When I needed to replace the axle bearings in my front engine
dragster I bought them from RockAuto. I chose bearings from a 1957 Buick since
they are larger than most and thus well suited for a dragster. The engine is
a Chevy 336 with power flowing through a two disc Crowerglide to a 727 Chrysler
automatic...highly modified so I have to shift manually. Then the power is routed
through a home made coupler that is tied to a Ford 9 inch rear end with a Detroit Locker.
This twists the Strange axles tied to 16 inch Halibrand magnesium wheels with 12.50
X 16 inch M&H tires. Stopping comes courtesy of 1967 Corvette disc brakes
and a parachute. So no one can say I am partial to any one car company.
The 200 inch wheel base dragster was originally built in 1970
with twin engines that turned 198.56 MPH in 7.10 seconds. Later after taking
one engine out, due to the cost of running two engines, it can do 160 MPH in
8.75 seconds. The car is 36 years old, except for the front tires that had to
be replaced last year. It still turns the same times as it did in 1975 when
the front engine was removed! Yup, even the spark plugs were last changed in
1980...and have not failed yet.
I started drag racing 1955 on back
wood roads in New Jersey, where I was born and
lived until 1990. I started drag racing at Langhorne
Speedway with flag starts in a 1957 Ford that
had a 312 cu inch engine. Also raced at tracks
in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware,
running cars from N stock to B gas supercharged.
In 1965 I borrowed from my life insurance to buy
a 98 inch wheelbase Lynwood dragster chassis.
Built all my own stuff except for the machine
shop work, like boring, turning cranks, etc. I
used to wrench on my own cars while working in
my shop to get money to race. I remember working
35 hours on a dirt floor under the house to do
all the head work that is now done in speed machine
shops by other people. It was expensive back in
the old days and that's why you did your own work
for the most part. And without my wife, because
I had no pit crew, I would not have been able
to race. By this time I had four boys under the
age of ten who we dragged around from track to
In 1989 I lost a leg due to motorcycle accident. But that didn't
stop me, I took a used prosthesis and modified it so I could fit in the car
and use the neutral clutch.
Now I am teaching my oldest son who is 49 to drive it. With three
years under his belt, he drives pretty well. But when he can't figure something
out he says, "Dad...you drive it to see what's wrong". He doesn't
have the experience to know what is wrong while driving like I had to learn
back in the 60's. You only have about 6 seconds to figure out what is wrong...not
like the 12 or 14 seconds you have in a full body car.
P.S. Oh by the way, I still race at 70 years old and average a
.075 reaction time. Who says people over 65 should not drive a car on the highway?
I just proved them wrong.