Drag racing is an all American past time. The history of drag racing is packed with great stories as you well know.
I remember being at a race track once when amid all the loud, throaty rumble and v-rooming, the clouds and din parted and I heard the whiny buzz of a 10 hp ultralight motor. It sounded sorta like a mosquito flying by.
It has always impressed me that all the horsepower a car has is channeled into 4 small patches where the tires touch the ground. Such muscular motors and such a small area to express the motor’s muscle.
There is a definite protocol and etiquette to the whole drag racing experience. A good very detailed rendition on drag racing can be had at several websites listed on the net, some will be below.
For less drag rolling resistance, inflate the tires to 45-55 psi. This makes perfect sense since there is a balance to be struck by every auto between traction and fuel economy. Pressure too low, more traction but more resistance. Pressure too high, better fuel economy from low rolling resistance. But too too high and the tire could blow.
Drag racing started out as people started racing their cars, but morphed into an official big deal. It took a few decades for this to become a much more sedate, ruled endeavor. After World War II, drag races were held on military runways, one of the few paved places that were out of harm’s way.
Early drag strips were improvised affairs, that only had pavement, people and loud, fast cars. The early days were rag-tag affairs with the cars either towed, driven or toted to the track on an open trailer.
Even 10 years after it’s inception, the NRHA had only 2 classes or divisions that everyone fit into.
In 1957, nitromethane was not allowed by the NRHA as a fuel. This was done because for two reasons: cost and danger. Nitromethane is very expensive and very toxic, very explosive. Nitro is later allowed by NRHA and was always ok at non NRHA tracks.
In the early days, drag races were started by a flagman and not a high tech ‘light tree’ (string of lights).
As the years progressed, ‘Top Fuelers’ went from wide and short to long and thin. The wheelbases went longer in a few short years in an effort to get better traction.
Since the weight of the car is largely on the rear wheels when a car accelerates, most dragsters grew tiny, bicycle-like front wheels and massive rear tires. This weight transfer effect is demonstrated when trying to go up a slippery, snowy hill in a front engined, front wheel drive car.
There are several forums online concerning drag cars for sale like j.body.
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