Chevrolet Turbo Titan III — Back To The Future.
The early '60s produced a period of unique and optimistic automotive engineering. Rival powerplants were engaged in another horsepower race, gasoline remained cheap, and automakers were relatively free from governmental regulation.
The Turbo Titan's III futuristic cabin incorporated a massive, panoramic windshield, while two gaping gondolas on each side of the cab helped feed air into the turbine engine.
The cabin used a fiberglass and steel cab combo. Doors mounted just ahead of the rear wheels on both sides of the skirt provided access to dual batteries and the turbine engine when the cab was electrically tilted.
There were gullwing-style windows, pop-out headlamps and turn signals, and a plush interior, futuristic steering “wheel.”
It was the most novel feature, so called "dial steering system." As strange as it looks, instead of a conventional wheel, the driver steered the Titan III with one of two large dials mounted in front of him. Twin dials mounted on a padded vinyl panel operated the platforms power steering.
Inside the cabin, were space-age seats with full headrests were mounted on each side of a center console, and an automatic shifter handle was mounted in the console. Long trips can be boring without some music, so a four-speaker FM radio and a two-way telephone were installed for the first time in trucks.
The trusk used an existing production truck chassis, including a specially produced 12m stainless trailer, the entire platform had a 15m overall length and an operating gross combination weight of 34tonnes.
The Chevrolet's 5th generation gas turbine engine, GT-309, engine was based on more than 15 years of development. It produced 280hp. Many other manufacturers also considered these engines the power of the future, and several, including Ford, White, International, and Chrysler had fleets of turbine-powered vehicles on the road. Finally, the consensus was that turbines were excellent engines, but not for automotive use.
Retractable square headlamps were mounted within functional air intakes in two banks of three lamps each. The front turn signals were also retractable. A flat exhaust pipe exited through the roof.
Turbo-Titan III, an operational prototype combining advanced truck styling with novel features, was a brave attempt to see the furure of automotive industry, well ahead of its time. Remember, that many trucks from 1960s still looked like this one: