Chrysler Turbine Car Ultimate
Photo credit: Hemmings
Here’s a fascinating look back at the ultra rare Chrysler Turbine Car that was produced between 1963 and 1964. One of two privately owned examples (chassis 991231) recently sold for an undisclosed amount, but a total of 55 cars were built: five prototypes and a limited run of 50 cars for a public user program. Its A-831 engines could operate on many different fuels, required less maintenance, and were more durable than conventional piston engines, although much more expensive to manufacture. Read more for two videos, additional pictures and information.



The A-831 turbine engines generated 130 hp and 425 lb-ft torque, capable of hitting a top speed of 120 mph while spinning at up to 60,000 rpm. Aside from the engine, the bodies were handmade by Italian design studio Ghia. Step inside, and you’re greeted with bronze-colored leather upholstery, deep-pile bronze carpet, and brushed aluminum accents. Once the public user program ended in 1966, Chrysler reclaimed all of the cars and destroyed all but nine of them.

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Chrysler Turbine Car Ultimate
Chrysler Turbine Car Ultimate
Chrysler Turbine Car Ultimate
Chrysler Turbine Car Ultimate
Chrysler Turbine Car Ultimate

Thankfully, one Chrysler exec came up with the idea of setting a few cars aside for static display in educational museums around the country. Nine were spared, including three retained by Chrysler. At the same time, six went respectively to the Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood, MO, The Henry Ford, The Smithsonian Institution, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles (later the Petersen Automotive Museum), the Detroit Historical Museum, and the Harrah Collection Museum of Reno, NV,” according to the Hyman Collection.