Legendary 80-year-old ‘Green Mamba’ jet car drag racer Doug Rose dies in crash

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Editor’s note: For a touching story about Doug Rose, his legacy, the triumphs and tragedies of his career — including losing both feet and ankles in a crash over 50 years ago, as well as his car being stolen over 10 years ago — click here for a great tribute by AutoWeek’s Steven Cole Smith.

NORWAY, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a longtime drag racer died after crashing his jet engine-powered car at a track in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The Iron Mountain Daily News and WLUC-TV report 80-year-old Doug Rose, driver of the Green Mamba, died Friday evening at the Norway Speedway. Rose, of Ringtown, Pennsylvania, crashed into a guardrail and flipped during an exhibition run.

The newspaper reports Rose drove the Green Mamba for more than 35 years. The car with an engine from a fighter plane could drive in excess of 300 mph (483 kph).

Michigan State Police say the crash is under investigation. Races were suspended Friday and resumed Saturday.