1968 HOWMET TX
Powered by a helicopter turbine
An innovative waste-gate system allows the turbine to be adapted to car driving
A car regularly entered by Ascott Collection in historic races
LE MANS CLASSIC
FIA MASTERS SPORTS CARS
CLASSIC ENDURANCE RACING by PETER AUTO
DAYTONA CLASSIC 24 HOUR by HSR
ROLEX MONTEREY MOTORSPOSTS REUNION
SEBRING CLASSIC 12 HOUR by HSR
ALUMINUM & FIBERGLASS
400 HP. @ 57 000RPM
An iconic car
The Howmet TX was developed and built by the tandem of Bob Mc Kee and Ray Heppenstall to race in the 1968 World Endurance Championship. It was powered by a helicopter turbine. One of the major technical innovations of the Howmet TX was the waste-gates system, which allowed for immediate response time under acceleration and braking.
The turbine produces 400 horsepower for a total weight of 750 kg... a great way to compete with the best competitors. The Howmet TX is part of the prestigious lineage of American racing cars that have shaken up the order established by European brands such as Ferrari or Porsche. Like the Chaparral (with which it has a family resemblance) and the Ford GT40, the Howmet TX has left a lasting impression. Those who have seen it drive still remember its distinctive sound and the unique scent of paraffin that disperses after it passes...
A history of great racing
In 1968, this unique car competed in endurance races such as the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Brands Hatch 500 BOAC, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It is the only turbine powered car in the world to have won a race. In 1970, it also won speed records.
A complex restoration
In 2005, the car was imported from Missouri (USA) by Xavier Micheron. It then underwent a major restoration. The turbine that equipped the car was not equipped with the precious power management system so particular to the Howmet TX. Without this system, the car would have been unusable in a historic competition...
A laborious research and documentation process was then undertaken. Indeed, since Ray Heppenstall, the creator of this innovation had disappeared, it was necessary to contact numerous people in the United States and Europe in order to gather knowledge and know-how on this subject... This was a difficult exercise, especially as this technology had fallen into oblivion.
Thanks to the meeting of passionate men of art and to tenacity, the restoration of the turbine was completed two years after its beginnings... This phase was particularly delicate because it was very difficult to convince a company with expertise in helicopter turbines to agree to modify a turbine of such proportions. Indeed, the restoration of the gas management system of the time required to perforate the turbine body, some internal parts and to graft exhaust pipes connected to discharge valves...
A successful return to the track
The restoration of the Howmet TX has been a great adventure full of encounters, friendships and success: In 2008, the Howmet TX took part in the Le Mans Classic and returned to the legendary Le Mans 24-hour race track for the first time in 40 years. Xavier Micheron drove it down the Hunaudières straight at a top speed of 310 km/h....
It then took part in numerous historic competitions, including the Le Mans Classic in 2010 and 2012, and the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it was invited every year.
It has recently joined the very prestigious ROFGO Collection, which brings together all the cars that have been sponsored by the famous orange and blue brand. Indeed, the Howmet TX wore the GULF colours on its sides when it was racing in Europe at the time.
Ascott Collection acquired the Howmet Tx GTP4 in 2015. It is now part of the Collection and is regularly entered by Xavier in historic races. The fate of the Howmet TX and Xavier's destiny are intimately linked!