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Chrysler Turbine Car on display in Toronto

by Bill Cawthon on

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A 1963 Chrysler Turbine Car will make an appearance at the 2015 Canadian International Auto Show which opens tomorrow.

One of three in the the Chrysler collection, and one of four currently in running condition, the Turbine Bronze car is part of the Art and the Automobile historic vehicle exhibit.

“The Chrysler Turbine program began in 1954 – in the supersonic jet airplane age -and lasted until 1981,” said Brandt Rosenbusch, Manager of Historical Vehicles – FCA US. “Like today, the company was exploring alternative propulsion solutions and to prove the engine’s flexibility, even ran them on perfume and alcohol – aside from the ‘standard’ JP-4 Jet Fuel. We have not shipped the car to Canada in the 25 years I have been here.”

CIAS General Manager, Jason Campbell said: “The exhibit traces the artistic progression of vehicle design through the decades and the Chrysler Turbine Car is a great example of the transition period from the chrome-plated, aircraft- and rocket-influenced designs of the ’50s to the more pure forms of the ’60s, as it includes elements of both. Besides which, it is a very pretty and historically important car.”

A total of 50 Chrysler Turbine Cars were built between 1963 and 1964. Most of the vehicles were loaned to members of the general public for a three month trial period.

At the end of the evaluation period all but nine of these cars were scrapped. Of the nine remaining, three were kept by Chrysler Corp. while others are at the Detroit Historical, the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles, as well as in the Blackhawk Collection, Jay Leno’s collection and a private owner in Indiana.

The CIAS runs from February 13-22 in the North and South Buildings of the Metro Toronto Convention Center located at 255 Front Street West in Toronto, Ontario.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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