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The Gas-Turbine General Motors “Bison III”


kscarbel
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Of all the concept trucks of the 1960s, certainly the General Motors Bison III was the most futuristic of them all.

The Bison began life as Bison I (XP757) in 1959.

Bison II (XP795) incorporated an aerodynamic design resulting from extensive wind tunnel work, and featured a patented design for standardized containers.

A “see-thru” version of the Bison II (XP794) showed the regenerative gas-turbine system and other features.

General Motors put the Bison III (XP?) on display for the first time in 1964 at the 1964-66 New York World’s Fair, an aerodynamic gas-turbine concept truck designed to carry containerized cargo with utmost efficiency.

GM’s design goals were centered around the idea that freight loaded into globally standardized cargo containers could be automatically loaded, unloaded, sorted and stored by electronically-controlled equipment. At modern freight terminals, the containers would be transferred by automatic equipment to local delivery trucks.

The Bison concept had two General Motors developed GT309 gas-turbine engines rated at 280 and 720 horsepower located above the cab.

Part of GM’s “Futurama” exhibit, the Bison’s low cab forward design had seating for two ahead of the engine and wheels. Drivers entered the aerodynamic cab through a forward-tilting canopy. A cab entry step folded out as the canopy opened.

Drivers steered the Bison using two coupled hand grips on a console extending over the driver’s lap.

The Bison had a trailer locking device and a four-option steering arrangement that resulted in exceptional maneuverability in tight, urban environments.

General Motors said the Bison was capable of pulling conventional semi-trailers with an adapter.

Combination integral jack and sand dispensers were located between the axles on each side of the truck to facilitate tire replacement.

The GM division logos on the trailer remind one of just how broad a presence General Motors once had.

Frigidaire home appliances were a technology and sales leader. Even today, it’s not uncommon to visit an older home and see an oven with the logo “Frigidaire – Product of General Motors”. GM founder William Durant invested his personal money in 1918 to buy Fort Wayne-based Guardian Frigerator Company, who’d invented the first refrigerator in 1916, and renamed the company Frigidaire.

AC was named after Albert Champion. He’d worked with the Stanhan bothers who’d founded Champion Spark Plug before being hired by William Durant to produce plugs for Buick.

United Delco (Dayton Electrical Laboratory), previously United Motors, was also formed by GM legend William Durant.

The fourth logo on the trailer is that of General Motors' Central Foundry Division. The division included 3 plants: Saginaw Malleable Iron, Danville (which was purchased from the Federal Government), and a foundry operated by the Harrison Radiator Division in Lockport, New York. This plant was closed in 1948 when a new Grey Iron Foundry in Defiance, Ohio was added. In 1949, an addition was added to the existing foundry in Danville, Illinois. In 1967, the Central Foundry Division celebrated its Golden Anniversary and was recognized as the largest foundry organization in the world, employing approximately 11,000 people.

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On 7/12/2013 at 10:12 AM, bulldogboy said:

While GM owned Frigidaire, Ford owned Philco appliances and TVs. Kelvinator was owned by either Chrysler or Studebaker (don't remember which one). These companies wanted to be involved in all areas of your life.

bulldogboy

I think Chrysler was Air Temp

BULLHUSK

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While GM owned Frigidaire, Ford owned Philco appliances and TVs. Kelvinator was owned by either Chrysler or Studebaker (don't remember which one). These companies wanted to be involved in all

areas of your life.

bulldogboy

Kelvinator was Nash which then became Rambler/AMC.

"If it's all the sime to you... I'll droyve that tankah"   Max Rockatansky (The Road Warrior)

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Kelvinator was Nash which then became Rambler/AMC.

Studebaker owned/ owns Signal Sat and STP

"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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Ok-and didn't Ford also have a gas turbine at the 64 Worlds Fair? seems like that was a lot more "practical" vehicle than the GM version. they then actually had their turbine in a W series that was in used in the Ford internal fleet .

What in any case killed the further development of turbines for trucks?

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