The Chrysler Turbine Car
Starting in the 1950s, Chrysler set out to disrupt the automotive industry with a multimillion-dollar turbine research program. This documentary produced by the Hagerty Drivers Foundation chronicles those efforts and is told from the point of view of the engineers and mechanics that were responsible for the futuristic jet-engine automotive program as well as the historians like Steve Lehto (@stevelehto), Jay Leno (@jaylenosgarage), and Mark Olson (@turbinecar) that have spent decades researching this incredible aspect of American car history.
Mark Olson’s family was one of just 203 that were lucky enough to get the keys to a Chrysler Turbine Car from 1963-1966 as part of Chrysler’s incredible user test program. He drove one of the 55 Italian-bodied Turbine user test cars as a 16 year old and recounts the life-changing experience.
Hear how engineers from modern day turbine manufacturer Williams International have volunteered to work with original Chrysler old timers to help save Jay Leno’s Turbine Car, one of the last running examples from the Chrysler user test program.
This documentary was done in conjunction with the inclusion of Stahl's Automotive Collection's Turbine car (@stahlsauto9002) on the National Historic Vehicle Register in 2022. Along with Jay’s car, it is one of only 9 of those 55 user test cars to still exist and the documentary features a close look at what makes it so special. Through the National Historic Vehicle Register, the Turbine’s history will be documented and kept in the Library of Congress in perpetuity.