Toronto, Ont. February 12, 2015
1963 Chrysler Turbine Car
A 1963 Chrysler Turbine Car - one of the most famous vehicles in the rolling archive of FCA US LLC - has made the trip north for the 2015 Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS).
One of three such prototypes in the Company’s collection, this “Turbine Bronze” example will be displayed to the public alongside 18 other classic cars as part of the Art and the Automobile historic vehicle exhibit at the 2015 CIAS, February 13-22, 2015.
“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 seven generations of prototype turbine engines were produced by what was then Chrysler Corporation. While most were installed in standard Chrysler cars and trucks, the 1963 Turbine Cars - with fifth generation engines - were specially designed to be powered by the experimental powertrains.
A total of 50 Chrysler Turbine Cars - with their now-signature bodywork crafted by Carrozzeria Ghia of Turin, Italy - were built between 1963 and 1964. All were painted the same “Turbine Bronze” colour and had matching interiors. Most of the vehicles were loaned to members of the general public for a three month trial period. A total of 200 families used the vehicles.
Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive, however the turbine engine was never put into production due to the cost of its manufacturing versus standard internal combustion engine.
At the end of the evaluation period all but nine of these cars were scrapped due to tax and import tariffs. Of the nine remaining, three were kept by Chrysler Corp. and one each was given to the other museums. The cars currently reside at: Detroit Historical, Smithsonian Inst., Museum of Transportation, St. Louis, Peterson Museum, LA, and a private owner in Indiana, the Blackhawk Collection and Jay Leno. Of these, four are in running condition, including the one currently on display in Toronto.
About Art and the Automobile
Not only have cars been common subjects for artists throughout the automotive age, many automobiles are themselves legitimate works of art. The Art and the Automobile partnered with Castrol and Lant Insurance Brokers, and presented by the Cobble Beach Concours d' Elegance and Murdoch Mysteries, explores that juxtaposition with a spectacular display of both genres – art about automobiles and automobiles as art. The exhibit traces the evolution of artistic form in automobiles from their earliest days as reworked buggies through to the golden era of the 60s. See models from each era in a gallery-like setting against backdrops of historic Toronto. Located on Level 700 in the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
About FCA Canada
Founded as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925, FCA Canada Inc. is based in Windsor, Ontario, and celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2015. FCA Canada Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of FCA US LLC, a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. FCA Canada has approximately 440 dealers and markets Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT brands as well as the SRT performance vehicle designation. The company also distributes the Alfa Romeo 4C model and Mopar products. In addition to its assembly facilities, which produce the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan (Windsor), Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger (Brampton), FCA Canada operates an aluminum casting plant in Etobicoke, a research and development center in Windsor, and has sales offices and parts distribution centers throughout the country.
FCA, the seventh-largest automaker in the world based on total annual vehicle sales, is an international automotive group. FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FCAU” and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol “FCA.”