A $10,500 price tag, a Can Am race car chassis and a 375 horsepower turbine engine. That’s all they had in 1967 to throw against the Ford GT40 and the rest of the best. And the Howmet TX spools up just fine to this day, as Petrolicious will tell us.
You might have seen this car recently at full throttle at Goodwood, but the most action it got was in the late 1960s. Howmet wanted lots of publicity, and guess what! A Can Am car powered by a Continental turbine engine that had to be jacked up at every pit stop made it to the headlines!
The engine was pretty efficient in terms of power-to-weight at 175 pounds and 375 horsepower, but the team had to put a wastegate on it to keep the revs close to 65,000rpm at all times, and of course it still consumed a lot of fuel compared to a normal V8 engine. It could have been easier on the pump with a three-speed gearbox, but $10,500 got them no transmission or clutch back in 1967.
Still, what an achievement! Everything custom made except for the engine, the Howmet TX moved those Ford Cortina tail lights faster than anything on the planet.
Think of it as a Lola on good ol’ American LSD. The effects still last.
Photo credit: Petrolucious
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