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Did You Know That General Motors Had A Hybrid Car Developed In 1969?

Did You Know That General Motors Had A Hybrid Car Developed In 1969?

Imagine our surprise when our Mopar-loving father in law was looking through an old copy of Hot Rod magazine from 1969 and found the GM ad below. The ad is for an “experimental” model called the Stir-Lec 1 and it is a freaking hybrid, using a Stirling engine to generate electricity for the batteries that actually provide the power for the car.

We’ve never heard of this thing before, haven’t seen any photos, and didn’t know that it existed at all, and we’re kind of blown away that the company has not at least made mention of it with the promotion it has been doing with the upcoming and much anticipated Volt.

Sure, in terms of the technology of today this thing is about as crude as a concrete block, but it must have been space-aged stuff back in the late 1960s.

The whole thing was packaged up in an Opel Kadett body per the wording in the old advertisement.

Is there a chance that this car is buried in the basement of a GM engineering building? Did it ever actually exist as a real car? Does anyone know anything more about this project?

Once again, there’s nothing new under the sun. This is wild!

1969 GM hybrid car ad

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11 thoughts on “Did You Know That General Motors Had A Hybrid Car Developed In 1969?

  1. ColoradoKid

    Did you know Ferdinand Porsche had a fully running hybrid on the road ….. in 1906 ?

    So much for GMs …. innovations ;-)

  2. John T

    hah! thought it looked like a Holden Gemini in the side profile! Aussies got a development of the Opel Kadett and renamed it the Gemini…. GM stole a few Opels over the years… Commodores were nicked off an Opel too.

  3. anthony

    The America that was. You would think they would have made it known years ago that they had it first,but no.

    1. mooseface

      I’m guessing that it was working as a coolant for either the generator, electric drive motor, batteries, capacitor, or inverter.

    2. Matt Cramer

      Stirling engines are an external combustion design – basically, Stirling tried to take the Carnot engine, which had been a theoretical yardstick for how efficient you could possibly get an engine to run, and actually build one. It’s similar to a steam engine in that the working fluid isn’t in direct contact with the heat source. They’re a bit more efficient if you fill the cylinders with helium.


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