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Anyone heard of Ford's 1964 World's Fair "Big Red"???


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I not only referred to Big Red in the Chrysler Turbine Car thread; my dad worked on it and I thumb nailed how it came to be, how the 650hp gas turbine engine was developed in the Ford Gas Turbine Lab right across the road from the Ford HVAC Lab that I worked in starting in 1972.  A few of those engines were installed in Pacemaker and Hatteras yachts to market test them for marine use.  Also Big Red was on display for a time and during an open house I got to sit in the driver's seat of it.  Another project my dad worked on that was totally different was a program called 100mph Sedan.  This was another US Government inspired program, Big Red was inspired by a government program to reduce over land shipping costs, 100mph sedan was related to the idea the national speed limit would be raised to 100mph on US highways.  My dad designed a 100 tube manometer for that project which consisted of a wood frame in which 100 u-tube manometers were installed and it had 2ft high scrolls that some very slow reacting Kodak photo paper was wound on, then a set of black curtains hung across the width of the frame to cover the tubes and paper.  This contraption sat in the back seat of the car, a 1963 Ford Galaxie with a 427 4 speed powertrain.  The hood of the car had 100 static taps installed over it's surface and the whole point of the test was to measure lift on the front end of the car at various road speeds in an attempt to develop aerodynamics to assure the car stayed glued to the pavement and had good traction at speed up in the 100mph range.  The car was run in the Ford wind tunnel at 20,40,60,80,100 and 118mph (redline for the big FE motor).  At each speed the car was allowed to settle, then the curtains were opened on the manometer and a high powered flashlight exposed the film recording the reading of each of the 100 pressure taps on the hood, then the curtains closed and the film was advanced one full frame and off the next speed they went and repeated the procedure. 

 

As a young kid interested in cars living with a parent who happened to be a manager at Ford Custom Vehicle in the 60's I got to see some pretty amazing stuff.

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On 3/25/2021 at 9:34 PM, Studemax said:

If you are a car or truck guy of ANY age, Big Red is unforgettable. 

I would love to see a road test between 'Big Red' and GM's Turbo Titan III.  MotorCities - The Turbo Titan III Was a Glimpse into the Future of Trucking | 2018 | Story of the Week

 

BangShift.com Turbo titan III

 

And when I first saw photos of the Renault Magnum in the early 1990's, that Ford truck came to mind:  The history of the Renault Magnum - BIGtruck Magazine

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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