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Native Californian and bracket racer David Hoisington began construction of his "econo-rail" in January 2000 with the purchase of 120 feet of 1 5/8" .134" wall mild steel tubing, as well as a tubing bender and MIG welder from Home Depot. David cut the tubing with a hacksaw and notched it with an angle grinder.
The basic outline of the 157" frame was drawn on the garage floor with a felt tip marker. Using photographs taken at various drag strips and the NHRA rulebook, David welded the uprights, gussets and "X" braces in their required places. Almost every piece was handmade including the front axle, steering arms and narrowed 9" Ford housing. The body was made of hand-formed .040" SO aluminum.
The original engine was a SBC 350 with a Herbert roller vavletrain and Canfield heads. Last year, the small block was updated to 383 cubic inches using an Ohio Crankshaft's rotating assembly and 13:1 forged pistons. A Holley 850 double pumper slakes the rodent's thirst while a stock HEI lights her off. A stock powerglide with a 3500 rpm stall converter puts the power to the ground. A four core radiator and electric fan keep the temps below 180 on a run and down to 165 back in the lanes. David's daughter drove the car and remarked, "Dad, its just like going to the grocery store."
At sea-level, David's digger runs consistent 8.90's at 152 mph. Most of David's racing is a LACR in Palmdale, CA....elevation 2970ft. Best E.T. there is 9.12 at 148.88.
As a high school student in Huntington Beach, CA back in '53, David would often attend the drags at Santa Ana. Watching Art Chrisman, the Bean Bandits and Calvin Rice turn 125 mph in the 1/4 mile, David wondered how they could accelerate that fast and live!! These photos of David's car are the result of his dream coming true. According to David, "I have a lot less money in this rail than most have in their door slammer's engines. And, I don't have to bend over fenders or crawl under a jacked up vehicle."
David is a corporate pilot flying a Gulfstream V for Toyota. He says, "I sincerely wish there were more Front Engine Dragsters out there." With inspiration gleaned from David's efforts, perhaps other FEDs.Org members will help fulfill his wish by building FEDs of their own. Remember, the only person who would ever discourage you from living your dream is someone who is not living theirs! So take David's example, grab a hack saw and put your dreams into motion like David!
FrontEngineDragster.org's first featured flyer is none other than "Show Car" Joe Delmos of Bakersfield, California.
Joe's ride features a potent Jim Barns Racing Engines 427 4-bolt main Big Block Chevy with closed chamber square port heads. A Holley 850 double pumper funnels VP 114 through the Victor Jr. manifold. An Isky roller cam with .690 lift and 287 duration keeps the Crower roller valvetrain rocking and rolling while Probe rods swing on a steel crank.
Joe's digger shifts gears via a Dedenbear Powerglide w/transbrake and features a 5500 stall Continental converter. A big Olds rear holds 4:10 gears and swings 35 spline Mark Williams axles and an aluminum spool. M/W brakes bring the beast to a halt. The beatiful white interior only cost Joe 40 bucks!!
Joe's first ride in his digger was in the parking lot at a car show. His first time at the track was a match race at LACR
Joe would like to thank Randy & Michelle Wood who are always there to help out with the car.
Colin Stevens sends in this picture of his period specific Nailhead powered digger that he runs at the legendary Santa Pod dragstrip in the UK.
Colin takes in the local car show with the newly acquired "white wall" thumbprint slicks in place.
Troy "Greenskeeper" Coker takes a mid 7 on his maiden run down the 1320! Lookout competition!!
Troy's car at the car show in Indiana. Troy and his dad, Mike, towed many miles in snow and ice to attend...but the results speak for themselves....PERFECT!!
Pittsburg resident, Frank Klatte sent in this pic of his recently certified chassis that he designed and built himself. Frank is currently hanging tin and ironing his racing suit anxiously awaiting the day....
Pat Maset uses Big Ford power for his competition coupe that he and his father David have been working on. Pat just returned home from military service in the Middle East. WELCOME HOME!!!
These detail shots show Paula "Draggin' Lady" Roth's new chassis paint....Nice Job!! Paula is making considerable progress and her car shows it!
Pat and Chris Buck from York, PA sent in these pictures of their beautiful 216" Dragster they named "Fast Bucks". Chris drives and his father, Pat, is the crewchief. Chris and Pat updated the cage to SFI specs as well as painted and lettered the car.
The 404 cube Chevy smallblock sports JE pistons swinging on a Callies crank and rods. A gold anodized Hilborn injection system sits atop Brodix 23 degree Track I heads. An MSD ignition lights off the alky.
Fast Buck utilizes an ATI Powerglide with a 9" converter to spin the 4.30 Richmond gears in the Chrysler 8 3/4 rearend. 12" M&H Racemaster T/F slicks provide the necessary bite.
Pat and Chris found the car near Chambersburg, PA where it had been bracket raced by previous owners. The original owner knew nothing of the car's history except that he bought it in Maple Grove in '99 or '00.
The Bucks are still looking for the car's history....hoping that you might have some clues as to its original identity. Hints: the car looks like an early 70's T/F car due to its Hemi motor and clutch mounts, handbrake mounts on the diff and the original '71 "Pull-A-Long" trailer. It has a fairly unusual setup of single radius rods attached to the lower frame rail. So, digger sleuths....watcha got?
Hanging the hoops high in the cool California breeze is FED pilot, Ted McDavitt in his '98 200" Tuttle dragster.
Motivation for Ted's FED is a 13.5:1 compression, 360 cubic inch SBC sporting Hilborn injectors, Brodix -8 heads, and a Vertex Magneto. With intake lift figures of .664 and 320 lb spring pressures, those T&D rockers get a real workout at 7 grand!
A 1:76 low gear Powerglide spins 4:10 gears housed in the chrome plated diff pictured in this excellent cockpit detail shot.
After fattening her up a few jet sizes and blocking off the main return line, Ted fed his mouse a 15 proof brew of nitromethane. She responded with an 8.18 @ 154 mph! He's shooting for 30% at the upcoming Good Guys event at Sonoma. Lookout 7's!
Check out these incrementals: 1.12 60ft, 3.10 330ft and 5.25 in the 1/8th!
To the observant FEDlover, Ted's ear to ear grin should be clearly perceptible as he hangs the laundry out at Bakersfield after another successful run.
This beautiful tailpiece 158" 1964 Logghe Brothers digger is FED #4 for Oklahoma native Russ Ballew.
The engine in Russ' FED is a 366 ci SBC stroker with Manyley 12:1 pistons hung on Scat rods swingin' on a forged steel GM crank. The UltraDyne 560 lift solid cam funnels the alky from the Bill Mitchell carb down through the Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake into the ported and polished #33382 Chevy heads. An MSD 6AL ignition lights off the mix which is swiftly wisked away through the polished upswept Cyclone headers.
The horses from Russ' small block are fed into a 5000 stall converter, harnessed with a Powerglide with transbrake, bridled through an Olds rear end with 4:30 gears and spool and brought to a screeching halt with Airheart disc brakes.
Russ' wife Janell is very supportive of his racing and serves as pit crew. Their son Jordan and daughter Samantha also help. Jordan is 13 and counting down the days until he can drive!
This month's Featured Flyer is Mesa Arizona's own "Draggin' Lady" Paula Roth.
Donít let those beautiful peepers and flowing auburn mane fool you! The heart of a lioness beats beneath that Simpson firesuit! Beware lest you become her prey!
And for those of you who think that beauty is only skin deep, check out this killer pic of Paula's consuming passion... racing Front Engine Dragsters!
Paula's digger started life with a super trick "uber spendy" 366 stroker SBC featuring a 30 over 3 9/16th offset crank, roller valvetrain, Brooks shaft rockers, 750 Double Pumper atop a Victor Jr. Manifold backed up by dueling Holley blues. In a later incarnation, Paula's FED sported a 440 Chrysler with Koffel B1 heads, a thermoquad and hydraulic cam. Says Paula,"I have fond memories of guys with rear engined cars throwing their helments in disgust on the top end after an embarrassing round....diggity that was fun. The thing was really a fun ride with the big Chrysler...it sounds soooo good and it leaves so hard!"
Paula's latest ride is this FED that she's in the process of assembling. Paula hopes to recreate her earlier SBC stroker and is gathering components currently. Her latest acquisition is a hoodscoop purchased on EBay! So if you see her in her leopard skirt....watch out! She's BAAAaaack!!
Here's Thad Mancil from Abita Spring, Louisiana in his newly completed Wizzard Racing built front engine dragster. The chassis is powder coated while the suspension, steering rods, zoomies and custom rear housing are nickel plated with a satin finish.
The office of Thad's digger is nicely appointed and the quality of workmanship throughout is of the highest quality.
The lean, menacing profile of Thad's rail serves notice to the competition...this car runs as good as it looks!
Thad built the .030 over 350 SBC at his shop at home. It features a steel crank, Manley flat top pistons, Wheeler rods, a Howard's solid lifter cam, Victor Jr. intake with a BG tweaked 750 Holley carb. The heads are vintage 2.02/1.60 camel humps with milled 49 cc chambers producing a stout 13:1 compression ratio. The turbo splined shorty Glide spins a 5000 stall BTE converter and is connected to 4:11 gears turning on Strange axles on an aluminum spool. Wilwood brakes bring it all to a halt.
The smile on Thad's face clearly reveals the satisfaction that he gets from burning rubber and leaving his opponents in the dust.