One of the only two Chrysler Turbine Cars in private hands recently went up for auction and sold to an unknown buyer. Now, that buyer has revealed themselves to be the Stahls Automotive Foundation, and they have some great plans for the Turbine Car.
The Chrysler Turbine car was one of the many cars of its era to embrace design and technology from the Jet Age. It was a car from a time when the world reached for the stars in spacecraft and made the planet feel much smaller via the jet engine. The Turbine Car had some attractive draws like a quiet operation, the ability to run on practically any fuel and fewer moving parts than a typical internal combustion vehicle.
Sadly, the Turbine Car was undone by problems like bad fuel economy and awful emissions, and most examples were destroyed. Of the 55 Chrysler Turbine Cars built, all but nine were destroyed. Only two of the nine are in public hands. Jay Leno owns one and the Stahls Automotive Foundation just picked up the other.
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The Stahls Automotive Foundation runs a museum in Chesterfield, Michigan, full of vehicles from throughout history dating back to the 1800s. The Foundation preserves and restores the vehicles in its collection. There’s a happy mix of everything from a 1934 Bugatti Type 57 and a 1964 Amphicar 770 Convertible to recreational vehicles and boats. The museum has a little of everything, even vintage fuel pumps, and now it has the glorious Chrysler Turbine Car.
But there’s something that the Stahls Automotive Foundation does differently than some museums: They actually drive the cars in the collection. Speaking to Hagerty, General Manager Terri Coppens said:
“Have no fear, the car will be started and driven..”
“We believe that all our vehicles need to be driven like they were built to be. It’s their purpose.”
That’s a delightfully refreshing thing to hear.
The Turbine Car can be viewed at the museum every Tuesday this month from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT and tickets can be obtained at the museum’s site. Tickets are free but donations are accepted. It’ll definitely be awesome to see one of the only Turbine Cars in the world actually on the road that isn’t Jay Leno’s.