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May 9, 2012

Promo models: Chrysler Turbine

by Paul Daniel
Chrysler Turbine

The Chrysler Turbine Car was the first and only consumer test ever conducted of gas turbine-powered cars. Of the total 55 units built consisting of 5 prototypes and 50 production cars given to one person in every state to use for three months. Produced from 1962-1964, the bodies were made by Ghia in Turin, Italy, with final assembly taking place in a small plant in Detroit, MI.

Growing up in Milwaukee, WI. I saw one of these out and must have followed it for miles. Not only a very cool looking car but that sound. Most were scrapped at the end of a trial period, with only nine remaining in museums and private collections like this one owned by Jay Leno. Though Chrysler’s turbine engine project was terminated in 1977, the Turbine Car was the high point of a three decade project to perfect the engine for practical use.

Turbine Promo Model, Chrysler Turbine

Turbine Promo Model

The promo model was made by JoHan and a huge deal for them since Chrysler wanted so many produced. They paid $250,000 for tooling and that was in 1970’s money! There were two promo models, one bronze and the other white. The detail on these is great. All ducting to trap the gases, front grill area, along with the rear. So do you have an original or reproduction? Check out the front quarters and if you see the Turbine script and Pentstar logo, you have the real deal. Still have the box it came in and you could fetch about $150. If not, around $70. The reproduced ones are considerably less but you can find them in more colors. This car looks good even by today’s standard.

Chrysler Turbine Promo Model, Chrysler Turbine

Bottom of Chrysler Turbine Promo Model

Chrysler Turbine, Chrysler Turbine Promo Model

Back of Chrysler Turbine Promo Model

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