News Bureau

Chrysler Corporation

12200 East Jefferson

Detroit, Michigan

VAlley 2-4700




If Hero, of Alexandria, the Greek mathematician and mechanician, is in Olympus today, he is smiling at some 20th Century mechanicians.


For in the span of 2, 000 years, Hero, who made the first crude steam turbine that was little more than a toy, suggested how a Plymouth automobile could find practical application in turbine power.


In the last two decades, Chrysler Corporation engineers have been working Hero’s principle in sophisticated ways to make standard production Plymouth automobiles serve as Hero’s moving laboratories.


The recent announcement of the introduction of the experimental Plymouth Turbo Fury is another major step in a major research program which was revealed in March, 1954, when a Plymouth Belvedere became the first production model passenger car to use an experimental gas turbine as a replacement for a piston engine and operate successfully.


That research revealed some basic advantages gas turbines are capable of providing over a comparable piston-driven automobile. The first engine made the Plymouth virtually vibration free, used either regular gasoline or diesel fuel, had less than 20 per cent as many major moving parts, required no radiator or cooling system, was 200 pounds lighter and had a simplified electrical system.


Two years later, on March 25, 1956, a four-door sedan Plymouth drove into the automotive history book as the first gas turbine powered car to make a transcontinental run, from New York City to Los Angeles. It averaged 13 to 14 miles per gallon.


Rapid improvement in fuel economy was forthcoming within the next two years. In 1958, a second turbine engine was developed for Plymouth. This one was in the 200-horsepower range, and in a 576-mile test run in December of that year. It achieved 19.4 miles per gallon, and used diesel fuel, turbo-jet aircraft fuel and clear and leaded gasoline along the route to demonstrate its unrestricted fuel diet.


Prior to the introduction of the Plymouth Turbo Fury in December 1961, a 1960 Plymouth production car had been serving as a working laboratory for gas turbine mechanicians.


Hero has been Plymouth’s hero in the furtherance of a new world in automotive transportation that not even this thoughtful Greek could have envisioned some two centuries ago.


December 27, 1961

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Page updated 8-9-2017