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  • SKU: KIT9781613257661/B03096
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Drag Racing's Rebels & Slingshot Dragsters of the 1960s (2 Book Set)

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When the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) was formed in 1951 by Wally Parks, the reasoning for the formation was to “create order from chaos” by instituting safety rules and performance standards that helped legitimize the sport of drag racing. Some organization was certainly necessary. A postwar boom in automotive enthusiasm was reaching new heights, and Hot Rod magazine and the NHRA were right in the thick of it.

The NHRA hosted its first drag racing event in 1953, and in 1955, the organization staged its first national event, which was simply called “The Nationals.” The AHRA formed in 1956 as an alternative to the NHRA, where the drivers voted on the rules (rather than sanctioning bodies and tracks), and their influence on the sport was felt almost immediately.

When the NHRA denied the use of nitromethane in 1957, the AHRA approved it. When the NHRA banned aircraft-powered dragsters in 1961, the AHRA welcomed them. When the NHRA said no to the emerging Funny Car in 1965, the AHRA said yes. When fans and racers screamed for a heads-up Super Stock category in 1968, the AHRA delivered. The AHRA was called a rebel association. Some say that it was more of an association that got things done—to the delight of fans and racers. The AHRA was on equal ground with the NHRA by the 1970s, drawing enormous crowds and racer entries.

In this fascinating history, veteran author Doug Boyce tells the story of the AHRA: the rise, the competition, the events, and the eventual downfall of the organization. After AHRA President Jim Tice passed away in 1982, internal fighting for control of the association resulted in its doom. Get the whole story here, and add this wonderful volume to your drag racing library

In the early 1960s, front-engine dragsters, or slingshots, featured tubular built chassis powered by a variety of power plants, consisting of small-block Chevrolets, Chrysler Hemis, Ford, Pontiac, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, and Lincoln motors either fueled on Nitro Methane or pump gas. Wheelbases varied from 110 inches in 1962 to over 200 inches in 1969. During the early sixties, racing legend Big Daddys Don Garlits ran a series of Swamp Rats dragsters which not only dominated the quarter-mile, but many of his creations were made by using experimental aerodynamic parts to give better traction and faster speeds. During a fuel ban from the late 50s to the early 60s, many chassis builders utilized a two-engine power plant to gain more power that was lost due to running pump gas instead of fuel. One of the most popular twin-engine dragsters was the Fright Train, powered by twin small-block Chevrolets. The dragster was driven by 16-year-old Bob Muraviez who used the alias name of Floyd Lippencott, Jr. to fool his parents who did not approve of his racing. Near the end of the 60s, the Chrysler Hemi came to dominate Top-fuel racing, as it produced tremendous torque and horsepower. These dragsters were the quickest accelerating vehicles in motorsports. Elapsed times in the quarter-mile were ranging from the 8-second bracket in the early 60s to the low 7®s late in the decade with speeds over 200 mph.In 1970 at the AHRA Nationals at Lion®s Dragstrip (Long Beach, CA), Don Garlits experienced a violent clutch explosion that cut his dragster in two and severed a portion of Don®s right foot. After being sidelined for several months, Don returned to racing with an innovative rear-engine, top-fuel dragster, which would eventually spell demise for the front-engine dragsters. Relive the 1960s era of the front-engine dragster, nicknamed the slingshot for its aerodynamic design in crisp high quality color and black and white photos. Enjoy memorable moments from some of the famed drivers that are highlighted throughout this book.


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Language: English

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