The Original Multi-Fuel Car?

Back in the 1960s, Chrysler made an automobile that ran on virtually any liquid combustible fuel. The engine was was a genuine turbine that contained 20% of the moving parts that a standard piston engine did and weighed a fraction of the weight. This is an true story of a genuine, drivable multifuel automobile that was available over 60 years ago. The sales staff of told us the whole story.

And it wasn’t just a prototype. In 1963, Chrysler built a fleet of 55 of these multifuel vehicles and lent them out to the public for testing. Any person who was lucky enough to have their name drawn from the thousands of people who applied was given one to drive for three months. Chrysler care of all the maintenance. The recommended fuel was diesel but they were told that they could run the car on home heating oil if it was available to them, or even on inexpensive kerosene. Chrysler simply said “use them and let us know what you think”.

But user acceptance was poor. The problem was that gasoline in the 1960s cost about 30 cents per gallon and that was the fuel of choice for most drivers. The turbine car ran fine on gasoline but didn’t get the gas mileage of some of the existing piston engines. Many people looked at the multifuel capability of the car as nothing more than an interesting feature. The consumer acceptance factor was low because “it got bad gas mileage”.

Just for a moment consider if these cars had made it into production? Years later, in theory, you would pull into a filling station and take a look at the various fuels available. You could then choose the cheapest one and be on your way. If enough of these cars had made it onto the road, demand could have brought a whole selection of alternative fuels to the market. Today, we might be a nation of a wide variety of fuels like Brazil is now.

You may be wondering what happened to the 55 turbine cars. Chrysler rounded them up and crushed most of them. Automakers have always been leery of letting their prototypes get out into general circulation because of the possibility of bad press and liability for problems. However, nine of the 55 cars from the user fleet survived and are in museums. Hollywood personality and car buff Jay Leno has one of them in his collection.

Article Source: Kolosso Chrysler


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