We have lots of respect and interest for all the projects that BangShifters have going on currently, but one has really got our tongue hanging out. BangShift member Toymaker is building a twin engine dragster from scratch. The engines will be twin small block Chevy mills and instead of being inline they will be side by side, like Ivo, Hill, and others did back in the day. The best part is that this isn’t some “ideas” thread, this project is making good progress!
Twin engine dragsters became popular in the Top Gas eliminator category when the NHRA banned nitromethane between 1957 and 1963. Their popularity carried on through the 1960s and up through the early 1970s. Competitors took advantage of lenient rules that didn’t block multiple engines and elapsed times dropped accordingly. Outside of a choice could flyweight machines, double engine cars really ruled the class. Famous machines like the “Odd Couple” which paired a small block Chevy with a Hemi, along with the Frank and Peters Freight Train were nationally famous, even after nitromethane came back on the scene.
Toymaker is building a car that would have been at home in the early 1960s. The wheelbase will be shorter and he’ll run multiple old school carbs on top of the engine. He’s moved from the modeling stage to actual construction. One of the tougher parts of the dual engine deal is coupling the motors, especially in a side by side arrangement. By running one engine backwards (using a special cam from a Chris Craft boat setup) and meshing the flywheels, power can be taken from one side or the other via a clutch or torque converter and fed to a rear end with an offset differential. It isn’t nearly that easy to pull off, but he’s done it.
You need to first watch the videos of both engines running together below and then hit the link to read up on this truly wonderful project.
Bad Ass Project Link: Building an old school twin engine dragster from scratch!
UPDATE – (10/11/2011) — It’s alive! Toymaker debuted the car this last weekend at Eagle Field, and it was a huge success. He says that now he’s going to start searching for some real power for this bad boy. We love the car, although he did debut it sans body. We like the look of the car with the body on it too, so we look forward to seeing it run both ways, so to speak. Congrats Rocky, what a great job. Here are two videos of Rocky’s runs at Eagle Field, click on the build link above to go see more.
UPDATE – (8/30/2011) – Well, it has been far too long since we brought you up to speed with this awesome home spun twin engine dragster project. Five months ago, Toymaker was still fitting and fabricating stuff to round out the basic engine positioning and layout of the chassis. Now he’s got a dragster that really looks like a dragster! The car is on four wheels, the majority of the tough stuff done.
Toymaker is planning on racing at the October 8th Eagle Field Drags. That’s about a month away! Hit the link below to get up to speed on the latest and greatest on this truly cool project. We want one!
UPDATE (2/24/2011) — The greatness continues. Toymaker is hard at work and making progress at an awesome clip. By hitting the link below, you’ll see how be hand fabricated the intake manifolds, sorted out how he was going to mesh the flywheels and send the power to the rear end, watch the beginnings of the chassis come together and see just what type of transmission is going to bear the brunt of two engines.
The retro-awesome nature of this build really gets us in our gearheat sweet spot. This is EXACTLY the way this machine would have come together 50 years ago. There aren’t any blueprints, premade plans, kits, or schlock involved at all. This is simply a dude, his brain, his hands, and his tools working in unison. Bitchin’!
UPDATE (3/7/2011) — Toymaker has been hard at it! In this update the chassis really begins to come together, continuing on from the last update a couple weeks ago, we can see the front half of the chassis being fabbed, how the rear end will be mounted, and some of the pesky detail oriented parts of the build, like making 100% sure the bellhousing is aligned properly to allow for smooth operation of the transmission. Did we mention that the engines themselves are part of the frame on this thing? Sweet mother of awesome.