The idea of the car came
from Gordon Murray and a good friend of his Chris Craft, a sportscar
driver. They wanted to create a car purely for driving pleasure.
Gordon wanted the car to have a retro look on the outside, with
a modern race chassis underneath. He also wanted to use a motorcyle
engine. His only problem was that he lacked a differential and
Gordon flew in to visit
and at lunch he quickly penned the car for us to give an idea
of what he wanted to do. As it happened, Pete had already thought
about a motorcycle engine powered car and had in mind a tiny chain
driven transaxle to do the job. Right away Gordon and Pete layed
out the drivetrain. Power to weight was the main driving force
behind the design. Gordon designed a tube-frame chassis to carry
two people sitting tandem. A Yamaha 1000cc engine is bolted directly
to the back of the chassis and the transaxle is mounted to the
engine with the suspension mounted to the transaxle.
The transaxle contains
a hi-lo range to give the driver a close ratio 5 speed for in
ripping around in town, or a close ratio 5 speed for flying down
freeway. The transaxle also contains a reverse (actually 5) and
a limited-slip differential.
The car looks similar to Formula One car right out of the sixties,
and beneath the skin, the car is related to a Formula One chassis
right out of the nineties!
The Rocket was born.
We have made 35 Rockets to date with Bill Gates just ordering
The engine/transmission package
Rocket with the F1
Both of these cars belong to George Harrisson of the Beatles
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