See this 1956 Rover T3 gas turbine at Engineering Materials Live!

A visit to the Engineering Materials Live event at the acclaimed British Motor Museum at Gaydon (immediately adjacent to the JLR and Aston Martin facilities) will allow you to view almost 300 of Great Britains’ most interesting cars, including this one, for free!

The Rover gas-turbine development programme stemmed from work the company did on Whittle jet engines during the Second World War. Rover’s first turbine car, built in 1950 and called JET 1, achieved more than 150 mph in speed tests at Jabbeke in Belgium in 1952.

The T3 at the Museum was Rover’s third turbine car, designed by Spencer King and Gordon Bashford. The turbine is rear-mounted and the chassis incorporates four-wheel-drive and De Dion rear suspension. The modified 2S/100 gas turbine has a centrifugal compressor which rotates at up to a maximum of 52,000 rpm.

All this new technology was clothed in a pretty glass-fibre coupé body, and many ideas trialled here found a place in the Rover 2000 range of saloon cars. Among these were four-wheel disc brakes, all coil spring suspension and the De Dion suspension at the rear. The turbine car was a perfectly useable road car, even though paraffin consumption was unacceptably high, with fuel economy of just 13-14 miles to the gallon at best.

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Tom Austin-Morgan

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