When my dad still owned his trucking company. He had a GMC salesman, give him a promotional 45 rpm record, about a prototype gas turbine truck that Gm was trying to develop. The record was really goofy and hard to listen to. Reason why, it was made out of very thin plastic. which made it hard for the needle to stay on. Even with that. I still was able to play it over and over.
On the record, There was a guy who was narrating and in the back ground, you could hear the truck going around a test track . Well , it sounded more like a jet than a truck. One of the things, I remember from the record . Was the guy saying. "Here Comes The Future of Trucking."
Then the truck came flying bye. The salesman who gave the record to Dad . Also gave him a magazine with an article on the development of it. Now fast forward 30 some years and thanks to the Internet. I stumbled across that same article . Sure is Pretty funny looking ride now days. But,I remember as a kid, it looked so cool.
Terry " You know, I really could see Charlie trucking down the highway in it ."
another story about it.
Built upon a mundane Chevrolet tilt cab chassis, the Turbo Titan III was Chevy’s third experiment with a gas turbine-powered truck, but the first actively shown to the public. Perhaps that’s why designers labored over its appearance. A sloped fiberglass cab teetered over the front axle, sporting large air intakes and a chiseled front fascia. Windows opened upwards, revealing twin dials in lieu of the steering wheel. Tri-beam headlamps rotated from within the air intakes, while turn signals, acting much like illuminated semaphores, protruded from the body when activated. A matching trailer with side skirts, custom-built by Fruehauf, didn’t hurt appearances, either.
But what mattered most lied within the beast itself. The engineers within GM’s Research Laboratories donated a new GT-309 gas turbine and coupled it to a customized six-speed Allison automatic (sans torque converter). The motor generated only 280 hp at 4000 rpm, but generated (as most turbines do) a whopping amount of torque at stall speed. Chevrolet claimed they measured close to 850 lb-ft at just above 0 rpm, allowing a fully-laden Titan to get up and moving with little difficulty.
Still, for something billed as the “shape of things to come,” neither the Turbo Titan III nor the gas turbine made any inroads to highway transportation. After traveling the auto show circuit between 1966 and 1967, the Titan was briefly used as a parts hauler before being scrapped. And while GM played with gas turbines in trucks until the mid 1970s, the rising cost of oil - and the poor fuel economy of the turbine - led to its abandonment.