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Old 07-22-2009, 08:40 PM
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Turbonique (Rocket Kart)

So my father in law just flew to Chicago to pick this thing up. From what I have been told and read it is good for a 6 second quarter mile and 200+ MPH. Those engines put out 300 pounds of thrust each.

I had never seen one before, so I had to share with some fellow hotrodders. If anyone knows anything about these, I would love to hear it.

Josh
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:34 PM
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That's cool!

I remember these being advertised in the back pages of car mags in the 60's. They were used as an add-on to VW transaxles (there were several different variations of this theme over some period of time), but a pair of them on a go kart would be a VERY fast cart!!!

These turbines made a ton of heat, and were more or less "on" or "off". Finding the fuel "Thermolene" (propyl nitrate) might be a bit problematic, should he want to actually try to run this deal, but there are other options, I'm sure, than the original fuel; this type of engine is known for being not picky as to what fuel it runs on- but the specific engines here might be a different story.

I still own and occasionally run a Mac 101 w/3 carbs, on alcohol- and it is fast. But this deal will be in another league all together!

As for the cart, the laid down tanks along side the seat are for oxygen (used to get the fire started) and nitrogen (used to push the Thermolene into the combustion chamber) and the other tank behind the seat is for the Thermolene itself. As kids, we'd dream of rigging one of these things up to whatever was at hand at the time!

They were actually seen fairly often, usually not running, but installed into various and sundry vehicles, around Florida.

There was a VW that I remember from my youth that actually had some success w/this power plant. I remember it running in Florida fairly often, always as an exhibition-type deal. It ran (not at the same time) with Tommy Ivo's 4-engined Buick dragster and the "Lil' Red Wagon" wheelstander at the Valkaria drag strip in FL one time.
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:44 AM
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Talk about strapping a rocket to your A S S!!! Holy Crap!
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:28 AM
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I want one lol, I'd be at the track every weekend if it went that fast. Racing for pinks? Or a thing of cash? either way it would be super fun.
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:48 AM
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I could see running the engines on a modern lay-down type cart, the type w/4-wheel disc brakes and full aerodynamics.

The cart- as pictured- would become airborne over some (yet to be determined) critical speed, I'm pretty sure.

That same layout was de rigueur in the '60's, and could be found w/engines ranging from Tecumseh and B&S 3-1/2 HP to West Bend 6 HP, to Mac 91's and 101's, B-Bombs and Komet's that did haul serious A.

But we're talking 100 mph or so, this deal could be capable of way over twice that, easily- power-wise.
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Old 07-24-2009, 02:56 PM
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Is he going to actually ride that death machine or hang it on the wall as a conversation piece?

Brian
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Old 07-24-2009, 06:01 PM
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When I was a little fart my next door neighbors raced karts. He had a son that was about 5 or 6 years older than me at the time. I think I was about 11 or 12. He had a kart with two MAC 91's w/expansion chambers and God knows what else on it. At the time Interstate 10 was under construction through Beaumont Texas and the completed but unopened sections were a haven for racers on the weekend. You could see anything from gassers, karts, and motorcycles. One Sunday afternoon I was over my neighbors house as they were tuning the kart and they asked me if I wanted to go with them to try it out. I quickly ran home to ask my dad who said yes and we were off. When we got there one of my other neighbors had his gold 55 Chevy gasser and was making loud passes down the concrete. Buddy who was my neighbors son made a few passes with his kart, and a few adjustments returned and asked me to sit on his lap. I did and he scared the holy cra* out of me. I have no idea how fast he went, but it was fast.

The very next weekend I was over Randy Blackwell's house as he was working on his 55 Chevy gasser....and yes he asked me to go with him and his brother out to the unfinished interstate. Randy went on to have several cars he raced. I think that and the weekend before sealed my interest in cars.

VInce
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327 View Post
That's cool!

I remember these being advertised in the back pages of car mags in the 60's. They were used as an add-on to VW transaxles (there were several different variations of this theme over some period of time), but a pair of them on a go kart would be a VERY fast cart!!!

These turbines made a ton of heat, and were more or less "on" or "off". Finding the fuel "Thermolene" (propyl nitrate) might be a bit problematic, should he want to actually try to run this deal, but there are other options, I'm sure, than the original fuel; this type of engine is known for being not picky as to what fuel it runs on- but the specific engines here might be a different story.

I still own and occasionally run a Mac 101 w/3 carbs, on alcohol- and it is fast. But this deal will be in another league all together!

As for the cart, the laid down tanks along side the seat are for oxygen (used to get the fire started) and nitrogen (used to push the Thermolene into the combustion chamber) and the other tank behind the seat is for the Thermolene itself. As kids, we'd dream of rigging one of these things up to whatever was at hand at the time!

They were actually seen fairly often, usually not running, but installed into various and sundry vehicles, around Florida.

There was a VW that I remember from my youth that actually had some success w/this power plant. I remember it running in Florida fairly often, always as an exhibition-type deal. It ran (not at the same time) with Tommy Ivo's 4-engined Buick dragster and the "Lil' Red Wagon" wheelstander at the Valkaria drag strip in FL one time.
I did drive a go cart with one of them at valkaria it was owned by Bob Fulp
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:23 PM
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70 mph in a cart would feel like 200 - I can't even imagine what 200 would feel like... and getting there in 6 seconds wouldn't hardly give you time to soil yourself!
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302 Z28 View Post
... At the time Interstate 10 was under construction through Beaumont Texas and the completed but unopened sections were a haven for racers on the weekend...
VInce
We used to race on un-opened sections of the I-270 beltway around St. Louis when I was a teenager. The bridge westbound across the Mississippi river was closed on the Illinois side, so we'd pull on to the highway, stop then back up on to the bridge. We had room to race and shut down before hitting the 'open' part of the highway.
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by old drag racer View Post
I did drive a go cart with one of them at valkaria it was owned by Bob Fulp
Talk about a small world! I doubt there were many of these running during that time frame, so there's a good chance I saw you making a pass!
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by cobalt327 View Post
That's cool!

I remember these being advertised in the back pages of car mags in the 60's. They were used as an add-on to VW transaxles (there were several different variations of this theme over some period of time), but a pair of them on a go kart would be a VERY fast cart!!!

These turbines made a ton of heat, and were more or less "on" or "off". Finding the fuel "Thermolene" (propyl nitrate) might be a bit problematic, should he want to actually try to run this deal, but there are other options, I'm sure, than the original fuel; this type of engine is known for being not picky as to what fuel it runs on- but the specific engines here might be a different story.

I still own and occasionally run a Mac 101 w/3 carbs, on alcohol- and it is fast. But this deal will be in another league all together!

As for the cart, the laid down tanks along side the seat are for oxygen (used to get the fire started) and nitrogen (used to push the Thermolene into the combustion chamber) and the other tank behind the seat is for the Thermolene itself. As kids, we'd dream of rigging one of these things up to whatever was at hand at the time!

They were actually seen fairly often, usually not running, but installed into various and sundry vehicles, around Florida.

There was a VW that I remember from my youth that actually had some success w/this power plant. I remember it running in Florida fairly often, always as an exhibition-type deal. It ran (not at the same time) with Tommy Ivo's 4-engined Buick dragster and the "Lil' Red Wagon" wheelstander at the Valkaria drag strip in FL one time.
Holy mono-propellent Batman!!!

Turbonique on the loose again! Us oldsters remember their drag axle, strap a thermolene fueled turbine into the rear axle of your Falcon and eat everything insight, just hope you don't need to use the brakes or make a turn.

Then there's the rocket fueled turbo charger, no exhaust backpressure, no power taken from the crank. Kind of like 1960's version of today's nitrous boost.

If you tried to buy Thermolene today, you'd be branded a terrorist and every government agency from the Feds to your local constable would be hunting you. And all you wanted to do was go fast and have fun.

Bogie
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:04 PM
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Speaking of being branded a terrorist, in my naivety I ordered some red phosphorous shortly after it went on some list for being a drug precursor. It makes chemicals react a lot faster than they would ordinarily- it's what makes toy caps (and Armstrong's mix, simple mixture of KClO3, sulfur and RP) go *bang* w/just the blow of a cap gun's hammer, for instance. It's still used on matchbook strikers; I used it for making fireworks. But you'd have thought I had taken possession of freaking uranium or something the way everyone was so worried about me getting a visit from... whoever visits you when you have a banned substance. DEA, maybe?

Anyway, thankfully I got no visits from any fedgov reps or anything. Same thing w/iodine. Common chemical used in countless amateur chemistry experiments but the goddamn dope fiends/cooks abusing it made IT illegal too.
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:51 PM
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Talk about a small world! I doubt there were many of these running during that time frame, so there's a good chance I saw you making a pass!
I mad 2 passes one at 93 mph and one at 87
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sedanbob View Post
70 mph in a cart would feel like 200 - I can't even imagine what 200 would feel like... and getting there in 6 seconds wouldn't hardly give you time to soil yourself!
I have been in a detuned race cart when I took the Jim Rice course in So-Ca and you are not kidding! They are an amazing ride that is for sure. There are some things, like free style rock climbing, sorry, I will pass on the "experience" for one a little more tame that doesn't GUARANTEE death.

Brian



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