AMC-list Digest, Vol 46, Issue 1
Chrysler crushed the Turbine cars because they didn't want to pay the taxes
involved in importing them from Italy. These cars were designed and built by
Pininfarina and were built specifically as a test bed for the turbine
engine. They brought in the cars and loaned them to specially selected
families to be used as test mules. After the testing phase was done, the
cars were reclaimed from the test families and were destroyed as Chrysler
didn't want to ante up to pay all the import duties on the cars---plus they
didn't want to have to contend with the nascent emissions and safety laws
that were starting to be placed on domestic manufacturers by the government.
In their eyes destroying the turbine cars were a way for them to avoid
liability---both fiscal and legal--plain and simple.
The turbine cars were automotive art. I hate that they destroyed the cars as
they were absolutely beautiful and would have been worth doing driveline
transplants with a more conventional 440 V8. I'm glad that the few examples
that do still exist were saved as they are truly a high mark of automotive
01 Grand Cherokee
72 Javelin SST
69 Ambassador DPL
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 15:38:04 -0500
From: Frank Swygert
Subject: Re: [AMC-list] Chrysler Turbine Cars in crusher
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Well, there was a much better reason fro Chrysler to crush those cars
than let them out into the public. They had those very experimental
turbines and would have been difficult, if not impossible, to maintain.
I suppose they could have sold them as-is with no warranty, but problems
could have been worse for the company.
They were built at least partially under a government grant. The grant
may have required the cars to be destroyed or otherwise disposed of, not
sold to the general public. They were given to particular people to
drive around in public to judge their suitability, but those were
specially selected individuals and Chrysler did all maintenance on the
cars. I don't recall the details, I'm sure with a little searching they
can be found, the cars are rather notorious!
55 were built, only nine survived.
Editor - American Motors Cars Magazine
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