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FEDhead Clint and Digger Doug Evans exchange battle stategies in the pits at Temple Academy Dragway. The Kontinental's Car Club of San Antonio hosted the biannual Nostalgia Drags...a must see for people who love old dragstrips, FEDs, Flatheads, Rat Rods, Kustoms, Betty Page, vintage bikes and cool tattoos.
Russ Smith flies Old Glory up the flagpole with a "hair-raising" wheelie in his "Old Bones" dragster at Bremerton Raceway.
Pennsylvania's George "Diz" De Siato mans the lanes at Maple Grove in his gorgeous black digger using a big cube alky fed BBC for motorvation. While recovering from bruised achilles tendons resulting from polevaulting the stack of 8 second time slips acquired during initial testing, Diz is busily modifying his ride for a more "Nostalgic" feel and appearance. Gentleman George also has another FED project in waiting that promises to be a real eye catcher!
Nitro Weld's own "Midnight" Roy Hamm of Canada sends in this shot of Jack Hubler on a blistering 7.83 @182 mph pass! Check out the bow in that chassis laboring under the strain of all those ponies!
Past "Featured Flyer" Mike Coker's son Troy sends a new pair of slicks straight to hell with this tire scalding burnout! Running a 30% mixture of Nitromethane, this beast really hauls the mail.
The 7th annual ACDelco Slingshot Nationals were held at historic Cordova Raceway Park on June 26th, 2004. The Front Engine Dragster action was intense. This shot features Matt Boroo of "Hemi Hunter" fame. Matt's A/Fuel Dragster was laying down heavy numbers and filling the cool Illinois air with sweet music. The Nostalgia Boys of Illinois were really on their game with incredible runs made througout the day.
The Jr Fuel action at the Slingshot Nationals was hot both in the pits and in the lanes as Jim Gravitts, Buddy Hunter, Jim Post and others rotated the earth with incredibly smokey burnouts and low 7 second runs.
Nostalgia eleminator had scores of diggers. Scott "BISQUIT" Allen heats the hides in the burnout box.
Chris and Erica Rusin make last minute adjustments to Chris' super sano "tailpiece" dragster. Like father, like daughter, Erica is handy with a wrench and all phases of digger maintenance. Crew members Bob and Erica aka "Rus" cooked up a mean batch of Cajun Burgers and Grilled Cheese Brats!
Contributing editor, FEDhead Clint Dobbs made the 1100 mile trek to Cordova from Texas. Qualifying 8th in Nostalgia Eliminator 10.0 index, Clint went out in the first round thanks to a slipping throttle cable and an undiscovered "Easter Egg" floating around inside the gas tank!
Pat McFadden, inventor of the "Shifnoid" automatic shifting device, was running right on his dial and chopping down the tree like Paul Bunyan thanks to the three screen computer tracking station feeding him reams of data.
From 6 cylinders to 4-bangers to flatheads and blown Hemis, it was all there.
The owner of this immaculate FED retreats from the heat, but basks in the glory as competitors and spectators alike drop by to drool over his handiwork.
These two bracket diggers were showing their form at Cordova with fast, consistent runs.
A large contingent of "bad-to-the bone" Jr. Fuelers duked it out for top honors with traffic in the staging lanes stacking up faster than pancakes at IHOP.
At the age of 19, working for $6.00 an hour at Kar-Stel Chevrolet in Havana, Illinois, Mike Coker shelled out $1300.00 for the "Avenger" a 110'' Dragster with solid lifter 300 hp SBC with .030 cam, Crane roller rockers, M/T vavle covers, 9" M&H slicks, Joe Hunt Vertex magneto, and Enderle fuel injection. The engine was connected to a Packard 3 speed with a stock Chevy diaphragm clutch mated to an early Pontiac 4:30 third member.
According to Mike, "Along with the car, I got a complete Diest fire suit with face mask and all. When I put the suit on and looked in the mirror, I was there...hey, this was top fuel to me." Mike persuaded the local police to block off three blocks where he lived, push started the car and made a pass right in front of his parent's house!
Best ET as purchased was on the 1/8th mile at Whitehall, Illinois...6:02 @ 130 mph on 65% nitro premixed by a shop in Peoria. Later, Mike upgraded to a 327 with Corvette steel crank, full floating 12:5:1 TRW pistons, Isky 550 Super LeGerra Cam and brand new double hump heads. Burning 75%, this combo netted Mike a 5:56 @ 138 mph at Springfield, Illinois. The car was damaged in an accident that occurred during turn around at the starting line at Midway Dragway in '69. Mike took the best pieces for his Dawson car and sold the Avenger to a fellow in Freeport, Illinois.
In late 1970, Mike had Jerry "Decent" Dawson build him this stunning 192" Don Long style car using light weight front end design. The Dawson car used a 57-64 Old/Pontiac rear end with 4:56 gears, a Crowerglide clutch. The best time for this car was 9.02 at 155 mph at Motion Raceway in Assumption, Illinois. After Mike's wife was killed in a car accident in 1971, Mike's driving activities came to a halt.
Fast forward 30 years and here you have it...a 216'' Bob Boulton with a fabbed Ford 9'' with Olds ends, Richmonds 4:11 gears, Wilwood brakes. Goodyear Eagle 33x11x15 slicks on Weld Alumistars out back with 17'' spokes up front. The engine is 372 cubic inch SBC featuring Dart Little "M" block, Crower light weight crank, GRP rods, JE pistons, Isky roller cam, Jesel rockers, Titan oil pump and Brodix 23 degree aluminum heads. The Kinsler injection is set to run 50% nitro. Mike is back with a vengance.
Good Gravy! This month's featured flyer is Scott "Bisquit" Allen from Anderson, Indiana in his 183" Don Dean FED.
The potent rodent powering Bisquit's digger is a 4 bolt main 355 SBC swinging forged 12:1 TRW slugs connected to 5.7 factory "X" rods on a Bill Smith balanced GM crank A Crane roller bumpstick, vintage Engle rev kit, and Harland Sharp 1.5 rockers motivate the 2.05 valves inside the Dart Sportman heads that are force fed copious quantities of alky through an early 60's set of Hilborn injectors with Kinsler nozzles. An MSD 6AL spark box and Pro Billet distributor light the mixture off while zoomie headers send it skyward.
Transfering all those wicked ponies to the 32 x 15 x 11.5 Firestone slicks is a 1.76 Powerglide with transbrake and a Hughes 8" 5500 stall converter. Wilwood brakes bring Bisquit's digger to a halt. The car weighs a mere 1530 lbs.. with Bisquit in it!
Bisquit has been racing as far back as he can remember starting with a V8 powered Mustang II that he raced at the Muncie International Raceway High School Drags. Bisquit's "calling" as a racer came at the age of 20 when he got a chance to sit in the Ivo 4-engine Nailhead Buick car in Norm Day's shop.
The hot seat in Bisquit's digger is all business as this photo clearly reveals.
Here's a picture of Biscuit's digger before he owned it. The original owner, Charlie Sewell ran a blown gas Hemi. Charlie sold the car to DW and EH Martin. The Hemi threw a rod so the Martin brothers ran a SBC. Rumor has it that the original blown Hemi motor is gathering dust in a barn as a door stop. Bisquit plans to see if can acquire the Hemi by offering to trade it for the genuine rubber article.
Bisquit also raced this vintage Scotty Fenn TE-440 with a 355 SBC turning 11:30's back in '95 at Muncie Dragway Yes Folks, when it comes to racing Front Engine Dragsters, Bisquit Allen has "been there, done that, and got the T-shirt."
The first person on our "Smorgasboard of Front Engine Delight" is Robert Lair of Lake Mills, Iowa in his "Wild Thing" '69 R&B chassis supercharged 368 cubic inch SBC dragster.
Second up is Dennis Corso of Kent, Ohio in his 202" Minnesota Custom Fabrications Jr. Fueler featuring a Hilborn Injected 337 cubic inch SBC. Dennis is currently teaming up with his pals to launch an Nostalgia Top Fuel project. Stay tuned for more of Dennis' front engine exploits coming soon.
This photo submitted by Jerry Hayes of Cheyenne, Wyoming was taken at the Mile High Nationals in Denver, Colorado and features an injected Wayne "Gimmy" GMC headed 6 cylinder powerplant. In their day, nitro burning Gimmy headed 6's were the scourge of drag strips everywhere. Judging by the smile on the owner's face, this one delivers the bacon.
Jim Warko of Green Pond, South Carolina lines up in his '02 200 inch Tuttle CMX chassied blown and Hilborn "4-holer" injected SBC powered digger against Ed and Tammy Fargo of Summerville, S.C. Jim and pals formed the "Southern Slingshots" a group of south eastern FED fanatics that are eager to hear from other racers interested in joining them for action. Check out their site at: http://www.southernslingshots.com
A featured flyer in previous installments, Robert Armstrong send these pictures of his latest...an injected SBC powered FED.
The next two pictures feature the Floyd Head AA/FD car driven by 60's T/F legend Eddie Taylor of Arlington, Texas. Eddie had lots of success in this car and has the pictures and trophies to prove it.
Taken at Houston International Speedway, this photo of Eddie Taylor blaring off the line features the timing shack where FEDhead Clint sat while watching his father race back in the mid 60's. Eddie is still terrorizing drag strips in his newly acquired blown and injected BBC Willys.
Raring up on its haunches and thrusting its elongated probiscus high into the air is the crimson digger of Paul Eves of Newmarket, Ontario Canada. An original '67 180" Don Long chassis with Tom Hanna body and Tony Nancy interior, Paul still has the original bill of sale!
Paul's ride is chassis #22 and weighs a mere 1,450 lbs....driver included! Paul is a "Tool and Die" man by trade (36 years) who currently builds attribute inspection fixtures for the automotive industry.
Nestled securely between the framerails is a an alky guzzlin' small journal 327 Chevy bored +.060 over with stock steel rods, unmodified "double camel hump" heads, Vertex mag and Hilborn injectors. Having read "Spud's Nitro Notes," Paul is planning a 350 SBC nitro motor for the future.
Transfering power from the mighty mouse to the monster gummies is a 1.82 Powerglide coupled to a Chrysler 8 3/4 with 4:88 gears. Paul's combo has thus far netted him a personal best of 8.547 @ 151.07 mph.
Paul's car is all original with the exception of the front cowl that he had to build to accomodate the SBC. This shot taken at Dragway Park, Cayuga, Ontario, shows his handiwork prior to paint and the zoomie style headers. How aboot that, eh?
FED Fanatics...feast your greedy eyes on this healthy slice of front engine nostalgia. Built by master welder and craftsman deluxe "Digger" Doug Evans of San Marcos, Texas this 168" 1968 Logghe Stamping digger turns heads everywhere it goes.
Doug's ride, the "Stumbler", is named after the car club of which he is a member and features the club's distinctive Von Dutch inspired "flying pumpkin" logo. Doug applied the candy striped paint scheme himself.
Doug also built the zoomies, gas tank, battery box, seat and body with a little advice from Pat Foster of "Jade Grenade" fame.
The Stumbler's motor is a 355 c.i. SBC featuring Hilborn injectors with 12'' stacks, a PG-150 pump and forged blower pistons. Doug's mill transfers power to the ground via a Powerglide tranny and a Ford 9'' diff. On only its third outing, the Stumbler rewarded Digger Doug with a low nine second run. She'll only go quicker as Doug refines his launch procedure and tune-up.
Digger Doug sits comfortably in his "office" contemplating the sheer joy of burning his slicks with his fellow FEDheads at the Slingshot Nationals this June, 26th at Cordova Raceway in Illinois. See ya there!
Featured in a previous article, Andrew Mraz of San Diego burns up the asphalt at California Hot Rod Reunion. Drew qualified in the top half of the field at every event he attended in 2003. He finished eleventh in the Good Guys NE2 class for 2003 despite making only 3 of the 4 points races!
In this shot taken at CHRR, Drew tosses the laundry out after another run. His best E.T. to date is 8.51 @ 159 mph. Drew credits a lot of his success to his sponsors "The Parker Stores" a total hose and fitting service, as well as SKS Inc, a distributor for Valvoline. Drew's crew consists of Crew Cheif Drew "D2" Mraz, his son, and crewman Evan Hillmann.
Drew puts some serious spin on his Hoosier 32-14 x 15 slicks as he leaves the line at Bakersfield en route to another "win." In Feb. 2003, Drew was #1 qualifier for the 8.60 class at the Pro Nitro event in Las Vegas.
Drew races his dragster about every other weekend. His local track is Barona Drag Strip in Lakeside, California. According to Drew, Barona has "a great surface, good pits, good lighting, good turnout and even good food."...everyone's dream!!
After a season of trials and tribulations, the keepers of "The Mistress" report in...
Jeff Wilson writes:
The Mistress's 2003 season report is late in coming in, but better late then never. The season brought good times and bad. We only made two events the whole season, Memorial Day & Labor Day weekends. Memorial Day weekend was the very first trip down the track for my brother in his new Mistress. If you throw out the bad launches towards the guard rails, a bad powerglide, bent valves, broken pushrods, burnt pistons, and 14 second ET's, it would have been a really good weekend, but at least he got his license. Best ET for Memorial Day weekend was 9.02, and we found out that it will run 10's in just first gear alone, but the motor hates that.
The costly motor and tranny rebuild kept us out until the last race of the year. We felt pretty good about things for Labor Day and planned to sneak up on a good tune. Alaska weather being as it is, we only got one pass on Saturday before it rained and again it launched right towards the guardrail, and ran 10.86 @ 129mph. Sunday was a rain out totally, but we had fun in the pits with our friends and had a great Bar-B-Q.
Monday morning found us having problems during first warm-up with plugged and spouting nozzles that we could not fix, we ended up replacing them with nozzles that were too big. We felt sure we could have ran low 8's if we didn't have the nozzle trouble, so then all we could hope for was a Fat & Happy motor and 9's. We also had the main problem of getting the dragster to launch straight. With help from one of the Alaskan Grizzly AA Fuel Altered crew members, we were able to solve the problem with tire O.D and did better burn-outs. Best ET was 9.08 @ 145mph, and we took the dragster home in one piece and in running condition.
Once home, my brother said, "Well let's strip it down and completely rebuild it." My reply was "WHAT? Are you crazy? We just put it together a week ago!" Not fast enough is all he'd say, need more power. Funny how these dragster drivers are never satisfied. Oh well, I'll get the tools.
In 1980, Ed Hoffman restored this awsome competition coupe using a 92'' 1959 Lyndwood Eliminator 1 front engine dragster chassis and an all steel '31 Ford Model A body.
Ed completed the car in 90 days and ran in the high 10's first time out. Not bad for a mild 350 SBC and a total expenditure of $3500! Ed did all the work himself except the paint. One year later, he installed a more powerful 327 and chrome zoomies and the car ran a best of 9.63 @ 141 mph.
Ed reports that the car is a very consistent and does great wheelies--especially in the parking lot of the local car show. The police so thoroughly enjoyed Ed's wheelstanding antics that they awarded Ed with a citation of exceptional merit...a true FED man for sure!
Ed was into Front Engine Dragsters long before the Nostalgia Movement caught on and in keeping with his passion, he's building this incredibly clean and minutely detailed Woody Gilmore for his next round of Front Engine antics.