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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Had U ever know the first French's turbine-powered car?

Some time ago we discussed the gas turbine car produced by Italian auto company, Fiat and one of American auto giants, General Motors. So, on this occasion we will discuss the gas turbine car made by less-known French company named SOCEMA Gregoire.
The SOCEMA Gregoire is appeared and sat on display at the Rétromobile 2015 in Paris, France. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2L2MlJO)
An important thing should be underlined, where the aviation industry also provides a lot of creative inspiration and innovation to the world's automotive. At that time, the aircraft industry developed designs and construction schedules of turbojet and turbo propeller aircrafts.

There is a French company named SOCEMA (Société de Constructions et d'Equipements Mécaniques pour l'Aviation) which is engaged in the construction of mechanical equipments for aviation, which since 1949 has been actively participating in several aviation exhibitions to show off their machine products. 
The SOCEMA Gregoire is appeared with a streamlined body, and also utilized a gas turbine instead of a conventional combustion engine. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2JHLUUI)
The company is knew also making and developing the airplane turbines, in the same time, they are also interested in applying the turbines to the land vehicles. Then the idea to design a very compact gas turbine engine and install it into a car had been born.
The Hotchkiss-Gregoire, one of advanced car models engineered by Jean-Albert Grégoire in the early 1950s in co-operation with the long-respected Parisian luxury car maker. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/36wqvGH)
For the production of automotive parts, due to the SOCEMA did not have the competence in this field, it was then submitted to Jean-Albert Grégoire. No wonder, if the car uses a lot of automotive parts from Hotchkiss-Grégoire, especially the alpax cast carcass, as well as a four-wheel independent suspension with variable flexibility.
The SOCEMA Gregoire is built based of Hotchkiss-Grégoire with the streamlined body made in aluminum at Hotchkiss. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3mzi8Qz)
The car body takes the form of a magnificent coupe with a tapered line made in aluminum at Hotchkiss, with the aerodynamic study resulted in an exceptional Cx of 0.19. As for the bow, it is adorned with an air intake is resemblance the one on a jet plane. For the transmission was chosen the Cotal electromagnetic. Given the fact that the turbine does not produce a braking effect upon deceleration, the TELMA electromagnetic brake system is added to the transmission.
The front of the SOCEMA Gregoire is the part that clearly implies that this is no ordinary car. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2JHLUUI)
Its 100 hp lightweight turbine called TGV-1 Cema Turbo conventionally consisting of three components: a turbocharger consisting of a high pressure turbine (45,000 rpm) driving a centrifugal compressor, a two-stage drive (low pressure) turbine rotating at half the speed of the high pressure turbine (ie 25,000 rpm) and reduction gears (ratio 5 to 1). The gas turbine attached into the car prototype had a weight of 130 kg (or 280 lbs), and (in theory) it was designed to accelerate the 1,300 kg (2,800 lbs) vehicle up to a speed of 200 kph (120 mph).
The front of the SOCEMA Gregoire is adorned with an air intake is resemblance the one on a jet plane. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3luYpA9)
Because there are so many obstacles that arise and hinder the completion of the car project such as the problem of temperature, consumption, and the car building cost coupled with a complex brake system design. The final development of the SOCEMA Gregoire (in fact) was far from being accomplished. In October 1952, the car was finally shown off at the 1952 Paris Auto Show so that the expo visitors could find and witness there's an amazing car powered by turbine behind its beautiful bodywork.
By covered rear wheels, generous use of glass and aluminum-made body as well even without a gas turbine, that shows it was an advanced design. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/2JHLUUI)
Shortly after the prototype has been done its official presentation to the journalists and finished one series of test as well, so the futuristic car project of the SOCEMA Gregoire was discontinued. And currently the SOCEMA Gregoire is sat on display at the Museum 24 Hour of Le Mans (Musee des 24 Heures du Mans) the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France as the property of the Car Club of the West..  *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CLASSICS | GOODWOOD ]
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