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History Dale Grantham's Turbine Dragster

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Speed Gems, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 2,378

    Speed Gems
    Member

    I just happend to be on Facebook a bit ago so i'm steeling it for this thread. I see to recall seeing pictures of it in another thread about a compressed gass dragster which is not the same car.
    Dale Grantham's Turbine Dragster. In 1963 Dale Grantham built this 750 lb 800 hp dragster using twin kerosene burning turbines - normally used to start DC-8 engines - to drive the rear axle. Water injection made the combustion temperatures manageable. The car ran deep into the 9's but was way ahead of the tire technology and never hooked up. NHRA later banned these low slung designs.
    16939574_1328636557199270_7490007305961561560_n.jpg 17155344_1328638810532378_5325783068833207971_n.jpg 17155531_1328638270532432_5761077710317862010_n.jpg
     
  2. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 2,378

    Speed Gems
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  3. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,309

    raven
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    I'd love to drive that...
    r
     
  4. Balls to ride that bomb!
     
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  5. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 2,378

    Speed Gems
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    What could possibly go wrong.:D
     
  6. Those tanks are huge. Did it take that much to get down the quarter? I'm betting that 750 lb weight was done dry.
     
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  7. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 2,378

    Speed Gems
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    I don't know. I think theirs a n article in the Oct. '62 issue of HOT ROD or maybe thats the compressed air car i'll have to check when i get a moment.
     
  8. Compressed air car. I'm going to have to check this guy out, it sounds like this guy was thinking outside the box big time. I love the early speed experiments it was wide open with little rules.
     
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  9. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 2,378

    Speed Gems
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    The compressed air dragster in in the Oct. '62 issue. don't want too get our wires crossed with two diffrent cars unforunetly i don't have that issue. the Dale Grantham story i got from Facebook but the pictures look like it came from the pages of HRM to so maybe someone can tell us what issue it is.
     
  10. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 2,288

    rd martin
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    from indiana

    dam! im in lets build one! whos driveing?
     
  11. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,427

    Jalopy Joker
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    I was going to volunteer to drive but, I am busy that day
     
  12. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,119

    woodbutcher
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    :D I`ll try ALMOST anything once.If everything went South,well it would be a quick ride to the "Pearly Gates".
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
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  13. aircap
    Joined: Mar 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,466

    aircap
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    Mickey Thompson built a funny car with compressed air tanks in the 70's.... I think it was one of his monocoque Mustangs. Anyone remember this? NHRA didn't go for it.
     
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  14. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 4,077

    Marty Strode
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    As I remember it was a Pinto, maybe a titanium chassis, the engine was Boss 429 with a "Thermo-charger", rated @ 2800 HP.
     
  15. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,459

    choptop40
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    Who's got big balls....my ball are always swaying.....the biggest balls of them all....
     
  16. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,100

    nrgwizard
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    from Minn. uSA

    Pfft! My dad always said" You've GOT to try things TWICE, just to make sure you really didn't like it the first time". :D .

    One of my favorite early "the box isn't even in sight" rides. Right after the compressed air deals, & sidewinders.
    I'd run that thing... :D . Yup, at least twice. :D .
    Marcus...
     
  17. Mickey was using pure compressed oxygen, not compressed air. They didn't know how much power it made, the dyno would only read to 2800. He still didn't have the bugs worked out when the article appeared, with the pure oxygen the motor tended to exhaust the pistons out the headers. NHRA quickly nixed the idea as soon as they got wind of it, as they really didn't like the thought of a race car with the equivalent of a medium-sized bomb between the framerails.
     
  18. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 2,288

    rd martin
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    from indiana

    who was it that built the one that burnt down in the barn? they were charging it up and went for breakfast down the road and saw the fire trucks go by!:eek:
     
  19. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,100

    nrgwizard
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    from Minn. uSA

    Hey, Steve;
    Where did you find that MT was using only pure O2? Anything else/more info? Everything I read, & I think I got nearly everything printed on it indicates compressed air only. (Pure O2 acts as a cutting torch real quick-like. Even caused troubles awhile back for some japanese hi-mileage guys, although they were using a membrane to separate the O2 from the air, to control the a/f/r.). The biggest issue(s) were the controls for the air. Sure would like to get a hold of a copy of the original reports/notebooks on this from MT & others. It's kinda come back, but as usual, "kits" are rather expensive. 'Way too much for this poor-boy. The interest is still there. :D .
    Marcus...
     
  20. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,119

    woodbutcher
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    :eek: One problem with pure O2 is that when it comes in contact with petroleum products like oil or grease,you get a very loud nasty noise.BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
  21. I found another pic that shows the drivers position a little better. Kind of like street luge but faster.
    Garrett-Air-Top-Elim.jpg
     
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  22. Boy, you're really asking for scraping of the ol' memory banks... IIRC, the blip I saw was a partial-page deal of a few paragraphs with a pic in one of the car mags, but I don't remember which one. It stuck in my head because of the reference to oxygen (although they may not have said 'pure', just compressed). And yes, the main obstacle was piston life; again if IIRC, they could only run the motor (at this reported stage of testing) for 6-7 seconds before the pistons went out the exhaust.
     
  23. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 2,378

    Speed Gems
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    I haven't found the Oct.'62 article yet but here the article from March '64.The tanks on the side were filled with 3,000 p.s.i. of air (500 p.s.i workable pressure)
    Scan0084.jpg Scan0085.jpg Scan0089.jpg Scan0090.jpg
     
  24. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,675

    Larry T
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    Was that the thread about it running on hydrazine?
     
  25. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 2,378

    Speed Gems
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    No, this runs on a combonation of kerosene alcohol/water mix and air.
     
  26. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 2,378

    Speed Gems
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    It says the air "bottles" were filled with 3,000 p.s.i. of air not kerosene.:eek:
     
  27. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,675

    Larry T
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    Yes, I know the car didn't run a hydrazine. But that was the lead on the thread and no matter how many folks explained that it didn't use it, the thread took on a life of it's own and hydrazine was mentioned on almost every post about the car.
     
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  28. Don't mean to hijack this thread, but here's a little info on another turbine car - but with 3 engines. The article is in Hot Rod Oct 1962 - The Speed Sport guys -( who also had Ol' Noisy). The caption on the side view says "Speed-Sport crew consists of (l-r): Don Sullivan, Red Greth, Lee Seagondollar, Lyle Fisher (not shown).
    red turbine.jpg red turbine 2.jpg red turbine 3.jpg red turbine 4.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
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  29. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 2,378

    Speed Gems
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    Thanks @nmpontiac now i don't have to try and find the artical.
     
  30. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,382

    landseaandair
    Member
    from phoenix

    Here's some more articles of the Speed Sport car that were on display at the Tucson Dragway Reunion yesterday. Remembered this thread when I saw these and snapped a few pics.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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