BF Classified: 1960 Custom Rocket Powered Racing Kart

Asking Price: $40,000
Location: Coarsegold, California
Title Status: Missing

Seller’s Description: The day of the rocket-powered karts has been over for decades, altho at one time in the ’60s NHRA did allow them. Most of them were powered by twin Turbonique motors, of which there is a long and sad story and history too, some details of which are on the internet by searching under “Classic Rocket Karts”, “Rocket Karts” or similar wording, and in listings for a rocket kart posted on this website in 2015, pictures and comments of my kart can be found by scrolling way down in the link at the end of this listing under the name of Stephen Thor. The movie make or build is “ACME” and this is the only one in existence. One big difference is that the Turbonique engines were connected to the driveshaft, while this kart, named “Peroxide Baby”, is a free-air kart, which is to say the combustion chamber and exhaust nozzel provides it’s thrust, similar to that of all conventional missiles or rockets in the past and present. This is the only known example of this kart in all ways… rocket motor, body, etc. The kart was built around a classic Rupp fiberglass corvette-style kart body but the insides and engineering is all strictly professional and 1/4 mile intended, altho salt-flats all-out speed runs can also be made. The estimated top speed of this kart should be well over 200+ mph if not timing or running on a 1/4 track (as if running on a salt flat), estimated 1/4 mile speed should be around 180+ mph. It has an estimated thrust of approximately 1,000 lbs, altho I am not sure because no other rocket motor of this type has ever been located, however, it is guaranteed to be fully functional if and when you or a friend becomes or is both knowledgeable and competent enough to properly fuel the kart.. Most of the Turbonique-powered karts were of a lay-down, open body style while this one has a mostly enclosed body except for a roof, windshield, and rollbar for a very good reason. It has a single drilled disk brake which will be of little use to you at high speed and is for low speed, non-thrust use. The NHRA accepted these karts back in the ’60s, but silly things like frontal air dams, downdraft rear spoilers, parachutes and wings, meant to keep vehicle or kart on the ground in a straight line and stop it in a timely manner were not always a part of the builds in some cases, stopping it usually consisted of shutting it off via switches or turning off the fuel. Therefore, they had a tendency to go airborne at approx. 160 mph, causing all kinds of problems when they veered off into the stands or to the sides, thankfully by this time at that farther end of the track there were usually few spectators and stands. However, the driver’s injuries, once the aerial honors were over and the kart came down to earth, usually were serious or fatal. I have updated the kart since the pictures you see here with a magnesium steering yoke from a classic fighter plane and a track real carbon fiber seat that alone was $950, Hoosier rear tires and conventional front tires as well, all new.. The kart has, as that tired old saying goes, it is obvious that no expense was spared in the building of this kart and it had been run in the past. It has chrome-moly tubing or frame, professional design, build and engineering, 3 fuel tanks inside, one of which is peroxide, the other two are unknown. There are slots in the racing seat for seatbelts, however, this is highly discouraged as you do not want to be tied to a flaming flying or rolling object with a cocktail of explosive and corrosive fluids aboard… you WANT to be thrown clear. The peroxide level would have to be an estimated 85%. NHRA got tired of injured or dead spectators and drivers from either the flying bombs they became while airborne and the ensuing lawsuits. Some of the explosions while zooming down the track were due to driver error… the driver would get on it at the starting line, the rocket’s combustion chamber would fill and light off and off she goes. However, several inexperienced rocket kart drivers would see that they were not headed perfectly straight from the start, which is somewhat common with conventional drag cars, back off the fuel, straighten out and then get back on it. The rocket’s combustion chamber was not designed to handle or had the space for the additional fuel being forced in and a spectacular explosion would usually be the result, thrilling one and all except anybody associated with the kart. The smart rocket kart driver would just lift his or her foot off of the pedal, keep it off and coast down the track or to the side and prepare it for another run. In any case, the NHRA then limited the runs to 1/8th mile where the possibly airborne take-off speeds could usually not be obtained in the much shorter run. However, there were still too many incidents of these karts “exploding on the pad”, which was usually unhealthy to anybody in range of flying parts moving at high speed interacting with flesh… somewhat the power or lethality of a very large hand grenade. So then these karts were banned altogether, altho some unofficial recent runs can be seen on youtube, usually void of public spectators in the area with only the driver, the crew, and track employees present. Any buyers will be required to sign a notarized statement absolving me of any damages, injuries or deaths should you decide to run it so I will not be harassed by some cheap lawyer on your behalf. . The smart play would to put it in a museum, or an “attention-getter” for openings of new stores, or sold to a movie studio as a working prop. WHAT THIS KART NEEDS: since i have never run it and am no expert on these, it looks like a brake master cylinder, a battery, and a good clean-up is needed. I need to find 2 nuts for the front wheels. I would put a coat of clear over the paint job that is already on it, if you want it better you can use some touch-up paint with a careful mixing of the paint. I do have some lettering paint which you can have for touch-up purposes if you choose to do this, and then put a clear coat over it if you choose to. I can take care of these things for you at an additional cost but it will not be cheap, better to do it yourself or have your body-shop man do it for you. I can also deliver/ship it to your location personally for $1.00 a mile, one-way, in advance. I will require a 50% cash down payment at the time of purchase and upon delivery the other 50%. If you change your mind in the meantime or upon delivery, 100% of the purchase price will be refunded with no hard feelings, however, the shipping or delivery cost will not be refunded, also, once you hand over the cash and the bill of sale and a notarized statement is signed, the sale is then final and no refunds or returns will be allowed. The price may seem high for this kart, and i understand that, but it is very unlikely you will ever see another one for sale or in person except in a museum… ever. It is an original, authentic classic racing legend vehicle from the past which is estimated to have been built in the early 60’s.. Plus I really don’t care if i sell it or not and i will likely just use it for the reasons I already put down.. No offers, lowballers, tire-kickers, bullshitters, craigslist-type shuckters, and hustlers or meth-heads, please. I will provide more recent pictures with the new steering yoke, seat, tires, etc. once I get some new batteries for my camera, please do not consider buying it until you have seen the updated pictures, but it does still look very nice and with the clean-up or whatever as described above it should be in as in the clean shape shown again, even at present it retains about 90% of its looks as the pictures shown altho in several places some paint touch-up and a clear coat would serve it well if you want the paint to look as-new, or it can be left alone to keep that slghtly-worn look. It does not need extensive repairs or restoration. An airbrush on the hood of the lovely young lady is typical for the period on some vehicles, track or street. Feel free to ask questions. Consult your wife before considering it. And if you are not experienced and competent with liquid-fueled rocket motors of this type, do not expect your experience to be accident-free, you may likely seriously injure or kill yourself or others. Buy and use as a drag strip vehicle is at your own risk. If you want any additional photos please ask. No trades. Please do not waste either of our time, altho comments and questions are welcome. Visitors and pick-it-up yourselves are welcome as well with no obligations and I will even buy the coffee. There are some things that a price cannot be put on however, there is no “bluebook” for “vintage or classic rocket karts”. The original intended use for this kart was to be for a working prop for a movie which was never made, However, this is a real, authentic classic racing machine and was used as such and is not just some prop unless that is your intended purpose. And if you change your mind you will receive 100% of your money back, minus traveling expenses if I deliver it. Ask if you want to see the original screenplay for free or you can view it on Amazon books for free under the title of “The Last Friends of Willie Coyote (a slight name change was required to avoid trademark issues)”. You can make a reasonable offer once I am convinced that you are not just some dreaming, drug-fueled, or drunk ya-hoo meth-head.. This listing and kart is no joke, it has been ran, altho it was decades ago and is the real deal and it is very doubtful you will see another one like it for sale. Movie prop studios, museums, racers, store-opening attention-getter exhibit/display seekers are encouraged to give this kart a look. Thank you.. Mike (Stephen) Thor

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