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  #1  
Old 05-17-2021, 06:20 PM
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Has Mercedes ever considered a turbine car?

Chrysler did

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuGvx3WYg1k

I know that Mercedes dabbled in rotary (Wankel) engines.

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  #2  
Old 05-19-2021, 06:39 PM
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AFAIK, the only companies that ever produced turbine cars, even as prototypes, were Chrysler and Rover. Rover took the idea furthest, producing several prototype cars and a racer, piloted at Le Mans by Richie Ginther in '63.

I actually had a ride in a Chrysler turbine car back in 1964.
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  #3  
Old 05-20-2021, 07:11 PM
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It's a charming story about an expensive PR move. Utterly impractical.
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  #4  
Old 05-20-2021, 10:47 PM
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I saw a Chrysler back when they were on tour. The driver told me they could not idle at a light for too long or the exhaust would burn a hole in the asphalt.

It did run smoothly, but back then plugs lasted 10,000 miles and a rough idle was more common than a smooth one. And the silent and smooth operation of the Chrysler was impressive. But that was then when getting a car to idle smoothly was an art.

My Toyota Landcruiser has the 4.7 V-8 and with 350,000 miles on it runs as smooth as the day it was new. And that thing has not led a charmed life.

So tech has changed and the turbine is now just an odd relic.

FUN FACT: I knew a guy who drove an old 12 cylinder something... A Caddy? A Packard? I can't really remember since it was 60 years ago. He said he liked it because even with two plugs not firing the engine still ran smoothly.
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  #5  
Old 05-24-2021, 02:59 PM
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https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/car-accessories/a22916279/toyotas-gas-turbine-powered-century-and-sports-800/

I always wondered - because the commercial power generation and shipping industries are not adverse to gas turbine technology, and the 'microturbines' already exist in niche markets ( 200kw: https://www.capstonegreenenergy.com/products/energy-conversion-products/capstone-microturbines/c200s )...

Have car or truck manufacturers even looked at this stuff recently ?
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  #6  
Old 05-24-2021, 08:41 PM
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Turbines are incredibly powerful for their size (volume) and weight. But, they have horrible energy efficiency and the throttle response is sloooooow. The M1 tank actually has a turbine engine.

Surface warships often have turbine engines. Commercial ships typically have diesels.... really big ones.

The place I worked at has two decommissioned Vietnam-era ASHVILLE CLASS (PGM-84) gunboats with two diesels and a turbine engine. With the turbine lit up, they could hit 42 kts (48 MPH). They'd plane like a speed boat.
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  #7  
Old 05-24-2021, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mxfrank View Post
AFAIK, the only companies that ever produced turbine cars, even as prototypes, were Chrysler and Rover. Rover took the idea furthest, producing several prototype cars and a racer, piloted at Le Mans by Richie Ginther in '63.

I actually had a ride in a Chrysler turbine car back in 1964.
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  #8  
Old 07-06-2021, 01:33 PM
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ah center lines, now all car's have front wheel drive rims, with positive offsets
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  #9  
Old 07-06-2021, 01:47 PM
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One more turbine story....

Back in the 60s there was a turbine car entered in the Indy 500. It ran away from everyone and looked like the sure winner until it's transmission, which had been tossed together by a bunch of mechanics since one didn't exist, failed.

Afterwards the team was very upfront about the failure of the transmission and why. They just didn't have the time and money to test it like they should have.

But the turbine was banned at Indy after that. The reason given was because it was too reliable. Back then you could count on about 30% of the field losing an engine during the race.

I later heard from an Indy driver who was there the thing was banned because it was used to cheat. The exhaust was up high to keep from torching the race track. So the driver was putting the car into a position to burn the face shield of the other drivers during a pass. This was passed off as an 'accident' that happened a lot of times.

People had to pit to change their helmets.
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Old 07-06-2021, 02:13 PM
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My father rode in the mopar version. The sales pitch included a full glass of water placed on the engine to show how smooth it was and some lady standing behind it to show the lack of waste heat from the rear. The dash was interesting from the polaroids I seen.
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  #11  
Old 07-06-2021, 05:03 PM
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It was my understanding that a bearing took it out. Also I read it was blowing the doors off everything on track.

We have a gas turbine at work that exhaust thru a HRSG, heat recovery steam generator. It is a money maker when gas prices are low. 0 to wide open in a very minimum amount of time.
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2021, 05:37 PM
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A friend of mine was a big deal with a pipeline company. They had a station with a turbine so they could burn crude oil right off the line.

We were traveling from west Texas to Dallas one night and he said he wanted to show me something. It would mean a detour but it would be worth it.

It was night and eventually on the horizon you could see a finger of light pointed to the sky. When we got there it was the exhaust port of the turbine. It was pointed up to let the heat go somewhere besides where a person would be.

It was weird looking from a distance. Total darkness except for the tower of light. Up close it was a tower of flame and ear splitting noise.

He said they only used it when oil prices were lower than the cost of electricity.
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  #13  
Old 07-06-2021, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idle View Post
One more turbine story....

Back in the 60s there was a turbine car entered in the Indy 500. It ran away from everyone and looked like the sure winner until it's transmission, which had been tossed together by a bunch of mechanics since one didn't exist, failed.

Afterwards the team was very upfront about the failure of the transmission and why. They just didn't have the time and money to test it like they should have.

But the turbine was banned at Indy after that. The reason given was because it was too reliable. Back then you could count on about 30% of the field losing an engine during the race.

I later heard from an Indy driver who was there the thing was banned because it was used to cheat. The exhaust was up high to keep from torching the race track. So the driver was putting the car into a position to burn the face shield of the other drivers during a pass. This was passed off as an 'accident' that happened a lot of times.

People had to pit to change their helmets.
I don't doubt that story about burning the faces was told far and wide (though I never heard it) . They did not need such dirty tricks though as the turbine could run all day at its qualifying speed while the piston cars loaded their fuel with nitro to qualify and had to use pure ethanol in the race which made their cars about 10 mph slower than the turbine and Parnelli could do it without breaking a sweat.

At the start he went to the outside on turn one and took the lead from the third row in one swoop. There was no rubber on the track and the other guys were all liked up on the inside from habit. The turbine with its four wheel drive just blew their doors off.

A great moment in racing history.

The speedway restricted the turbines next year so they lost about a third of their power, but with the slick Lotus design still took all the best qualifying spots only to suffer another freak failure near the end......flameout caused by running white gas to get more power I hear.
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  #14  
Old 07-06-2021, 07:24 PM
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Have you ever seen the massive exhaust tips on diesel pick-up trucks? They're so big because they mix outside air with the exhaust before discharging it That's because the exhaust gets so hot from the DPF burn-off that it'd burn off the truck's paint or anybody walking too close to the truck when it was parked and running.

There's a story about legendary NASCAR mechanic Smokey Yunick arguing with NASCAR inspectors about a gas tank of a car in the inspection bay being too big. Finally, Smokey had enough, threw the empty tank in the cockpit of car.. started the car up, and drove a half-mile back to his garage. (The car had plenty of gasoline in places they didn't find it.)
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  #15  
Old 07-06-2021, 08:40 PM
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https://youtu.be/0CAN5nO1ag0

You guys will probably like this! GM coal powder turbine car...Before my time but really neat and different. This is filed in the "cool things I probably wouldnt have learned existed without the internet" dept.

Btw the motorweek retro review playlist is an absolute goldmine for kitschy auto enthusiasts.

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