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The Studebaker Avanti years, 1962-1964, were also the years of Chrysler’s Turbine powered coupe. Fifty prototype cars were made and distributed to the public for testing purposes. The program was the first and only consumer test ever conducted of gas turbine-powered cars. Of the total 55 units built (5 prototypes and 50 "production" cars), most were scrapped at the end of the trial period, with only nine cars distributed to museums and private collections. The project was a bold experiment for the automaker, but the many complexities of a turbine engine were never adequately resolved. Ironically, the primary goal of Chrysler’s engineering was simplicity. The engine has just 1/5 of the moving parts of a traditional piston-based internal combustion engine (60 rather than 300). The turbine spins on simple sleeve bearings for vibration-free running. Its simplicity offers the potential for long life, and because no combustion contaminants enter engine oil, no oil changes are considered necessary. More about the Chrysler Turbine Car
Chrysler Turbine Rear View
Dramatic rear view of the early sixties Chrysler Turbine Car.
Chrysler Turbine Front
Front view of the Chrysler Turbine Car.
Chrysler Turbine Engine
Revolutionary design of the turbine engine.
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