Chrysler Once Made a Turbine Engine Car


The current generation of car shoppers have likely never heard of the Chrysler Turbine car, though it's perhaps one of the most innovative American cars ever created. Chrysler came up with a very creative plan for introducing the Turbine to the American public. After receiving more than 30,000 applications, the manufacturer released 50 of the vehicles to a select 203 households across the country from 1962 to 1963. Each family was instructed to drive the car for three months before it was then collected and passed on to the next family chosen so that those drivers could give it a try. The only stipulations were that the cars were not to be taken out of the country and could not, under any circumstances, be used for racing of any kind. The car was able to run on diesel, unleaded gasoline, kerosene, jet fuel, and even vegetable oil. Actually, any combustible resource would power the Chrysler Turbine. The Turbine was roaring loud, like a jet engine, and looked more like it should have been parked in a hangar than a home garage. It had a fuel economy of 14.5 miles per gallon in the city and 18-19 miles per gallon on the highway. Smog regulations specified in the Clean Air Act was what ended up halting production, but it was the $16,000 price tag — $137,000 today — that put the car in museums rather than on the streets.