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The nine that survived five are now in operating condition!

Serial Number - location of the car RED = Running - BLUE = Not Running

#991211 - Museum of Transportation, St. Louis, Mo. - running as of 7/5/2007!

CLICK HERE FOR A SHORT VIDEO TAKEN 6-23-2009 of Car 991211

#991225 - Gilmore Museum, Hickory Corners, MI. Photo take 7/22/2006 by Mark Olson

The above car is now - for the time being at least - in the "Muscle Car" barn at Gilmore - that is way back East on the property near the old house. I was there on the 22nd of July to meet Bill Carry and Steve Lehto - they were there to answer questions and sign the book Steve wrote. If you want to see more photos from that visit CLICK HERE!

- CLICK here for more Information on the sad state of the Detroit Historical Collection.

- CLICK here for the new story about the Gilmore Museum getting the car now.


#991230 - WPC Museum/Chrysler - and running at Chrysler!

#991231 - Now in private ownership in Indiana - sadly this car is now dead - the engine burned out in the fall of 2012, static display only now! Update - 4/29/2013 - I just received word that Dave has a replacement engine (original spare for that car) and may be running by May 3rd if all goes well.

The above photo was taken in the town where the car is now kept. I included this photo with all the people around it because that is the way our car was usually seen. I thought it would be fitting to have on shot showing that when Mr. Kleptz takes his car for a ride, it still draws as much attention as it did in 1965.

This car was featured in a cable show hosted by Dennis Gauge called "My Classic Car" the episode is Season 6 (2002) Episode 12 This can be downloaded as a seperate file for $0.99 or ordered as part of a DVD from this web site - http://www.garagenetwork.com


#991234 - Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, MI.

#991242 - Jay Leno Collection - running.

Click Here (or the photo below) for more on Jay's Turbine Car.


#991244 - Natural History Museum, Los Angeles (displayed at Petersen Museum in L.A.)This car does not run - but the running engine is there with it! Anyone want to make it run???

Thanks to Linda Karsen for the above photo, CLICK HERE for four more photos of the car at Petersen.

Thanks to Kevin Carsh who gave me permission to use his photos taken in 2006 when they moved the car to the upstairs for a special alternate fuel vehicle display. CLICK HERE TO SEE THOSE PHOTOS


#991245 - Smithsonian, Washington, DC.

Thanks to Grant Randall for this photo of the Smithosnian car. The car does go out to various events from time to time but I don't think it is on display in Washington on a regular basis.


#991247 - Running!! WPC Museum in the "archives" - this car has the best paint job but the under-hood needs to be cleaned up, this is the car that was at the show I went to in Minneapolis. Wish I could have heard it run that day.

It is sad that the car my dad and I drove was probably one of the highest mileage cars.  In a way the fact we drove that car so much caused it to be one of the 46 destroyed.

Based on car service information I have obtained from W.J. Carry Both cars # 991231 (Harrah/Kleptz private car) and 991244 were being used in Los Angeles CA for "VIP Service" - from what Mr. Carry could remember and his work orders, he was out there in June of 1966 to do routine service on both those cars.

In VIP Service, the cars were loaned out to various West coast people (Chrysler management, Sales leaders, anyone who might be important to Chrysler) for a week or more. The program was over and the did this just because they still had time till the tax came due on the Visa the cars were here in the U.S. under. By winter of that year or early spring, the time to get rid of the turbines was close and car # 991231, from what I can tell, was prepared to be given to the Los Angeles Natural History Museum.

About that time, Mr. Harrah approached Chrysler requesting a turbine car for his museum in Nevada. Chrysler, it seems, made a deal with him to get one of the two cars in Los Angeles (saving them from getting it back to Detroit for destruction) for the cost of the duty tax the government wanted in order to keep a Ghia body in the U.S. Harrah ended up with the #991231 car and L.A. ended up with #991244. The car never ran while Harrah had it but they did have a running "Crate" engine with the car. Must have been some reason they never put them together - probably a condition of the donation of the car.

The above photo was taken at Harrah's museum, it was taken in the late 80's. That engine was given to Harrah and not to be put into the car that is in Indiana now. When they sold the turbine car - they did not sell the engine to keep the contract with Chrysler. It was sold in the early 90's to someone in California.

The above photo was taken at Petersen's museum in the fall of 2004 by Linda Karsen. This is the "crate" engine for car #991244. Anyone want to make that car run again? Thanks to MOPAR5150 for the use of the two photos from California.

Another note: the car at the Detroit Historical museum travels to at least one other Midwest museum - the Field Museum in Chicago. That caused some confusion when I was trying to find all of them. It seems those two museums trade displays from time to time. I am sure other museums do the same thing.

The Smithsonian car also goes on the road from time to time and has been in other museums.

Our car was number #991232 but a funny thing I remember is that in the middle of the front window (above the mirror) was a number 24 inside of a small chrome frame.  From talking to others I believe it was the 24th body of the 50 production cars Ghia made.  The five prototype cars probably did not have a number.  If anyone knows for sure why the number was there, I would like to have a good answer.

Two Young Turbine Mechanics.

On the left is Mike E. from St. Louis and on the right is Craig W. from Chelsea.

It should be noted that there are two young guys who have spent much time and energy on keeping the "flame" alive in at least a few of the turbine cars. Mike, is an employee of Daimler/Chrysler in St. Louis MO. and keeps the car there in tip-top condition. Mike found the car in the museum in sad shape, he worked to get it looking good and then decided to find an engine - well what do you know - a search of the museum property turned up a large crate with Chrysler on the outside. Inside the crate was the spare, working engine for car 991211. Mike took it all apart and made sure everything was still in working condition. He then put it all together and the result is one of the four operating turbine cars. It has been restored to almost better than when Ghia and Chrysler built it. Thanks Mike!

There is a great page about Mike at this link. It will spawn a new explorer window with that site in it.

http://www.allpar.com/mopar/turbine-photos.html

Craig also works for Daimler/Chrysler at Chelsea Michigan. He has the honor of being the guy who makes the two operating turbines keep operating. The WPC Museum actually has charge of the cars but Mike is allowed to use the facilities at Chelsea to repair and restore the two cars Daimler/Chrysler has brought back to life. Dedication to a technology like the turbine is a calling few would take on. Mike has a real love for the Ghia cars and someday may also have some other surprises for us turbine fans. Thanks Craig!



What happened to the rest?

Except for one other car which was destroyed at the proving grounds in a head-on crash test, they were all (40 remaining production cars and 5 prototype cars used in engineering) crushed and burned in the winter of 1967. From what I have been told, it was done at the Airport scrapyard near Detroit. I have talked to one of the people who was there that day. I have a video of the destruction made from the film they had to take to assure the company and the government the cars were in fact destroyed. I also have from the same individual (Mr. Bill Carry) that one car was crash tested at the proving grounds in Chelsea MI. It was done to see if any adverse or dangerous things would happen if a turbine powered car were involved in a major collision.

I have also since learned that Chrysler tried to find more museums that would take cars without any luck. Sad that more were not saved when Chrysler did it's best to make them available.

Click on either photo below - or anywhere here for a page on the destruction - and a short clip from the video - this will spawn a secondary web page so if you have a pop-up prevention program running - disable it for a short time.

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Page last updated on 4-29-2013