Front Engine Dragster

The front engine dragster is a race car purpose built for drag racing.

Now considered obsolete, the "rail", "digger", or "slingshot" dragster is now used mainly in nostalgia drag racing. Models range in length from 160–225 in (4,064–5,715 mm) in wheelbase. They were originally used in the highest class of drag racing, Top Fuel. The front engine dragster naturally came about due to engines for the most part, being in front of the driver. However they used and still do not use any form of suspension, so the top fuel and alcohol cars became very unstable. This due in part to their making 2,000–3,000 hp (1,491–2,237 kW), plus having poor tire technology, short wheelbases, and very light weight. (This was demonstrated to extremes in the Fuel Altereds.) The driver sits angled backward, over the top of the differential in a cockpit that is situated between the two rear tires, a design originating with Mickey Thompson in 1954, as a way of improving traction. This position led to many drivers being maimed when catastrophic clutch failures occurred.

Introduced with the start of organized drag racing, they were limited by the availability of traction from their rear slicks. A number of with four rear drive wheels were attempted, as well, including cars by Art Chrisman (along with his brother, Lloyd, and partner Frank Cannon), Bill Coburn, and Eddie Hill. (Coburn and the Chrisman brothers used twin engines, also.)

The rail was supplanted by the rear-engined car now standard when Don Garlits introduced Swamp Rat XIV in 1971. He designed the car while in hospital, himself suffering from severe injuries caused by an exploding clutch.

Other articles related to "engines, engine, front":

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Famous quotes containing the words front and/or engine:

    The main effect of a real revolution is perhaps that it sweeps away those who do not know how to wish, and brings to the front men with insatiable appetites for action, power and all that the world has to offer.
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