Nitrous Oxide (N2O), has been a performance enhancer to piston-driven engines going all the way back to World War II. The guy behind the widespread use of Nitrous Oxide in dragsters and street racers with NOS is Mike Thermos. While Mike isn’t a household name, in the car world, his contribution is revered.
Consider the scene in the very first The Fast and the Furious where we are introduced to Brian O’Connor, who working as an undercover cop out of a speed shop. The youngster needs an add-on edge in street racing. “I need NOS!
He tells us his story…
“Well, nitrous oxide was, was kind of an underground trick for some of the guys. They had learned that you can squirt a little bit in, and it picked the car up. In NASCAR, they used the stuff for many years.”
“It came from the Germans actually, during World War II, where they’d put it in the planes that would go high altitude, they needed oxygen. But then the jet came in and the jet took over and all the technology kind of just fell by the wayside for propeller type of plane. The Americans did it too. I read all that history on it. At the time, I had a tune-up shop and a funny car. I had been through the whole gamut and it was eating me out of house and home.”