Thursday, March 15, 2012

Turbine Cars of the 1950s -- The British Rover


Despite all the attention Steve Lehto's book on the Chrysler Turbine has received, the first gas turbine car was a Rover. Dubbed the "Whizzard" because of its deep hissing power plant, the turbine Rover hit speeds of 151.196 mph in a 1952 test run.
The car was first demonstrated in 1950, and then improvements to the engine, including the use of a heat exchanger followed. With the fuel tank under the hood and the engine behind the driver, the Rover could run on a variety of fuels, including kerosene. The issue then, and it was never solved, was one of fuel consumption. Superior in some ways to a piston engine, its design eliminated a transmission, clutch, carburetor, or ignition system.

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