[Vwdiesel] turbine cars

Scott Kair scott3491 at insightbb.com
Thu Jun 5 06:31:35 EDT 2003

----- Original Message -----
Subject: Re: [Vwdiesel] turbine cars

> >     They were not at all loud, but whistled.
> They have more exhaust noise than similar power recip engines.

    We didn't have a decibelmeter, but from the stands 50'+-  away, the STP
turbine cars were noticeably quieter than the piston engines.  IIRC, the
piston engines at the time were mostly na's, although there may have been a
vestigal Novi or two in the field.
    The difference may have been that the turbine exhausts were cowled,
while the piston cars ran open headers outside the cowls.
> In aviation, the power demand is ususally constant, and doesn't
> fluctuate much from a given setting (torque),

    Which would make them a good stationary power source.  Might be why the
local power company uses gas turbines for electricity generation at

> I agree that servicing is an issue.  Then again perhaps dealers
> are getting better at dealing with turbocharged diesels, with
> electronic engine controllers.  But I guess that ultimately
> there are enough people smart enough to be trained to service
> them.

    Remember that the research ended over 30 years ago.  Most of the trained
turbine technicians were in the military or working in aviation at the time.
Training of dealer mechanics back then wasn't what it is now.
> > impractical. To my knowledge, that's become conventional wisdom; perhaps
> > it's time to challenge that.
> >     But seeing Parnelli Jones whistle by in that orange STP special was
> > unforgettable.
> >     Scott Kair
> Very interesting story.  Thanks for sharing!
> -Val

    Thanks.  It really was the greatest spectacle in racing back then.  From
turn 3 we could see nearly all the track except the finish line; the Snake
Pit was still an open field- and a spectacle itself- then.  Jones just
stomped on it at the starting line and blew them all away.  Watching him
pass the pack on his high groove was nothing sort of amazing.  It was the
best start since 1963, when Jones had the pole in a roadster, with Jimmy
Clark in a Lotus in the middle and Jim Hurtubise in a Novi on the outside.
    That was, of course, before greed ruined the race.
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