AUTOS: Whoosh!

General Motors this week rolled out the most Buck Rogersish automobile ever to come out of Detroit, its experimental XP-21 Firebird (see cut). The plastic-bodied Firebird closely resembles Douglas' supersonic F4D Skyray, with its sweptback delta wings (for stability), its vertical tail fin, and plastic bubble enclosing the driver's seat. Behind the driver's seat, the Firebird has a gas turbine engine, the first in a U.S. car. The small, kerosene-burning engine drives a turbine that transmits power directly to the wheels.

At full throttle, the Firebird can do 150 m.p.h. on a straight...

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