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Author Topic: Green Mamba Jet Car Driver Doug Rose dies in Fatal Crash  (Read 1997 times)
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velocity
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« on: August 18, 2018, 02:12:55 AM »

Earlier today at Norway Speedway in Upper Michigan Doug Rose failed to make the turn 1 radius, left the track, rolled and crashed at low speed near turn 2 of the third-mile oval.

The Green Mamba, a jet-powered exhibition dragster relied on F7U Cutlass engine. Rose built the Mamba that thrilled audiences throughout the USA and Canada for more than 50 years at dragstrips and speedways.

Rose was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a Michigan State Police press release. It was suspected, but not yet confirmed, that he suffered a pair of heart attacks while at the controls. Out of respect, all races were postponed to Saturday.

I spent a couple years with Doug campaigning this fabulous machine that easily exceeded 300 miles per hour in the 1/4 mile with a glorious fire tail three-feet in diameter and sometimes longer than the car itself. There was never a dull day when the Mamba backed out of the trailer. I owe my extensive technical knowledge of jets and turbines to the mentoring by Doug, Walter, Craig and Arthur Arfons. They were the original "jet men" who built drove, and maintained their entertaining, awe-inspiring speed machines to the delight of all who had a chance to see them.

Sad as I am about his passing, I can't help but find comfort that he and Mamba went out together. My condolences to his wife, Jeanie.


* mamba web.jpg (53.25 KB, 500x223 - viewed 91 times.)
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MAYOMAN
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2018, 08:12:13 AM »

Shocking news! Doug Rose was from Milwaukee and a good friend of my Reaction Dynamics partner, Pete Farnsworth. I still recall the awful crash into the Armco while driving Walt Arfons Green Monster jet dragster. There was a film of him exiting the car after that crash and falling to the pavement with both legs severed below the knees. He didn't realize the damage. After he was fitted with prosthetic legs he built the first Green Mamba jet car and entertained millions for several years. Doug Rose joined us on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1970 when we were running The Blue Flame. There are films of him on the salt riding my Honda motorcycle to get around. Nothing seemed to stop him. Doug stood around 6 feet tall before the accident and afterward with the "wooden legs". As I recall, on his Wisconsin driver's license he listed his height as 4 feet something, his height standing on his knees. If you didn't know he had prostheses, his gait was normal and would not attract notice. Doug was also quite a joker and loved to play practical jokes on friends and unsuspecting strangers. RIP, Doug Rose!
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PorkPie
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2018, 08:46:17 AM »

call it destiny....

Doug and the Green Mamba were ONE.....when you call the one you call also the other....

Doug was a original, he done this what he loved the most....and the Green Mamba was his partner for this "adventure".....

and he enjoyed millions on the drag strip with his show....

R.I.P. Doug & Green Mamba
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2018, 12:21:11 AM »

"... on the 1/3 mile oval..."  huh What was he driving?
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MAYOMAN
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2018, 06:58:39 AM »

Doug's accident is shown on the YouTube video.



He was driving his Green Mamba jet dragster in a fiery demonstration, which he has done thousands of times on Midwest "bull-rings".

* Doug Rose Daily News.pdf (268.52 KB - downloaded 25 times.)
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velocity
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2018, 09:41:23 PM »

There is no one, repeat no one, who was as skilled at driving a jet-powered dragster around a banked track - with or without paving. Every Indy car and NASCAR driver can bow right down - thank you very much. Doug perfected his skills on itty bitty teeny tiny tracks and fine speedways all over the nation. Our show included not just a few laps around the track, but  often included a car-burning wherein we would chain the Green Mamba to some donated wreck of a car after knocking out all its windows. Then we would load that "volunteer" with all manner of combustible fuels and materials finishing up with  a nice dash of fireworks. Once the main event was over, the house lights would be killed and I'd fire up the J46 and stealth away leaving Doug in the middle of the infield. Slowly, the howl of the jet grew and the heat began to light up the chained car. When the thing was close to point of melting, Doug would hit the release switch inside the cockpit, leaving the chain and roasted wreck behind and then stun the audience into a furyby taking to the track for a few laps coming to a halt on the start/finish line where we would most always sell a ton of t-shirts and posters.

The show as never the same but it was ALWAYS an eye popping spectacle that sent the crowd home with plenty to savor for days afterwards.

It was a great life on the road. . . .It was meeting America one tiny town at a time.

So we are clear - the is the same dragster he drove on countless drag strips to easy plus 300MPH runs for more than 50 years. Show me a piston that can live that long after working so hard. God Bless the axial flow engine.

LandSpeed Louise
Green Mamba crew - a long time ago...
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2018, 11:48:21 PM »

I thought the Green Mamba was stolen and cut into piece a few years ago....
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velocity
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2018, 12:56:20 PM »

It was and was recovered - in pieces that Doug and pals put back together.
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floydjer
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2018, 12:47:05 PM »

R.I.P. Doug...You led quite a life.
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2018, 01:25:33 PM »

Steven Cole Smith wrote a wonderful 4-page tribute to Doug Rose in the September 10, 2018 AUTOWEEK. It's a worthwhile read.
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