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Drag racing has a long and storied history. Many have
said that the first drag race happened shortly after the
second car was made. While that may or may not be true,
racing prior to World War II was mostly centered around
dry-lake activities and top-speed runs. After the war, drag
racing became organized with the formation of the NHRA,
and during the 1950s, many tracks were built across
America to accommodate the racers. Technology in the
1950s centered on the manufacturers updating old flathead
designs into newer overhead-valve designs, and the horsepower
race really started to heat up.
In many forms of racing, the 1960s brought technological evolution. The decade began with big engines in even bigger stock chassis and ended with purpose-built race-only chassis, fiberglass bodies, fuel injection, nitro methane, and blowers. Quarter-mile times that were in the 13-second range in the beginning of the decade were in the 7-second range by the end. New classes were formed, dedicated cars were built for them, and many racers themselves became recognized names in the sports landscape.
In Drag Racing in the 60s: The Evolution in Race Car Technology, veteran author Doug Boyce takes you on a ride through the entire decade from a technological point of view rather than a results-based one. Covered are all the classes, including Super Stocks, Altered Wheelbase cars (which led to Funny Cars), Top Fuelers, Gassers, and more.
• This is a fascinating look at drag racing’s technological evolution
• The 60s saw the greatest advancement in technology in all forms of racing
• Filled with never-before-published vintage photography