How different the world would be now if this outlandish vehicle had been transformed into the fabled Chrysler Turbine Ghia. One of Exner’s last significant designs before being fired from Chrysler and replaced by Elwood Engel, previously of Ford, was the crazy 1961 Chrysler Turboflite automobile.
The 1961 Chrysler Turboflite was a dream automobile for many people. It was built for Chrysler by Ghia of Turin, Italy, as were many other concepts and exhibition vehicles during the Exner period. The Turboflite was specially designed by Exner to push all the limits as Chrysler's first try at a unique design for a turbine-powered road automobile.
Once in power, however, Engel adopted a far more cautious approach to the vehicle that would ultimately become the Chrysler Turbine Ghia, the legendary limited-production series of bronze-colored coupes. A one-piece passenger canopy, which rose and descended the roof, windscreen, and side glass as a single entity, was one of Chrysler Turboflite's numerous avant-garde innovations.
Standard side-opening doors, on the other hand, were included to enable four people to enter and exit gracefully. The white stripes in the tread and sidewall of the tires make them stand out. The Chrysler-style studio deliberately incorporated a big air brake assisted by the two sweeping tail fins, since, unlike a traditional piston engine, a gas turbine generally does not offer engine braking.
At highway speeds, the flap was stored in a presumably horizontal position, but upon braking, it turned into the vertical position to offer extra braking. Chrysler Turboflite lacked a viable powerplant as a studio glider. To power the many demonstration elements, such as the canopy and electroluminescent lights, a 110-volt power connection was run up through the floor pan.
The Chrysler Turbine Ghia was a limited-production model with an enhanced fourth-generation engine. The cabin has aircraft-inspired seats, pedals, and an instrument panel. The color representation here demonstrates how the Chrysler Turboflite maintained loyal to its initial concept throughout the design and manufacture process.