Entries in Drag Racing (33)
If you have been a drag racing aficionado for a few decades, you surely remember folks "powershifting" a 4 speed manual transmission with a clutch pedal.
Not familiar with powershifting? Simple, never lift you foot from the gas pedal and shift gears at WOT (Wide Open Throttle).
What did you need to powershift?
- A scattershield to be safe in case you missed a shift and blew a clutch.
- Modified synchros in the transmission.
- Very stout shift mechanism for the transmission.
- Clutch pdeal adjusted to you preference, usually engaging close to the floor for a quick start.
Powershifting was not something you did with a normal street car, especially with you right foot very close to the bellhousing. It was the 2 to 3 shift that was the most challenging.
Take a look...
First, its great that Larry Dixon is OK after such a spectacular crash.
All the safety equipement, and landing on the tires on the track side of the guardrail were fortunate.
NHRA shortened the quarter mile (1,320 feet) to 1,000 feet to lower the speeds. Its clear that with technology the Hemis are generating massive horsepower. While dragsters have flexible frames to improve traction.
Massive horsepower, massive torque, the wings in front and back, the frame flexes, then breaks.
Hopefully the folks at NHRA will take a "hard look" at what happened, and what caused the frame to break.
What a way to start the week, with an episode of Road Kill with a station wagon (ancestor of the SUV/CUV), and yes back in the day wagons had bigger motors.
The final choice is made by a 5 year old...
A superb video on the early days of drag racing (1965), if you are of a certain age you certainly remember going to drag races during that time. We found this video thanks to our friend at Deans Garage.
Those were the days of Schiefer dusl disc clutches that did not slip, the reason dragsters would smoke the tire the neitre lenght of the quarter mile. The "speed wrench" was the "power tool" of the day.
If you are of a certain age you perhaps had an opportunity to see Don Garlits race from way back in the day.
This morning The Colonel is walking around, and we know that he saw Don Garlits race.
Q- Colonel Good Morning you saw Garlits race live?
A- Guys...good morning...yes at Sanair a few decades ago. Sanair back in the day was the Canadian Pomona holding the NHRA Nationals...
Q- What was it about Garlits that was so interesting?
A- You would read stories about Garlits usually months after the actual event, he would win very often, he was on the leading edge, and walked with a limp (lost a good portion of a foot in a clutch explosion).
Q- What do you remember about that Sunday at Sanair?
A- Guys it was decades ago, those were the days of towing an enclosed trailer with a pick up. As you can just imagine Garlits was the HEADLINE, he did a couple of runs, and then lost (perhaps something happened to the car. I got the feeling that he was a sore loser, being far from home, he packed up and left.
Q- It must have been a spectacle?
A- Seeing Don Garlits getting a push start from the tow pick up in front of the stands, and then doing a run. Then getting another push start, noticing that he "tipped the can" a little harder, doing another run. Priceless moments.
Q- None of this stuff was on TV?
A- Told you it was a few decades ago.
Q- What caught your attention on the video.
A- Don Garlits is 82, his wife of 61 years passed away a few months ago. Look at his hands, see how he laps valves, adjusts valves, torques a head, spins the long T handle for the spark plugs, checks the tension on the blower belt. You see the guy come into his "zone" as he did it a gazillion times, at a gazillion strips. Even at 82 the guy still gets in the "drag racer zone".
Q- Back in the day those guys did not have much of a pit crew.
A- Not much at all, the reason the car is black, he always wore black, the grease and grime did not show as much. Think about it, drive the car, rebuild the engine, drive the car again, rebuild again.
Q- He was the first to have a rear engine dragster.
A- Yes he was...he probably figured that he would have to "tip the can" further, tune the engine to grenade level, to keep on winning, while straddling a differential, and a blower in front of you was getting perilous.
The HEMI is 50 years old...take a look at more nostalgia.
We could keep on going...enjoy the video.
Its Friday its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti join the conversation. Yes...its still winter with more to come.
John Force turned a blindingly fast time and won at the Winternationals in Pomona of all places. He is 64 years old...reflect on this for a moment...yes it takes your breath away.
We always urge to be your own editor, some of the stuff being published by some automotive pundits on a quest for eyeballs is gravity defying (being polite here). Which leads one to wonder under which rock are some folks hiding.
Its encouraging to see the "mainstream auto brain thrust" starting to embrace Social Selling. From our perspective its about time they are starting to grasp the concept, and still wonder what took them so long.
Take a look at the Ferrari California T...cool car.
Yes...we went to the Press Day of the 2014 CIAS, our photo gallery. Yes...we endured the usual "boilerplate" of record here, segment leading there, new models, and will set the world on fire in 2014.
Our usual old race vars from Salon Retromobile 2014.
The California Hot Rod Reunion.
You might as well start the month with a nitro fix from Bakersfield!
If you are of an age that you remember going to drag races when push starting in the lane in front of the stands, and ingesting good levels of nitro was the way it was done.
This video is serious nostalgia, check out the dragsters and the push cars, the nitro pop, its at night you can see the cylinders firing.