Many of these experiments—fixed crankshaft, rotating cylinder radials, opposed piston engines, double sets of counter-rotating reciprocals (what?), sleeve valves, rotary valves and more—date from the dawn of the industry. Like with any nascent technology, these were times for wild experimentation, when nebulous ideas had only just begun to deposit their best attributes, sediment-like, into the soil of impending rules and standards.
Chrysler began experimenting with turbine-powered cars as early as the first years of the 1950's, with engines ran on test cell dynamometers and in stock-looking sedans racking up thousands of largely trouble-free hours and miles of operation.
Encouraged by an unexpectedly straightforward and successful development program—including the small, glorious run of now-legendary semi-production cars—Chrysler came within what was likely weeks of building turbine-powered New Yorkers on a large scale in 1981. Design was complete, tooling was underway, and Iacocca had given the green light.
The poster car for the Malaise Era came within striking distance of being one on of the most important and desirable automobiles ever built, anywhere, at any time. Marinate on that.
You can read much more about this, as well as the Mopar turbine's near 30-year long development program here on Allpar's excellent history write-up.
|picture a world where this is a desirable classic|