RocketShip car turns heads on the beach

TAMPA, Fl. - It’s not that unusual to see all sorts of things on Clearwater Beach. But there’s one visual spectacle that is truly turning heads.  It’s a ‘car’ that looks like a rocketship. In fact, that’s what owner Joe Tomaro calls it – the “RocketShip Car.”

The 27-foot long gleaming stainless steel,  retro-fitted vehicle was actually made in 1935 for an amusement park ride in Cleveland, Ohio.  It was acquired as a collector’s piece and then made road-worthy.

“We got with the Department of Transportation, State Police, and all that. Got it legalized and licensed and insured," said Tomaro.

 Joe rents it out for parties and weddings and things in Cleveland, and now brings it down to Florida to rent it out for the winter months. 

“It’s really a 360-degree experience,” said Tomaro. “180 degrees is the fun you have riding in a rocketship. The other  180 degree experience is the the people’s reaction when they see you riding in it.”

But imagine getting ‘under the hood’ of this 5,000 pound conversation piece.

“It’s got a 502 inch big block Chevy engine. It’s built on a one ton chassis," said Tomaro. “It has air ride suspension, and DVD screens built in.”

The gleaming, stainless steel vehicle seats 10 adults or up to 15 children.  It’s not the most fuel-efficient vehicle, though, getting only about 8 miles to the gallon.  The history of the RocketShip Car can be found on Tomaro’s website, at

Print this article Back to Top