The Roadzombie Jet Dragster was one of my finer projects and the focus of my efforts for a few years, hence it was a very rewarding and a joy to drive. Built over a two-year period (jan 2002 to jan 2004) using a Rolls Royce Viper 500 series jet engine and home-made afterburner. This vehicle had many unique features and one-off designed elements that made it easy to shut down and drive.
Roadzombie Jet Dragster Key Facts
- Engine – Rolls Royce Viper 500 series with afterburner
- Speed – circa 235mph achieved in the 1/4 mile drag strip
- E.T.’s – in the low 6 second area
- Fuel consumption – 20 gallons on each run down the strip
- wheel base – 260 inch
- Brakes – dual circuit master cylinder with disc brakes on all four wheels and two 12ft cross form parachutes (one primary and one back up)
Building Roadzombie Jet Dragster
The rolling frame was commissioned by Ian Caseley in 2002 to meet and exceed the regulations of the time. The wheelbase, the amount of space between rear of the drivers compartment to face of turbine air intake and the need for rear suspension were critical and the most important items.
A huge amount of work went into converting the Rolls Royce Viper 500 series jet engine for use in a jet dragster. The fuel system needs to be altered and modified to give added safety features and allow instant shut off of fuel to the combustion chamber injectors. In addition to this an afterburner had to be designed and fabricated from scratch.
The Roadzombie jet dragster had a detailed and professionally designed wiring system and controls that allowed for an instant override of the mechanical fuel controls and gave the driver easy access to shutting down the turbine in an emergency situation. This photo shows some of the electrical installation.
The jet dragster took 2 years of fairly intense work to complete and have ready for our first runs. This is what it looked like the first time I rolled it out of the workshop a few days before we went to the drag strip. It was finished in the regular roadzombie pink paint with the addition of some prism metal flake.
Roadzombie Jet Dragster Records
In 2005 we took two track records at Avon Park Raceway for jet dragster. The fastest speed of 230.69 mph and the lowest elapsed time of 6.383 seconds. These records remain in place after more than 12 years. This is a sad reflection on the state of UK drag racing. You can check the full list of record holders here.
Onboard the Roadzombie Jet Dragster
This video was put together by a special and well loved man who is no longer with us. God bless you.
The Roadzombie Jet Dragster was sold in 2009 to be used by the new owner on an attempt to break the UK land speed record. I do not know what has happened to my much loved dragster.