Turbine Car

Built by: Earl R. Simons, Duvall, Washington

I built this kit when I was 15 (1975), painted the engine block blue & the car RED! (as shown on box). It did not survive the move to WA & sat crumbled for 6 years.

I love this car! They built 50 (in Italy) for a 3 year test. To ship to the U.S.,They were not only heavily taxed per car, but also for research & development. 47 were painted Turbine bronze w/black top 2 were white w/black top, & ONE was all white. After 3 years, Chrysler destroyed 40 of them & paid to keep 10. 3 still exist complete, & only ONE is still operational (as test-driven in the 2006 Jan issue of HOT ROD).

This kit was a frame up restoration. I soaked the old paint off with brake fluid, Repainted it with correct interior& turbine bronze ( as close as I could mix,- shows up met. red in photos- BUMMER!) The engine is a little un-correct, as I found a photo of the engine AFTER restoration.

I have never seen a photo of the undercarriage ANYWHERE, although I suspect it's painted bronze also. I drilled a small hole thru the body & epoxyed a (needle-strength) straight pin up from underneath. It will NEVER snap off! ( It took me 35 yrs to think of this-- dern 70's!).

The passenger seat tilts forward for rear seat access (drivers seat hinge did not survive). The Sub frame/engine/trans/front suspension roll out for servicing. The front fenders are two-pinned to the no body, & If you are CAREFUL, the builder can make them removable!

Now I guess I gotta by Two of the curbside kits to complete the other 2 color schemes...SHEESH!


More from Earl on the Turbine Car:

The TURBINE is another one of my passionate cars (along with the TUCKER & Lincoln FUTURA), looking like a 64 Dodge in front & a thunderbird in the rear. ( I found out after the build the instrument gauges were WHITE!)

The engine in this thing was (is!) the answer to our transportation problems. (The first Chrysler Turbine program started in 1954!- The early shots of it are truly out-in-space. The gas (any liquid that could be could be compressed to create gas & ignited) Turbine could burn basically ANYTHING, like Kerosene, corn oil, peanut & cooking oil, lamp oil, Diesel fuel, coleman fuel, rubbing (wood) alcohol, perfume, etc... Leaded gasoline was the WORST fuel to burn, due to build-up on the internal parts.

It required no engine oil or antifreeze (no radiator! -  that's the air conditioning grid in front of the engine). Whatever is burned produced NO EMISSIONS -Zip - Zilch! What came out of the large volume exhausts (large AIR DUCTS), was condensation (WATER).

It had 80% fewer parts than a piston engine. The only difference from aviation turbines, is the car had REGENERATORS (rotating heat exchangers) that recover heat from the exhaust to use to heat incoming air entering the combustion chamber. 

The engine components were BASIC--a compressor, 2 sets of turbine blades (one to run the compressor & one to drive the output shaft (welded to the transmission which would snap if you didn't watch your RPMs -they changed out a lot of engines), fuel delivery & ignition--THAT'S IT !

Unlike piston engines, a Turbine is CONTINUOUS--No vibration, and no acceleration hesitation (just like an electric car). Unfortunately, there was no concern of running out of oil, & emissions weren't’t an issue then, along with the (Way) added expense to produce the turbine engine compared to a piston engine, although I SUSPECT a lot was due to; Government, oil, big business, etc., can't REGULATE (tax) folks who are just dumping household stuff into their auto's and actually getting around MORE CHEAPLY and NOT paying thru the nose to drive a car!  PASS IT ON! We HAD the answer back in 1963! --Earl

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