The contraption you see here, officially called Turbo-Sonic, is also a George Barris machine, put together with help from Les Tompkins, Dick Dean and Tom Daniels at the start of the 1960s, when for some reason carmakers were trying to ride the wave of the nascent Space Age in terms of design.
The thing was conceived as a dragster for the 25th century and is animated by a Turbonique turbine engine tied to a two-speed transmission, a powerplant that is capable of developing 1,000 horsepower and could push the contraption to a top speed of up to 300 mph (482 kph) over a quarter mile.
The car is three-wheeled, with the engine mounted at the rear and constructed from aluminum and fiberglass, shaped not unlike the secret aircraft of its time. Motion is achieved by means of 10-inch steel wheels wrapped in Firestone slicks, while stopping power comes from both hardware you would normally expect on a road machine, like disc brakes, but also an offset blown parachute and four stabilizer wing flaps.
Believe it or not this thing is functional, and was test-driven back in its day, including by means of a remote. Now, it sits in the Jackie and Gary Runyon collection, from where it will sell at the beginning of next year during Mecum’s huge auction in Kissimmee, Florida, with no reserve.
We are not aware of the multi-colored contraption having set any type of records during its time on this planet and, for that matter, we are not even certain it was driven all that much.
For George Barris fans though, and also for people with a thing for the Space Age, the Turbo-Sonic might be just what the doctor prescribed, so we do expect to make quite a splash during the sale in January (there is no estimate made as to how much it may fetch). For effect, the seller throws into the mix vintage photos and postcards with the machine.