Barrett-Jackson 2011: Woodill Wildfire is a turbine-powered thing of beauty

1955 Woodill Wildfire at Barrett-Jackson – Click above for high-res image gallery

Before stumbling upon this 1955 Woodill Wildfire here at the Barrett-Jackson festivities in Scottsdale, we weren't even aware that such a car existed. And this is one of the reasons why Barrett-Jackson is such a cool event.

Apparently, an employee of McDonnell Douglass (we'd guess with the last name Woodill...) built an experimental turbine engine originally intended for use in a helicopter. First seen in 1952, this machine is recognized as the world's first production fiberglass-bodied automobile. For what it's worth, the Corvette didn't come until late 1953.

According to the official Barrett-Jackson auction page, the engine puts out 310 horsepower at the crank at a stratospheric 37,500 rpm. This particular machine, built in 1955, was reportedly clocked at 137 miles per hour on a dry lake bed and then sat for 40 years until being restored to its current condition.

See the proceedings for yourself live and in living color over at Speed's online streaming channel. You can also play along with Speed's online Fantasy Bidding game – we only hope you're better at guessing these values than we are...

Barrett-Jackson 2011: 1955 Woodill Wildfire Turbine Convertible
Barrett-Jackson 2011: 1955 Woodill Wildfire Turbine Convertible
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Photos copyright ©2011 Jeff Glucker/AOL

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