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Video: Meet the Howmet TX – a 65,000 RPM Turbine-Powered Sports Racer

Submitted by on September 14, 2015

Howmet TX

Built on a shoestring budget in 1968 by Bob McKee and a team of engineers, the Howmet TX is a race-winning turbine-powered sports race car. It’s a wonderful thing, and you can get to know it a little better in this video.

“The rules were wide open and you could use your imagination and make something interesting and fun, and I think everybody enjoyed it more in those days.” – Bob McKee

The Howmet TX is an experimental race car built to promote Howmet back in 1967 and ’68. Under its hood sits a 350 horsepower turbine capable of 650 ft-lb of torque at a not-inconsiderable 65,000 rpm. Yes, there’s more zeros on the end of that figure than we may be used to in the automotive world!

Two TXs were built, and would go on to compete against cars like Porsche’s 907 and the Ford GT40. When they first hit the track the cars struggled with reliability, but eventually they would pick up wins in the Heart of Dixie and Marlboro 300 in 1968.

Petrolicious’ latest sits down with Bob McKee, who worked as an engineer on the project, to talk about the car, the unique challenges of designing and racing it and what it’s like to have a car you built in your ’30s still out on the track five decades later.

A truly fascinating car and a story well told. Enjoy it.

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