Drag Racing Discussions > Rear Engine Dragsters

"New Old Stock" dragster. Lotsa newby questions.


So I picked up a brand-new 30 year old car.  It was ordered back in the 80's, but the owner passed away before putting it together.  I went in halves with a friend of mine and want to get it on the track using the parts that came with the car.  It's a fairly basic entry-level rear-engine Spitzer chassis and we just want to get it going on a budget.  Nothing serious, just some fun test n tune nights and mild competition.  I know nothing about these, so I hope you guys can help me out with some basic info.  I've been reading the rulebook, but it's a bit confusing for me. Feel free to throw in anything you may find useful to me.

Here's some info on the car and all of the new parts that came with it:
- Spitzer hardtail
- Wheelbase measures about 216"
- 9" with Strange 3rd member, spool, 4.56 gears, disc brakes, 5/8 studs
- A1 Glide, converter, and transbrake
- Aluminum body panels
- Plastic/poly fuel tank
- Headers (upsweep style) with adapter plates
- Engine mount/plates

- No electric, gauges, brake lines, or fuel lines
- It came with a fresh (in the 80's) old-school 327, 12:1, solid roller, rev kit, Victor intake and 461 heads.  We're going to run it for now to get it on the track.  Guessing he matched the converter to this setup.

- What kind of things have changed on these cars that would require updating since the mid-80's?  I heard I need to add helmet bars and already picked them up.
- It doesn't have a windshield.  Is that needed?
- The glide looks like it has a stock case.  What safety items are required (Ultrabell, blanket, shield, pan, etc)?
- The floor seems very flimsy and you definitely can't stand on it when climbing in and out.  What are my options (reinforce floor, add some kid of pegs, etc)?
- It's hard to climb over the side panels without damaging them. Do you guys weld some kind of handles on the hoop to hold on to?
- What minimum gauges, ignition, wiring, etc do you recommend?
- It's very narrow, so where are you guys mounting switches, shifter, etc?
- Do I need to add wheelie bars?

I'm sure I'll have a gazillion more questions as I move along with the project.
Thanks for your help.

Any dragstrip has many rear engine setups like yours. Especially with small and big block Chevys. That is where I would start. Super Comp setups are everywhere around here.

 Question 1. With the engine you mention you should be able to get it to run sub 10 seconds. So the first thing I would do is contact whoever does chassis certification in your area and have him go over it. Check tubing thickness and placement to make sure what you have will pass without changing the entire cockpit area. Our guy only charged me when he put a sticker on not for a precertification inspection.
 Question 2,3 and 4. You will find in a rule book. If you put it together to meet the NHRA rule book you will meet IHRA also as it has a little bit tougher requirements.
 Question 5. The hoop is a big handle. If the engine was in the correct location you could use the rear tire to help you get in.
 Question 6.Oil pressure, water temp and Tach. would be minimum gauges for me. You could lose the Tach. with an auto shifter of some sort. But they are still nice for setting idle.
 Question 7. Where ever you can reach them and get in and out without getting caught up on them. I like to use relays and switch as much stuff as i can with the fewest switches.
 A lot of older cars like yours the shifter was on the floor just in front of seat. Make sure you have all your safety stuff on including arm restraints when checking.
 Question 8. No

BK Question5:  It's a rear engine dragster.  How are the rear tires going to help him get in & out? lol


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