The first age of the front engine dragster was a long one. Until Big Daddy Don Garlits got the whole rear engine situation sorted out, the front engine “slingshot” dragster was the hot ticket at the strip. The second golden era of the slingshot is in full effect now. As you’ll see at the upcoming live broadcast of the California Hot Rod Reunion and as you can see at strips across the country on a weekly basis, there are a ton of FEDs roaming the country. Guys run mild small blocks in period correct old chassis and have a lot of fun at ETs quick enough to really get your attention, and companies like S&W Race Cars build modern chassis for racers who want to haul the mail with none restrictions levied on ancient pipe. The modern “nostalgia” top fuel cars are wonders of performance, running into the mid-five second zone on a tiny tire and a metallic mountain plunked right down in front of the driver. It is all so wrong that it is cosmically perfect.
Modern front engine cars are safer due to improvements in construction, increased tubing and bracing in areas where the driver sits, and better tire technology. During the late 1960s when guys were really figuring our how to make big boy horsepower, lots of drivers met their end in the cockpits of slingshot dragsters. Those grisly memories add to the allure of these iconic cars.
In this gallery you’ll see fuelers, sportsman dragsters, twin engine front motor cars, and a couple of little Jr. Fuel cars. Slingshots Forever!