Spurred on by the news that Rover was looking to transfer it’s WW2 jet engine technology to production car use FIAT joined the fray in 1948 led by technical director Dante Giacosa.
FIAT at the time was building building gas turbines for aeronautical and civil applications but in order to maintain secrecy from others in the FIAT empire Giacosa had a team of three engineers develop a purpose built turbine from scratch.
Former Isotta Fraschini stylist Fabio Luigi Rapi was responsible for the shape of the 8001 Turbina which when tested at Turin Polytechnic indicated the drag co efficient was down to a record low of cd 0.14.
Carlo Salamano first tested the 8001 Turbina on the famous oval test track set on the roof of FIAT’s Lingotto building in Turin in February 1954.
With 300hp available the the 8001 Turbina was thought to be easily capable of breaking the 152 mph gas turbine powered world record set by Rover in 1952, however before the Turbina got a chance to go record breaking Frenchman Jean Hebert set a new gas turbine powered record of 191.8 mph in Renault’s purpose built record breaker “Etoile Filante” in September 1956 and it was recognised immediately that this was beyond the FIAT’s capability.
Thanks for joining me on this “Cd 0.14” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !