If you’re the parent of a junior drag racer who thinks that an ordinary quarter mile blast of nitro-fueled acceleration is a bit “samey,” there’s an item on eBay that may interest you. TransTurbine is selling a Jet Powered Junior Dragster, which, as the name implies, is a junior drag-racing car that’s powered by a Boeing turbojet engine.
Jet-powered cars aren't new. They’ve been around since the late 1940s and the engine used in the Jet Powered Junior Dragster was originally fitted to a lorry in 1950. Usually, jet engines were used to turn a drive shaft to power the wheels or to run generators that power electric motors, but the images of the Jet Powered Junior Dragster indicate that the Dragster is a bit more direct. In other words, it’s propelled by the jet thrust itself.
Billed as a “world's first” and a “one of a kind machine,” the Jet Powered Junior Dragster has a chromoly and steel chassis and a bespoke aluminum one-piece body as well as an aluminum floor pan and firewall. The mini rack and pinion steering is controlled by a butterfly steering wheel with a quick disconnect hub. It’s aimed at the junior drag racer and scaled down appropriately, but the seat and harness are designed around an adult, though these can be swapped out for smaller ones.
However, the centerpiece of the Dragster is that engine. It’s a Boeing 502-7 gas-turbine engine, which was first developed in the late 1940s for use on things like unmanned helicopters for the US Navy. This one has been refurbished and modified for drag racing and puts out around 270 pounds of thrust and, if the specs are the same as the original, 300 bhp (223 kW). The two-piece exhaust nozzle is made of stainless steel coated with ceramic for heat proofing. Jet engines are notorious fuel hogs, but one advantage of drag racing is that this car only needs a 7.5 gallon (28.3 l) fuel tank.
The market for the Jet Powered Junior Dragster is seen as those who might use it for sales promotion, or the “ultimate father and son project” for a child who is dead keen on the junior dragster circuit and for the parent who wants to instil an understanding of jet turbine principles and operation. The seller also says that it will make the child an instant “superstar” of the racing world.
The asking price for the Jet Powered Junior Dragster is set at US$20,000.
The video below highlights the features of the Jet Powered Junior Dragster.