Rocket Powered Vehicles
Rocket Dragsters



In 1962 I worked for The Sno Pony Snowmobile Company in St Paul, Minnesota. I talked Tony Fox the owner of the Company into buying the X-1 Rocket Car from the Reaction Dynamics.
I pulled the wheels off and put snowmobile tracks on the back and skis on the front. We named it the Sonic Challenger.  The first time we tried it was on a track in Brainerd, Minnesota.
It was 20 below that day so, we had to put tank heaters on the Hydrogen Peroxide tanks to stop them from freezing up. I wasn't sure if the rocket motor would even fire because of the cold so, we put a chain on it and hooked it up to the back of a Semi truck for safety sake.
When I opened the throttle, the rocket motor came to life. The steam from the rocket turned into a snow storm and as you can expect the crowd went wild.
We refilled the peroxide tanks and this time, I drove it down the track. It was a hand full trying to keep it on the track and as soon as I took my foot off the throttle, the rear snowmobile tracks had so much drag on them, they acted like brakes. And I lost control of it and spun it out in circles. I tried it again and the same thing happened so, we went back to the factory and built skies for the front of it.


This is the X-1 before I converted it into a snowmobile
This is the X-1 before I converted it into a snowmobile

Sonic Challenger with Sno Pony Snowmobile in the back round
Sonic Challenger with Sno Pony Snowmobile
in the back round

Sonic Challenger on display in Chicago. Note the tracks have been replaced with skis
Sonic Challenger on display in Chicago. Note the tracks have been replaced with skis

When we broke the Polaris record they came out with this ad
When we broke the Polaris record
they came out with this ad

This picture was taken at a trade show in Montreal Canada. Note the the Sonic Challenger is now called "Sno Pony Rocket" after the Sno Pony company was bought and the company name was changed to Sports Power in 1972. The company decided the snowmobile business was to competitive and decided to sell everything and go out of the business. So I bought the Sno Pony/Sonic Challenger from Sports Power. Here is a letter from the Vice President of Sno Pony before I left the company.
This picture was taken at a trade show in Montreal Canada.  Note the the Sonic Challenger is now called "Sno Pony Rocket" after the Sno Pony company was bought and the company name was changed to Sports Power in 1972. The company decided the snowmobile business was to competitive and decided to sell everything and go out of the business. So I bought the Sno Pony/Sonic Challenger from Sports Power. Here is a letter from the Vice President of Sno Pony before I left the company.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Crew getting Sonic Challenger ready to make a run
Crew getting Sonic Challenger ready to make a run

Ky Michaelson in driver seat and Tony
Ky Michaelson in driver seat and Tony

Front end of Sonic Challenger After we chromed everything  picture taken at Yellow stone 1970
Front end of Sonic Challenger after we chromed everything  picture taken at Yellowstone 1970

Note the three parachutes on the back. Because there were no brakes on the Sonic Challenger.
Note the three parachutes on the back. Because there were no brakes on the Sonic Challenger.


New article

We brought the Sonic Challenger to Burlington Vt. to break the existing world record unforgenitly TWe brought the Sonic Challenger to Burlington, Vt. to break the existing world record. Unfortunately the ice was to bumpy. I broke the rear skies off on the first run. So the crew repaired it. We then decided to go just fast enough to just break the record and hopefully not destroy the Sonic Challenger in the process.
We brought the Sonic Challenger to Burlington, Vt. to break the existing world record. Unfortunately the ice was to bumpy. I broke the rear skies off on the first run. So the crew repaired it. We then decided to go just fast enough to just break the record and hopefully not destroy the Sonic Challenger in the process.

Record in Guinness world record book
Record in Guinness world record book


Copyright © 2007 All Rights Reserved. Site Designed and Maintained by WebStudio88.com.
No pictures or information may be reproduced without our express written consent.