Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

Previous in Blog: In Addition to Powering US Aircraft in WWI, the Liberty V-12 Helped Create the Lincoln Motor Co.   Next in Blog: With Mopar Hinting at a Crate EV, How Close are We to Factory-Backed DIY Electromods?
Close
Close
Close
7 comments

GM's Firebird III or Chrysler's Turbine: Which was More Convincing of a Jet-Powered Future for Cars?

Posted November 03, 2022 5:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: Chrysler general motors turbines

While Ford did have its own turbine program, largely focused on powering heavy-duty trucks, it was General Motors and Chrysler that put significant and long-term investments into the engine technology for automotive use, often touting it as an engine that would power the cars of the future. Chrysler arguably came closest to implementing turbines in production cars with the 1964 Ghia-bodied Turbine cars that a select few in the public got to experience first-hand before most of the cars were subsequently scrapped, and the company spent far longer investigating turbines with multiple generations of its engine design spanning several decades. But let's not forget that GM had its own multi-generation turbine program in the Fifties, that it too looked into using turbines to power big rigs, and that GM returned to turbines in the Eighties and Nineties.

But which automaker really sold the public on the potential for turbines? To decide that question, let's look at how they both showcased their turbine programs. The body of literature between the two certainly far exceeds one promotional video from each, but that's just what we're going to highlight here today, starting with GM's introduction of its bubble topped and befinned Firebird III gas turbine-powered concept car from 1958.

Then from just a few years later, Chrysler's pronunciation that "tomorrow is today" with the Turbine:

Which is the most convincing and makes you wonder why we all weren't driving gas turbine-powered cars over the last half-century?

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 7372
Good Answers: 427
#1

Re: GM's Firebird III or Chrysler's Turbine: Which was More Convincing of a Jet-Powered Future for Cars?

11/03/2022 9:58 PM

The GM car clearly looks the part, but the Chrysler model was obviously more practical. Interesting in concept, but the realities of gas turbines does not make them well suited for good economy in a land based vehicle, M1A2 Abrams not withstanding at about 1.9 gallons per mile.

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22877
Good Answers: 415
#3
In reply to #1

Re: GM's Firebird III or Chrysler's Turbine: Which was More Convincing of a Jet-Powered Future for Cars?

11/06/2022 7:18 PM

If I recall, (being the 70’s and 80’s). on Chryslers bail out, they also won the contract to build the Abrams… then sold it…

so… Chryslers had experience with turbines…

soon, it to be electric…

__________________
“ When people get what they want, they are often surprised when they get what they deserve " - James Wood
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 7372
Good Answers: 427
#4
In reply to #3

Re: GM's Firebird III or Chrysler's Turbine: Which was More Convincing of a Jet-Powered Future for Cars?

11/07/2022 4:03 PM

Sorry, sir. We can't advance on the enemy. The sun isn't shining today.

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22877
Good Answers: 415
#5
In reply to #4

Re: GM's Firebird III or Chrysler's Turbine: Which was More Convincing of a Jet-Powered Future for Cars?

11/07/2022 7:13 PM

But it’s Multi-fuel… is the wind blowing?

__________________
“ When people get what they want, they are often surprised when they get what they deserve " - James Wood
Reply
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 7372
Good Answers: 427
#6
In reply to #5

Re: GM's Firebird III or Chrysler's Turbine: Which was More Convincing of a Jet-Powered Future for Cars?

11/07/2022 8:26 PM

The priorities of the leadership in the DoD really leaves me wondering. Having sustainable jet fuel does not make our aircraft any more lethal. Only more expensive.

Reply
Guru
Hobbies - CNC - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Engineering Fields - Electromechanical Engineering - New Member

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22877
Good Answers: 415
#7
In reply to #6

Re: GM's Firebird III or Chrysler's Turbine: Which was More Convincing of a Jet-Powered Future for Cars?

11/07/2022 8:49 PM

After what I’ve seen what these brass holes opinions.. we have no leadership if the United States got into a conflict.

__________________
“ When people get what they want, they are often surprised when they get what they deserve " - James Wood
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 31577
Good Answers: 1744
#2

Re: GM's Firebird III or Chrysler's Turbine: Which was More Convincing of a Jet-Powered Future for Cars?

11/04/2022 3:35 PM
__________________
Break a sweat everyday doing something you enjoy
Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 7 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Brave Sir Robin (3); phoenix911 (3); SolarEagle (1)

Previous in Blog: In Addition to Powering US Aircraft in WWI, the Liberty V-12 Helped Create the Lincoln Motor Co.   Next in Blog: With Mopar Hinting at a Crate EV, How Close are We to Factory-Backed DIY Electromods?

Advertisement