Ronald J.Will – Concept Turbo Phantom

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Ronald J.Will – Turbo Phantom (1973)

Participating in a Revell motorcycle competition. I won the custom division with my scale three wheel design 1/8. It was in 1973-74 when there were long gas lines and the cars were just 12-15 mpg. I thought my stylish bike car design would probably double, even triple the mileage. So, the appeal of starting my own auto company has become more important than staying at GM Styling.

I was working on the experimental XP-898 foam chassis chassis that Chevrolet Engineering was experimenting with. The concept was simple: it was basically about designing a chassis / car sandwich frame up and down like a surfboard and fill it with rigid foam. Chevrolet prototype worked well and even offered excellent accident protection. My light bulb went on and I saw this as a method that a small manufacturer (me) could use to build cars without the multi-million dollar tooling costs. Chevrolet Vice President John Delorean's bulb also continued and he saw this same idea as a concept he could use for the car he was secretly planning.

The Turbo phantom created by Ronald J. Will was first presented at Los Angeles – Auto Expo in 1978.

This delirious three-wheeled vehicle, cmade up of a Volkswagen front, secured to a Honda Goldwing motorcycle powerplant, 4 flat cylinders. 999 cm3 (72 x 61,4 mm) 75 ch 9 000 rpm or 110 ch with turbo or Kawasaki 1300, 6 cylinders in line. 1 296 cm3 (62 x 71 mm) 180 ch with turbo. Its synthetic body has a very attractive air penetration coefficient. When the turbo-compressor goes into action, the maximum speed indeed exceeds 140 mph (225 km / h) making it a breathtaking vehicle.

Was presented for the first time at the Auto – Los Angeles car in avril 1978. Created by Ron and Lee Will, the vehicle was built by the Phantom Vehicle Company in California. (UNITED STATES). Ron Will worked as a designer at GM for the Corvette Studio when he launched the Turbo Phantom and the vehicle was tested in the GM wind tunnel, several people called it "Three Wheel Corvette". in California to build the car and establish the Phantom Vehicle company.

The Turbo Phantom has an exceptionally wide position (7 feet) and bass (44 inches high) which, associated with the style of the car, gives it an age spray design. It was powered by a Honda Goldwing turbocharged engine which gave the car a top speed of over 140 my / h and a time of 0 at 60 mph in 6 seconds. The body was made from urethane foam and fiberglass sandwiched and then reinforced with steel spacers. The front suspension was removed from a VW Beetle while the rack-and-pinion steering came from an MG Midget. The vehicle also had a roll bar incorporated in the body and access was via a lifting roof which also raised the steering column and the dashboard.. We know that only three prototypes were built because we think the car was too expensive to produce.

Finally, Ron Will went to work for Subaru as a designer

Turbo Phantom posed in the desert while filming Texaco commercial with Bob Hope.




Virginia Maneval

I am the daughter of Jean Benjamin Maneval, famous urban architect who notably created the Bulle Six Coques, a plastic house from the pop years. You can also find me on my Facebook page or on my page La Bulle Six Coques by Jean Benjamin Maneval.

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