Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A tale of the Tubonique racing cart from the great maniac that drove it! Capt Jack ( no better name could ever be thought of! )

Above two photos from http://zelastchancegaragedu78.blogspot.com/2010/05/draggokart.html

Jack McClure's go kart powered by twin Turbonique t-16 jets, it turns 152mph in the quarter. 400 lbs of thrust.

http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/search/label/turbonique for all the Turbonique info, advertising, and videos I've come across

1965 Z-16 Chevelle called, "The Sizzler", a name that would prove dangerously ironic less than a year after McClure took the driving assignment. Powered by one of Turbonique's "Rocket Drag Axles" the car was a true freak show and ran speed and times totally unheard of from stock appearing cars of the era.

"I ran the sizzler car for one season," McClure said. "I think I ran 25 or thirty dates with it. The car was a real Z16 Chevelle that had one of the Turbonique Rocket Axles in it. The big problem was that all the Turbonique stuff was shit and it didn't hold up. Middlebrooks had lots of ideas and designs but the stuff was always on the verge of breaking or blowing up. I had no idea how dangerous the Turbonique rocket kart was until a few years after the fact and I looked back on my time with it and thought about how lucky I was that the thing didn't blow up."

But back to the Chevelle.

"So the car was able to be driven around on the regular engine and transmission, but you didn't use that on the strip. On the track I would put the car in neutral, hit the button and drive the Chevelle down the track with the rocket axle providing the power and smoking the tires all the way down. The way the rocket axle worked was pretty simple. There was a rocket engine that was ignited when I hit the button. The exhaust (thrust) from the rocket engine would spin this big turbine wheel which was attached to some planetary gears that spun the axles and drove the car. The problem was that the gears and turbine wheels couldn't hold up to the abuse and I had a couple turbine wheels break and even melt on me. All this came to an end when I went through the lights at 162mph, the turbine wheel melted and locked the whole works up tight. I was told the car rolled 12 times. I was lucky not to be killed and I was done with anything that had to do with Turbonique."

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