Engineers always look forward to solving problems. And sometimes they become so focused on the issue they forget about the bigger picture. Or the fact that people need to survive their inventions…
Back in 1962, an engineer named Clarence Eugene “Gene” Middlebrooks Jr. founded a company called Turbonique based on his aerospace defense contractor experiences. Imagine the context for a second: this engineer turned from ballistic missile designer (Pershing program) to building and selling “power adding equipment” for cars.
And we’re telling you all that because the good folks over at Donut Media just made one of their quirky little videos about the whole shebang. Which includes the story of how an “engineer’s fever dream brought to life” came out as a potentially inspiring idea, but failed miserably because it put people in jeopardy (and sent cars flying!).
One of his major ideas at the time was to sell the “TB-28 drag axle,” essentially a micro-turbine assembly that was to be mounted directly to the rear axle of the vehicle. The intended use was to supplement the engine’s power during drag racing scenarios and bypass the inherent losses of traditional turbocharged setups. Well, better watch the whole video (embedded below) to (hilariously) see how that actually panned out.
Meanwhile, Abimelec Arellano, aka abimelecdesign on social media, has put his virtual artist skills to good use alongside the Donut Media team and came up with a CGI representation of a potential Turbo Axle Hot Rod. Naturally, there’s no better vehicle for transformation than the original Ford Mustang.
And to signal this could either have all the advertised 1,300 horsepower thrust the car “through the track or launch it into the stratosphere in pieces,” the ‘Stang looks all shiny and sparkling dressed up in gold. Naturally, the big rear tires and the chromed turbo assembly are also keeping up with the illusion.