Larry Nagel’s Pocket Rocket resurrected with a jet powered engine
When John T Francis was 7 years old he was fascinated by drag-racing and ever more so by Pocket Rocket speeding down the Thompson Drag Raceway. Now, decades later he found Larry Nagel‘s Pocket Rocket and decided to give it his own twist by adding a jet powered engine to the drag racing legend car. With help from his friend Mat Thrasher, he found the car and began his untamed adventure of restoring it back. The car in its glory days had a 5,000 horsepower engine and was capable of reaching 0-100 miles per hour in just one second courtesy hydrogen peroxide fuel that was banned due to its highly inflammable nature!
This is when Francis decided to fit the drag racer with a jet engine that would be a fitting tribute to the powerful Pocket Rocket that took everyone by surprise in its days. With no prior experience of fitting a chassis with a jet powered engine, Francis took the challenge and decided to dig deep to resurrect the Pocket Rocket in just over 6 months’ time with pictures from the good old days to act as a reference of what this 10 feet long and 33 inches tall drag racer actually looked like.
With help from his friend Tom Mitchell, the custom-built combustion chamber with round steel has four cylinders. Fitting the motor with an afterburner added to the thrust of the drag racer. The rear wheels of the car are Welds from a midget sprint car and the front wheels are junior dragster rims surrounded by tires designed for motorized wheelchairs.
Paintjob of the car was also done precisely from the 12 different colors that gave shape to what the drag racing legend car looked back in the 80s.
Larry Nagel’s Pocket Rocket