Friday, November 17, 2006
TV Tommy IVO
After a few seasons, TV Tommy retired from racing and sold the vehicle and it was renamed the Alien.
But the car was never to survive, it along with the transporter were destroyed in an accident.
Vampire & Hellbender
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Smith Family Racing
A newer family in the jet car ranks came a few years ago, Mark & Sheila Smith. Mark, Sheila and their two sons toured the U.S. based out of Missouri. The Wild Thing is a GE J-85 powered dragster. After running the car for a couple of seasons, they freshened it up with a new paint job and a new name, Air Force 1.
The beautifully painted car was not to be for long. At the Citrus Nationals in Florida, Ancel Horton driving the Mississippi Madman J-60 powered dragster and a failure. Ancel's car hit Mark's in the drivers compartment just past the finishline. Both cars were destroyed, Ancel had minor injuries, but Mark was severly beat up.
While recupperating, the Smith's were already building the new Air Force 1. By the time the season started Mark was recovered and back racing.
Probably the most widely known jet car of all time would have to be the Green Mamba. Designed, built, driven, owned and just about anything else you can think of by Doug Rose.
Doug started out with the famous Arfon's family. Doug drove one of the Green Monsters for them. After a crash that Doug lost his legs in, He came back and designed and built the Mamba.
The Green Mamba has been running all over the USA since the mid sixtys. Today, Doug takes the Green Mamba out to the circle tracks and does his shows and car burns. Currently based out of Florida, The Green Mamba and Doug are definately worth the trip to see him in action.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
The Backdraft jet funny car was one of the early center sitting funny cars.
Like the more widely known Eastern Raider/Top Secret car of Al Hanna, or Roger Goring's Firestorm/Northern Flame cars from the UK, the driver sat in the center in front of the intake like in a dragster.
A beautiful looking car, but was damaged and rebuilt. Eventually it was parked, and might have been sold to someone in the UK recently.
The Pass - a- Fire car was a Charlie Hand/Tommy O'brien car that Chuck Haynes bought and ran.
He later sold this J-60 powered car to Jett Field. With a name like Jett, what else would he drive.
Jett was based out of Idaho, and ran funny cars for most of his carrer prior to switching to jets.
After repainting and renaming it became, Jet Force. Jett ran the car for a few years before a tragic accident in Spokane took his life.
Jimmy Gonzales ran the Final Option jet dragster. It was a Pratt & Whitney J-60 powered car built by Jerry Segal.
He ran the car for about two seasons before selling the car to Mick Steele.
On a sad note, Jimmy sold the car to focus on his battle with cancer, which he later succumbed to.
Les Shockley's Shockwave. What more can be said. Built for the 1976 season, Les became a trend setter and inovator in the jet car ranks.
After a few years, Les full of new ideas sold the car to Hayden Proffitt. Hayden renamed the car the Hot Streak. Keeping with the wild colors and performance through his time with the car.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
To kick things off, I will post the history of our first jet car, The Emergency 1.
In the early 70's, my dad was driving an econorail dragster. After all his time running Stock, Junior Fuel, and Top Fuel, he wanted to just go out and have fun. At the time the econorail class was new and supposted to be economical. But with everything as you go faster, so does your spending. My dad was never one to go 7.90 if he could go 6.90.
After a few years, Bill Mattio would worked on the fuel cars with my dad, came and talked with my dad. Throwing out words like fun, fast, and putting money in the bank vs withdrawls sparked an interest in this "Jet stuff". Bill was already running the J-34 Westinghouse powered Chicago Fire, and wanted to build a second car. After more discussions, they teamed up and Bill's new car would be the New Chicago Fire, but what to call the old car. After some brainstorming the Emergency 1 "World's Fastest Fire Truck" was born.
The car was taking to Lee Austin to design and build the body to resemble a fire truck, and Dan Onate applied the candy apple red and gold paint to it. All it needed was the final touch, the red strobe on the roll cage!
After running the Emerency 1 for a few years, Bill wanted to build a newer car again. We had decided to sell the Emergency 1 and buy Bill's car. A man named Joe Donaldson bought the car, but not the body or the name Emergency 1. He had a new body designed by someone in Southern Califorina that was a cross between a ski boat and a space ship. He went through the entire car and rebuilt it all.
Unfortunately during the first test fire at Orange County International Raceway, something was wrong and the car was destroyed and Joe seriously injured.
The remains of the car and body was sold and eventually rebuilt into the transforming jet car known as the Vorian.
The Vorian is own by a man in New Mexico, and from what I was told currently in the process of being restored with some assistance by Doug Rose of the Green Mamba fame.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
I should have made this the Jet & Rocket Archive. The two types of vehicles were always the step child of the racing associtations.
But growing up with the exhibition classes, They were always side by side. We hung out together, travel together, and helped each other.
Sammy was always fun to hang out with, even as a kid! When Sammy & my Dad went to England to run the rockets side by side, there were all kinds of stories coming home.
Sammy would do things just to see if it would work or if he could get away with it. I will post more pictures of him. Sammy is definitely missed by a lot of people all around the world!
Jet Car Archive
I wanted to create a spot for Jet Car history. A place where all the stories, photo, and memories can be posted for everyone to read.
I will be posting photo's of all the cars I can find and where a photographer's credit can be made I will. If you know who's photo it is, email me so they can get credit.
Send me any story, photo, graphic, press clippings from the jets and I will post it.
I want to create the most up to date link for the jets also.
Thanks and enjoy...