angeles, and two made it into private hands. As you can see from the wanton destruction in the video, most met their fate in the cruel, unforgiving maw of the crusher. Oh, the humanity!
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