The Drive has published a report on the search for an experimental Ford gas turbine truck, shown back in 1964 and disappearing in the early 80s. It turned out that the giant truck known as Big Red is in excellent condition - but its current owner does not intend to show the rarity to anyone and generally wants to remain anonymous.
The premiere of the gas turbine tractor and two trailers designed for it at once took place at the World Exhibition at the same time as the debut of the first Ford Mustang. The height of Big Red reached 4 meters, and the length of the entire road train exceeded 30 meters. The gas turbine engine installed under the cab developed about 600 hp.
- The novelty made a kind of sensation, but later the project was scrapped and since the beginning of the 80s nothing has been heard about Big Red. The data was not even preserved in the Ford archives. Journalists were able to trace almost the entire biography of the unique prototype from the moment it disappeared from sight.
- It turned out that in the late 70s, the truck belonged to the Holman-Moody sports team, which was then supported by Ford, and it got to the athletes almost by accident. The current team leader told the publication that initially the car was in the Holman-Moody boxes after a breakdown at one of the exhibitions. They tried to start the engine of the truck without engine oil, which led to irreversible damage, and the sports team simply left it for a while. However, they never took it, and later officially transferred it into ownership.
The car was kept by the racers for about 10 years, and in the end it was sold to the very first enthusiast, who, as it turned out, considered himself a Big Red fan from the moment of the premiere. He still owns the truck to this day, and the car is now completely restored, including the gas turbine engine. To do this, the current owner was forced to look for owners of Ford technical documentation for the family of motors and engineers who participated in their development, order the production of the required spare parts according to old drawings, and the like.
- As a result, the burned out engine was replaced with a similar one, but developing less power - 525 hp. In addition, the current owner restored the body and brought the truck to almost its original appearance. The work took two years and was completed about 35 years ago. Since then, Big Red has been stored in a special hangar, and left there for the last time around 2000. At the same time, according to the owner, sooner or later Big Red will take its rightful place in the Ford factory museum. It is noteworthy that trailers built specifically for the truck have not yet been found.
- Chrysler also experimented with gas turbine engines in the 60s of the last century. One of the car prototypes built at that time was recently put up for sale, and its price can be estimated at millions of dollars.