Chrysler’s turbine program is better known, but General Motors actually started working with turbines before Chrysler, and continued R&D on those high RPM engines into the 1990s. GM’s Firebird Motorama cars were hits on the show circuit but they were also serious experimental vehicles, all with turbine power. Three time Indy 500 winner Mauri Rose, who worked for GM as an engineer, worked on the Firebird program as a test driver. Harley Earl, Bill Mitchell and the rest of the GM styling staff were enthralled with rockets and jet airplanes so the first Firebird looks like a jet fighter. Firebird II, which had a titanium body, looks like a space ship. Firebird III, though it has fins and winglets like a jet or a rocket, almost looks like a real car, albeit with domed bubble canopies. The Firebird III’s “skegs”, the lower fins, directly influenced the Cadillac Cyclone show car and the 1961 Cadillac production models, which we just covered. In going through the archive, I realized that we’d never published images of the Firebird III at the General Motors Heritage Center, so here they are.
What folks are saying:
"...I've been over to Cars In Depth on many occasions. Barring the whole 3D thing which drives me up the wall (that's a personal thing, though), I like the content, the writing, and the simple formatting. You do a great job over there, and I am impressed."
Latest Bring-A-Trailer Listings
On the Cars In Depth Bookshelf:
At the Drive-In
Welcome to Cars In Depth:
- Cars In Depth
A realistic perspective on cars and car culture.
The original 3D car site.
- When a Gold American Express Card Isn’t Veblen Enough: The Gold DeLorean
- Did BMW Crib Rolls-Royce’s Vision Next 100 From Gordon Buehrig’s 1948 Tasco Concept?
- Koenigsegg Regera – 3D Photos
- The Path to Fiat Chrysler’s Future Doesn’t Lead Through This Door
- No, Jalopnik, Electric Cars Weren’t Ruling the Road in 1916
Find Us On Facebook