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Hungerford Rocket

"In 1929, Daniel, Floyd, and William Hungerford stripped a 1921 Chevrolet down to its fram and converted it into a "Hungerford," the world's first commercially made rocket car. The Hungerford was actually a hybrid: it kept the original Chevy engine for low-speed travel, but when the car hit 50 mph, the driver flipped a switch and the gasoline-powered, forced-air rocket engine roared to life. The Hungerford looked like a hot dog on wheels, except the rear end tapered to a point and had five rocket nozzles (four of which were fake). Safety wasnot an issue: the Hungerfords gave their cars sophisticated braking systems, and built the bodies out of linoleum and cardboard, so passengers could kick their way out of the wreckage in the event of an accident.

"The Hungerford Rocket was doomed from the start: it got only two miles per gallon, had a disappointing top speed of 70 mph, and left a 20-foot-long flame as it traveled... The Hungerford brothers went out of business in 1939."

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