Monday, September 14, 2009

Rocket Cars from the 1920s and 1930s! Lou Moore and Altons Pietsch

The above photo is that of Lou Moore, a well known auto racer from Santa Monica, CA and his assistants working on a "rocket car." The date is December 31, 1928. Lou Moore (1904-56), most known during his career for qualifying for the pole positionof the 1932 Indianapolis 500. After his driving career, Moore became a legendary car owner. Moore-owned entries won Indy four times, with the final three, from 1947-1949, being the first of to-date two occasions to see three consecutive victories by an owner.

Below are three photos of the world's largest rocket car, and liquid-fueled rocket engine, as of 1931. The chief engineer was Altons Pietsch, the vehicle weighed 4,000 lbs. and the public trial took place at Berlin's Templehof airport on May 3, 1931.
I know very little about the history of these vehicles. After WWII there were several cars powered by jet turbine engines that were built to set land speed records. Yet, the above and below seem to have eluded the work of historians.

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