Unveiled at the 1964 World Fair, “Big Red” was a 96 ft long super-truck powered by an experimental gas turbine engine, designed for the “exciting decade ahead”. The engine delivered 600 HP and had a range of 600 miles.
The cabin accommodation on this huge vehicle is rather refined with a fridge, oven and drinks dispenser. The passenger also got a television set that was shielded to avoid the driver being distracted.
This style of truck never made it to mass production but it is fascinating to see how Ford designers were looking to the future of long-distance haulage in the mid-1960s
The Big Three’s experiments with the gas turbine engine may not have been successful, but they were memorable. This rare Ford clip features Big Red, the Ford turbine truck of 1964. See the mammoth rig in action here.
Originally developed by Ford for the U.S. Navy. Cruising speed was a stated 70 mph, while a fuel capacity of 280 gallons gave the thirsty rig a range of 600 miles. Alas, poor fuel efficiency was part of the turbine’s downfall in ground vehicle use.