In the sixties a group of engineers that designed rocket and gas turbine engines at NASA for the space program got the idea to try and develop a line of purposely built rocket and turbine engines designed for boats, cars, and motorcycles. This company was called Turbonique. The motors that were commonly used on Karts were T-16s which produced 300 lbs of thrust, used a special kind of monopropellant which the company dubbed "Thermolene" (actually N-Propyl Nitrate).

In the States in the mid-sixties Jack McClure, with his modified 1963 Rupp Dart Kart powered by a pair of Turbonique T-16 rocket motors, turned the quarter mile in 7.3 seconds at over 150 mph!

These engines, however, were also very dangerous and killed many users because under certain conditions they could explode like bombs. Those disasters resulted in the Turbonique factory closing and, legend has it, its owner landing in jail.

These days Turbonique is based in Michigan and makes turbines and turbochargers for industrial and automotive use.