Chrysler's Turbine Car: The Rise and Fall of Detroit's Coolest Creation

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Chicago Review Press, Oct 1, 2010 - Transportation - 224 pages
Offering a behind-the-scenes look into the world of automotive research and development in the 1960s, this engaging narrative traces the birth of Chrysler’s alternative “jet” car and reveals the story behind its sudden and mysterious demise. Relying on extensive research and firsthand accounts from surviving members of the turbine car program—including the metallurgist who created the exotic metals for the engine and the test driver who drove it at Chrysler's proving grounds—this chronicle documents the bold development of an automobile with a jet turbine engine. In addition to running well on virtually any flammable liquid—including kerosene, vodka, heating oil, and Chanel N5 perfume—the pioneering engines had one fifth the number of moving parts and required less maintenance than conventional engines. Despite the fleet’s amazing performance over millions of miles by test drivers, Chrysler pulled the plug on the project and crushed almost all of the cars. The reasons behind the surprising end to the jet car fleet are finally explained here.
 

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User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

Much of the history of technology is about being at the right place at the right time, and many a wonderful concept just had the misfortune to arrive at the wrong time. What one has here is the ... Read full review

Contents

1 The Promise of the Jet Age
1
2 Chryslers First Jet Car
10
Chryslers Viable Automotive Powerplant
31
4 The Ghia Turbine Car
40
The Ultimate Public Relations Event
49
6 The GlobeTrotting Ghia
82
7 Other Ghias in America
86
8 The User Experiment
95
12 Chryslers Financial Troubles
157
13 Other Manufacturers and the Turbine
160
14 The Death of the Turbine Program
164
15 The Survivors
170
16 Going for a Ride in Jay Lenos Ghia
174
Epilogue
180
Acknowledgments
185
Notes
189

9 WrapUp of the User Program
116
10 The Beginning of Chryslers Financial Decline
131
11 The Problem of Smog
134

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About the author (2010)

Steve Lehto is an author and an adjunct professor of law and Michigan history at the University of Detroit Mercy. He is the author of Death’s Door: The Truth Behind Michigan’s Largest Mass Murder, a 2007 Michigan Notable Book, and Michigan’s Columbus: The Life of Douglass Houghton. He lives in Royal Oak, Michigan. Jay Leno is a stand-up comedian, a television host, and a writer. He contributes a column to Popular Mechanics, which showcases his collection of more than 200 vehicles and advice about automotive topics. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.

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