Chrysler's stunning Turbine Ghia, produced in 55 copies and tested by more than 200 households across America in 1964-66, is easily the company's most famous concept car. However, at the same time, there was a lesser-known sibling called the Typhoon, which featured strikingly similar styling but remarkably different packaging. While the Turbine Ghia was a two-door hardtop with seating for a family of four, the Typhoon was a sporty two-place roadster with a hideaway folding steel top.
Sources report that the Typhoon came along first; meanwhile, the styling of the two cars is of a piece, and they co-existed in the same program in the same timeframe, their identities somewhat intertwined. Charles Mashigan styled both the Typhoon and the Turbine Ghia under the direction of Elwood Engel, Chrysler's newly recruited chief of styling. When the first 55 Turbine Ghia hardtop bodies were delivered from Italy to Detroit and uncrated in January of 1963, it was wearing Typhoon emblems on both rear quarter panels.
One more noteworthy difference between the Turbine Ghia hardtop and the Typhoon sports car: The Typhoon was designed to install the Chrysler A831 fourth-gen gas turbine engine in the front or the rear of the chassis. However, the only example built was a studio model with no engine or drivetrain, so it never ran under its power. The Typhoon was last seen in public in a presentation at the 1964/65 World's Fair in New York City, where it was repainted a brilliant metallic silver.
Source: automobileart.homestead.com - "Chrysler Corp., Exner Concept Cars 1940 to 1961"; macsmotorcitygarage
Images: automobileart.homestead.com; Custom_Cab's photostream