Ford’s Turbine-Powered Wonder Truck That Was Lost For 40 Years Is Tracked Down To a Secretive Owner



When it was unveiled at the 1964 World's Fair in New York City, Ford's monolithic turbine-powered truck — affectionately known as "Big Red” — was hailed as the future of motoring. At 13 feet tall, it stood two and a half times the height of an average car. Its tandem trailers, stretching out 100 feet, were twice the length of a Tyrannosaurus rex, and it’s futuristic 600hp gas turbine engine convinced both the car-loving public and Ford motor executives that Big Red would usher in a new era of American motoring. Big Red's cab could hold a kitchen, complete with beverage dispensers, a refrigerator, and an oven. There was also an incinerator toilet and a television that was visible from the passenger seat. Top executives at Ford were keen to capitalize on its fame and mass-manufacture the prototype, but the gas-guzzling turbine-powered engines swiftly led to its downfall. New environmental regulations, huge production costs and the vagaries of state laws very nearly saw Big Red consigned to the crusher. Good fortune saw it not only survive, but be lovingly restored to its former glory by a secretive truck enthusiast. The new owner’s dream was to make Big Red roadworthy again, and eventually he did just that.