Jet cars have been and will forever remain the drag strip owner/promoter’s greatest ally in the war regarding butts in seats. Simply put, nothing draws the general public into a strip like seeing a couple of thrust powered monsters spitting fire, hammering burner pops, and thundering to high speeds down the strip. Kids? They love them. Girlfriends/wives? They love them too. Those are the two most important elements, because the guy that wants to hang out at the strip for a night needs a hook to get everyone else there and the jets are it. Some douche canoe “hard core” drag racing fans will poo-poo jets but I’ll tell you that I am as hardcore as anyone and probably about 50% more and I like jet cars. Especially the two shown in the video below.
Most elements of drag racing are about the GO. Importantly for strip operators, some parts of the equation are still influenced by the SHOW. That is where KC Jones and James Paul Kelley enter the equation. While the two jet dragsters are not the fastest or quickest in the land, they certainly put on the best show. There’s a theme in the fact that both are based on trains. (Hello..the dude’s name is KC friggin’ Jones). There’s the Canonball Express and the Chattanooga Choo-Choo. The best part of their act is the staged burner pops that they time to sound like a steam locomotive chugging out of the station. It is beyond cool and the two have the act down to a T.
Yes, the inherent danger of a jet car is pretty low, but don’t tell the fairly uneducated (with respect to the intricacies of the sport) drag racing fan populace this. They pack the stands because brave men drive these missiles that belch fire and smoke and make the spectator’s guts shimmy and shake inside their bodies. Do they run 300 mph? No, but they entertain people in ways that no other drag strip vehicle can. That’s what puts butts in seats!
Press play below to see the best jet car video we’ve ever laid eyes on.