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Spirit of America

The Spirit of America is officially the World’s fastest 3-wheeler. Although Craig Breadlove went on to 675mph in a 4-wheeled Spirit of America it was on October 15th 1964 that the jet powered 3-wheeled Sprit of America reached a speed of 526.27mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats (USA) breaking the Land Speed Record.

Craig Breedlove also built a Spirit of America dragster that was nicknamed the “Screaming Yellow Zonkers” car. In 1973 this car ( bottom two photos) was clocked at 377.754 MPH in a quarter mile from a standing start at The Bonneville Salt Flats. The elapsed time was 4.654  seconds. On a drag strip in the UK this car is listed in the top 20 cars at  280mph for the quarter mile though it could not use full power at a normal drag strip because there is no way to stop it soon enough. At the time the car was sponsored  by “English Leather Special” . The  rocket engine in the Spirit of America dragster is from the US Lunarlander from the 1960’s. This type of engine was used to take off from the Moon for the return to earth. It uses several liquid fuels that ignite when mixed. For short burst it can generate 15,000 horse power.  There are two chutes packed above the engine right under the large  tail. The car was eventually outlawed from the NHRA drag strips due to fuel and oxidizer concerns.  Subsequently the car was sold to a car collection at Kruse Classic Car Auction for $30,000.

The 1964 3-wheeled Spirit of America. (Thanks to Pam & Rich for sending in this photo.)

Spirit of America dragster.  (My thanks go to Dave Atlas for the two photos above)

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