Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Not Subtle Look of Dragsters

A day at the Hot Rod Reunion is enough to make you consider selling all your worldly possessions and moving into a shotgun shack in outer San Berdoo. A one room, clapboard side house with a black and white TV, a round top refrigerator filled with biscuits, jam and Budweiser, a sagging sofa, a pedestal fan, a wood grain formica dinette with a single chair, jelly jar drinking glasses and NHRA membership. Because, if you had a top fuel, front engine rail in your garage, what else would matter?

If you decided to build the most obscene, impractical, unbalanced, vulgar automobile imaginable, it would not look much different than this.

A 250 mile per hour hand grenade.

Think these guys might be having a nice time?(photo from
How do they work? Pretty well, actually. The profound compromises made in the name of speed are enough to give you an upset stomach. Imagine what it would be like in the driver's seat. 1000 horsepower of supercharged nitromethane powered engine just itching to explode and end up in the cockpit with you. As if the visibility of looking over the engine was not enough, the headers are swooped back at an angle to blow off some of the tire smoke. How's that look to be working on the dragster in the far lane?

Instead of shocks and springs, the only suspension dampening is the natural flex of the chrome moly tube frame. And the motorcycle wheels and tires seem like a mile away. 250 mph and no brakes, but you get a little parachute that will open most of the time.

As if that is all not scary enough, consider where the differential is... One can only imagine the incidents that lead to the manufacture of this primo piece of vintage speed equipment. I would be Googling 'testicle plate' right now, if I wasn't so apprehensive of what I might find.