In the summer of 1995, I attended the Wichita area Mopar meet at the Sedgwick County Zoo park. One of the attractions of the show was an exhibit of the only known running Chrysler Turbine Car.
50 of these cars were built by Chrysler Corp for testing throughout the country by various families under real world conditions. After the testing period the cars were returned to Chrysler Corp and, according to government rules, had to be destroyed or made inoperable. Some were made inoperable by removing some internal turbine parts and donated to a few museums.
TURBINE CONSUMER DELIVERY PROGRAM
OCTOBER 29, 1963 - JANUARY 28, 1966
|Number of turbine cars built for program||50|
|Number of selected users who drove turbine cars||203|
|Number of cities included in delivery program||133|
|Number of states included in delivery program||48 plus D.C.|
|Mileage collectively driven by turbine motorists||1,111,330|
|Average mileage driven by users during three-month period||5,474|
|Highest mileage driven by a user during three-month period||14,046|
|Lowest mileage driven by a user during three-month period||1,025|
|Number of cars with 0 3-month use periods||4||*|
|Number of cars with 1 3-month use period||1|
|Number of cars with 2 3-month use periods||2|
|Number of cars with 3 3-month use periods||6|
|Number of cars with 4 3-month use periods||11|
|Number of cars with 5 3-month use periods||20|
|Number of cars with 6 3-month use periods||6|
|Of the 203 turbine motorists, 90% (180) were men and 10% (23) were women. Their ages ranged from 21 to 70 years.|
|60% of these motorists had Chrysler products as personal cars at the time they applied for a turbine. The rest (40%) owned competitive makes.|
|There were over 30,000 applicants for participation in the test program.|
|Each selected user drove a turbine for a three-month period under a no-charge use agreement.|
* Cars Assigned to national dealership Tour and World's Fair.
Mark E. Olson A former Turbine Car Driver.
Turbine Car History at www.superbird.com.
Turbine Car Wiki.
Chrysler Turbine Engines And Cars.
The car on display at the Mopar meet had been donated to the|
St. Louis County Parks & Recreation,
3015 Barrett Station Rd. St. Louis, Mo. 63122
(314) 965-7998, FAX (314) 965-6885
As luck would have it, one of the door prizes being given away at the Mopar meet was a free ride in the now running Turbine Car. I had the winning ticket and won the participant door prize for a ride in the car. WOW!! what a thrill for a dyed-in-the-wool Mopar nut. It was a short ride on a typical HOT Kansas summer day, and I had to sit in the back seat behind the driver, in what was a fairly compact car. Still I wouldn't have traded that seat for anything.
According to the crew with the car, these were possibly the last rides to be given in the car because of those same government regulations were coming into play again and the car was going to have to be returned to static display in the Museum.