Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Got Thermolene?

I wrote about the abject insanity, and delirious optimism of home-made rocket cars in my entry Turbines, Hot Rods and the Optimism of the Space Age.  There seemed to be a lot of similarity between the engines in the different vehicles.  What were those cool ribbed spheres?  How the heck did they work?

And then I learned about Turbonique.  

"But there is one name that stands alone at the apex of the daredevilry supply industry: the Turbonique Company of Orlando, Florida.

Though the company no longer exists, mere mention of the name "Turbonique" still inspires a shudder of awe among drag racing enthusiast, the company's principle target market.
Even in the Wild West atmosphere of 1960s drag racing, Its products represented the zenith of no-compromise, crazyass crazy.
Recall Acme, that enigmatic mail order purveyor of catapults and jet skates to cartoon coyotes? Pikers, compared to Turbonique."
Turbonique made, among other things  "thrust engines"...
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Turbine powered "drag axles"....
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and, of course, turbine powered "liquid driven superchargers."untitled image
All of these lovely devices were powered by a rocket fuel called Thermolene.  As if pushing your car with a bomb, with a nozzle on it, was not crazy enough, they made superchargers, powered by nozzle bombs that are likely to also make your engine explode.  That's two great explosions for the price of one.  Thermolene indeed.
But that gave me an idea.  I've been thinking about how to make a hot rod for 24 Hours of Lemons.  Maybe this self powered turbocharger thing might work, only without the Thermolene, thank you very much.  Why couldn't we build a leaf blower powered supercharger.  
Looks like I'm not the first person to have this idea.More Leaf-Blower Supercharger Photos Found!

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