Randy Grubb's Garage 7: Grubb-Maddox Pulse Jet Lakester





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Published on Jun 3, 2014

—Grants Pass, Oregon

"Every now and again we get a project that falls into the totally-crazy category. This would be one of them," says Randy Grubb, the creator of Jay Leno's Tank Car, the B-702, the Indy Special, the Decoliner, the Decopod, and the Decoson.

The Pulse Jet Lakester, built by Randy Grubb and "Rocketman" Bob Maddox, is basically a drop tank lakester with a super twist: it has the equivalent of a V-1 jet engine strapped to it that looks like—and is—the biggest exhaust pipe you've ever seen.

The V-1 "buzz bomb" was developed by the Germans in WWII and used to make unmanned flying bomb attacks on England. Largely unknown to the public, the Ford Motor Company developed a copy of the weapon for U.S. forces in 1944: it was the Republic-Ford JB-2, also known as the KGW and LTV-N-2 Loon.

Bob Maddox first got the idea of attaching himself to a rocket when he was trying to catch up with another skydiver as they hurtled toward the ground in a group jump. He is now the nation's foremost authority on pulse jet engines and has built models to power bicycles, skateboards, cars, and now, this full-scale motor for a lakester racing car.

The Grubb-Maddox lakester is built on a custom tube chassis that Grubb originally intended to be powered by a little flathead. The bottom of the car is made from a P-51 Mustang fighter drop tank lengthened 17". The body is a compelling Grubb sculpture of hand-formed polished aluminum that sports his signature lap-panel construction with lots of rivets. The giant polished stainless steel jet engine, built by Maddox, is rated at over 600 pounds of thrust.

How fast will it go? Well, the boys don't know, but they're guessing the idle speed to be over 200 mph. The only way to find out is for Bob Maddox to get in the car on a California dry lake (perhaps El Mirage) and hit the full throttle switch. (There's a limitation: the Goodyear tires are only rated for 500 mph; they're normally used on the front of a top fuel dragster.) A parachute will then deploy to bleed off speed until the traditional disc brakes can do their job to bring Bob back to Earth.

Special thanks to Ratrod Ray for the use of his test-run video filmed at Cedarville, California

Visit Randy Grubb's Web site:

To learn more about the upcoming full-throttle run, go to Maddox Jets:

See Ratrod Ray's video of the test run of the car:

Soundtrack: Cardiac Arrest and Walk Away performed by Arabella

Written, directed and produced by Randy Johnson
©2014 by Randy Johnson



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