Slingshot Rail Dragster Class



January 23, 2012 Troy, MI – On Sunday, July 29, the Concours will present a class of Slingshot Rail dragsters at the 34th Annual Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s.

Born over 50 years ago, Slingshots get their name from the extreme rearward positioning of the driver’s torso behind the axle and slicks. In the early years of drag racing, the front-engine slingshot dragsters stood above the rest. The cars, also known as Top Fuel dragsters, run on a mix of approximately 90% nitromethane and 10% methanol rather than gasoline or simply methanol.

The cars were purpose-built for drag racing with an exaggerated layout that resembled open-wheel circuit racing vehicles. However, slingshot dragsters are much longer, much narrower and are equipped with large tires in back and small tires in front. Built by professional chassis builders, they were constructed by bending and welding together tubing and with the engine in front of the driver, as traditionally placed in race cars.

This year the Concours will feature cars by the renowned chassis builders, the Logghe Brothers. In terms of pure craftsmanship and innovation, few drag racing chassis builders can match the legendary reputation of the Logghe Brothers, Ron and Gene. Aside from having built some of the most successful cars in the sport, they also pioneered the first flip-top body Funny Cars. The Logghe Brothers were inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

Also highlighted will be premier dragster body-builder, Al Bergler. Michigan native and Shelby Township, MI resident Al Bergler, is a longtime drag racer who has been a major force in the national scene, both in the Sportsman and Professional ranks. Al’s lifelong vocation has fit in well with his racing efforts, as he is also one the highest regarded racecar body part fabricators in the world.

Interesting facts about NHRA Top Fuel dragsters:

  • The nitromethane-powered engines of NHRA Top Fuel dragsters produce approximately 7,000 horsepower, about 37 times that of the average street car.
  • One cylinder of the eight cylinders of a Top Fuel dragster produces 750 horsepower, equaling the entire horsepower output of a NASCAR engine.
  • A Top Fuel dragster leaves the starting line with a force nearly five times that of gravity, the same force of the space shuttle when it leaves the launching pad at Cape Canaveral.
  • A Top Fuel dragster travels the length of more than four football fields in less than five seconds.

Featured will be Green Monster #5, created by the Arfons brothers in Akron, OH and powered by a twelve cylinder Allison aircraft engine. This dragster dominated the strips and speed records during the mid- to late-1950s. The dragster wears its original shade of green paint and monster’s face.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see this collection of dragsters along with all the expected classes of classic cars on Sunday, July 29, 2012 at The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, MI. The show opens at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m. and is open to the public.

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