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Ford's Big Red and GM's Turbo Titan III gas turbine trucks... That's what the future looked like in 1966 says Biglorryblog!

  • 18 April 2009
  • By Biglorryblog

Tubro Titan.JPG

There I was quietly browsing through the terrific AdClassix website which has a whole load of US vintage truck ads from the 40s, 50. 60s and 70s. Out of curiosity I open the entry on the GMC Turbo Titan III and all of a sudden I'm hooked. Armed with a name I then google it and come up with this picture... And thanks to the Nextautos website (where would we be without the internet?).

I learn that the GMC/Chevrolet trucks Turbo Titan III was unveiled to a a stunned industry in 1966. Apparently it was built on a regular Chevrolet tilt cab chassis but with a fibre glass cab with all sorts of '60s futuristic interior styling. And sitting behind was a Fruehauf '20,000 rivets in close formation' traler with natty side skirts. Underneath the hood was a new GT-309 gas turbine which, while it only offered 280hp at 4,000rpm it had close to 1,152 Nm of torque just above '0' rpm! So it wasn't hard to get a fully-loaded Titan up and running. After appearing in various auto shows and a brief spell hauling GM parts it was eventually scrapped.

66chevturbotitan.jpg

Meanwhile here's an ad for it that's on the adclassix site too... A rare colour shot from 1966.

And speaking of US Gas Turbine trucks I could hardly ignore Ford's Big Red experimental gas turbine tractor which I'm led to believe had 600hp. I recall blogging on it that it was used in a Coast-to-Coast publicity stunt.

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Meanwhile, click through here for more Gas Turbine trucks...

LGT2.JPG

Thanks to 'Two-Stroke' Biglorryblog is able to bring you the shots of the magnificently-restored Leyland Gas Turbine truck from the late 60s. It's been brought back to life by Tony Knowles and turned up at last year's vintage and classic truck bash at Gaydon. Meanwhile, thanks to the wonderful internet I've managed to find yet another gas turbine tractor in the Turbo Titan III. Now if only I could find the pictures of the gas-turbine Mack COE that Gibb Grace drove for Commercial Motor which I saw many years ago in a cupboard somewhwre...