When it was unveiled on the 1964 World’s Truthful in New York City, Ford’s monolithic turbine-powered truck – affectionately dubbed ‘Massive Crimson’ – was hailed as the way forward for motoring.
At 13 toes tall, it stood two and a half instances the peak of a mean automotive. Its tandem trailers, stretching out 100 toes, have been twice the size of a Tyrannosaurus rex.
And its futuristic 600-horsepower gasoline turbine engine satisfied each the car-loving public and Ford motor executives that Massive Crimson would usher in a brand new period of American motoring.
Massive Crimson’s cab might maintain a kitchen full with beverage dispensers, a fridge, and an oven. There was additionally an incinerator rest room and a tv that was seen from the passenger’s seat.
Prime executives at Ford have been eager to capitalize on its fame and mass-manufacture the prototype, however the gas-guzzling turbine-powered engines swiftly led to its downfall.
New environmental laws, large manufacturing prices and the vagaries of states’ legal guidelines very almost noticed Massive Crimson consigned to the crusher.
However sheer success noticed it not solely survive, however be lovingly restored to its former glory, by a secretive truck fanatic who has agreed to inform Massive Crimson’s story for the primary time.
At 100 toes lengthy, and with a gasoline turbine engine, Massive Crimson brought on a stir when it was launched to the general public on the 1964 World’s Truthful in New York Metropolis
With its darkish pink metallic paint job, and silver-candied metallic wings, Massive Crimson turned heads wherever it went
There was loads of area within the truck cab for a kitchen – full with fridge, oven and bathroom – and a tv seen solely to the individual within the passenger seat
Massive Crimson’s whereabouts have been the supply of feverish hypothesis on web message boards and at auto reveals for many years.
However now Lee Holman, proprietor of Ford’s former factory-sponsored racecar group Holman-Moody, has who advised The Drive the weird story of how he got here to personal Massive Crimson’s cab for a interval within the Seventies.
After the 1964 World’s Truthful, Massive Crimson had criss-crossed the nation attending automotive festivals and promotional occasions for Ford.
Holman advised The Drive that at one such occasion, The Omni automotive present in Atlanta in 1970, Massive Crimson had been drained of its oil and gas earlier than being positioned on show.
Afterwards a Ford worker who had flown in from Detroit to return the truck, tried to begin the engine earlier than refilling the oil.
The engine ‘melted’ on ignition. Ford then employed a truck-trailer to tow the supersize truck’s cab again to Detroit.
Nonetheless, the tow-truck broke down close to Charlotte, North Carolina, they usually requested if it may very well be saved at a hangar owned by the Holman-Moody group at Charlotte-Douglas Worldwide Airport.
Holman defined to The Drive that his father John Holman fell out with Henry Ford II after the motoring large abruptly canceled their racing contract, because it tried to cut back emissions following the growth of the Clear Air Act in 1970.
And when Ford Motor Firm organized for one more tow truck to gather Massive Crimson, his father reportedly advised the automotive large: ‘P*** off, Massive Crimson is ours’.
By the late Seventies, with Massive Crimson falling into disrepair, the Holmans determined to promote.
Massive Crimson was hailed as the way forward for turbine transport when it was unveiled within the Nineteen Sixties. It attracted 1000’s of holiday makers at Ford’s HQ and at automotive festivals throughout the nation
Massive Crimson was in a position to match a complete kitchen in its entrance cab, together with a fridge, oven, tv and incinerator rest room
The modern design and huge measurement – 100 foot lengthy and 13 foot tall – made Massive Crimson stand out because it traveled throughout North America within the Nineteen Sixties
Massive Crimson’s cab, seen right here, was lovingly restored by a thriller proprietor over two years within the Eighties, however its twin trailers seem to have been misplaced for good
The brand new purchaser, who bought it for an undisclosed sum and nonetheless owns Massive Crimson to today, had been transfixed ever since he noticed the truck’s unveiling on the World’s Truthful.
The Drive tracked down and spoke to the brand new proprietor, who solely agreed to share his story of restoring it to its former glory on the situation that any figuring out particulars comparable to his location, title and occupation, be stored secret.
The brand new proprietor’s dream was to make Massive Crimson roadworthy once more, whereas sticking as intently as attainable to the engine’s authentic, turbine-powered specs.
This introduced a number of obstacles: not least the very fact the motor had been left utterly incapacitated by the Ford Co worker’s makes an attempt to begin it with out oil.
So the proprietor traveled to Ford HQ in Dearborn, Michigan, in 1983, to glean valuable insights from the mechanics and engineers who had introduced Massive Crimson to life.
He then turned to a California firm Engine Applied sciences Company who had bought Ford’s gasoline turbine expertise after it was deemed out of date.
He was in a position to buy a brand new 707 engine, and known as upon Massive Crimson’s caretaker at Ford, a person named John Stopa, to see that it was put in correctly.
Over a number of months, the thriller proprietor stripped the truck cab of its authentic paint job and punctiliously replicated the darkish pink and silver-candied metallic shade scheme.
Painstaking repairs to the physique and wiring have been accomplished over two years, till the proprietor was lastly glad it had been restored to its World’s Truthful glory.
‘I loved bringing an outdated truck again to life,’ the proprietor advised The Drive.
However whereas Massive Crimson’s cab has been saved, the identical cannot be mentioned about its trailers.
After the cab was misplaced to Ford, the enormous twin trailers additionally disappeared, and look like misplaced to historical past.