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Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Amazing link: The Turbonique

The '60s were a decade of experimentation - with space exploration, with making cars go faster, and with mind-altering substances. In short, it was the perfect decade for someone to invent the Turbonique. They built, among other things, a Drag Axle that had a 1,300 hp turbine engine attached, and rocket assists for your car or go-kart. Iowahawk has unearthed a remarkable collection of pictures illustrating the company's products and posted a very interesting write-up. Pictures include what may very well be the real-life inspiration for a well known automotive urban legend: They have an actual photograph of a Pontiac GTO powered by not one, but two JATO units. Check it out!

I have one of the 1966 Turbonique catalogs and have spent many enjoyable hours in the last four decades imagining what I could do with it's contents. It's more "wishbook" than Sears ever dreamed of.
For those interested in using Gene Middlebrooks (Turbonique) monpropellant engines, ethylene oxide is a good replacement for propylene nitrate. I've used both. While ethylene oxide has a lower boiling point, its more readily available.

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