There are those who fear winter and flee to supermarkets at the forecast of a few flakes. Then there's this group of snowmobile drag racers building a 3,000-hp Funny Car to hit 200 mph while traveling over 1,000 feet of ice.
The "Frozen Assets" snodragster is the latest entry in the world of snowmobile speed racing from Performance Concepts in Mokena, Ill. The car gets its power from an alcohol-fueled 670-inch V8, with twin 88-mm. turbos for a little more air. All that power gets routed to studded treads, which have to be sprayed with coolant during runs to keep from overheating — even though they're typically hauling ass on a frozen lake.
Brad Warning, one of the builders, told Jalopnik his family has collected vintage snowmobiles, including several from the early days of speed snowmobiles in the late 1960s. Throughout the '70s and '80s, the sport boomed as homebuilders came up with ever-more exotic combinations of engines. The pinnacle arrived with Paul Groth's Budweiser Sno King, another Funny Car design sporting four four-cylinder Yamaha engines; in one unofficial run, Groat was able to hit 201 mph in the quarter-mile.
A decade ago, a series of mild winters and waning interest from snowmobile makers shut the snodrag circuit down for several years. Only recently has the sport come back, with Warning, Groth and Jim Costa building rigs such as this Kawasaki powered by a five-cylinder radial engine they constructed from scratch.
The group built the Frozen Assets last year, but couldn't get the bugs worked out before season's end. Their next shot at the unlimited class record of 186 mph in 1,000 ft. — held currently by a Hayabusa-powered snowmachine — will arrive next weekend.