I always thought multi-barrel carbs were so for better drivability on the street... 2 barrels for general around town puttering and all 4 when you want to go fast. Not an issue on a drag car... so why would a 1-barrel carb be an unusual or "new" idea in a drag application? Isn't the whole point to ram as much fuel/air into the engine as you can?
What am I missing?
Yes, in principal they are as most are set up to open the second set of barrels progressively in essence you are running around on a two barrel carb until you tromp on the gas. Many of the tri-power setups are set up to run on the middle carb then depending on the linkage a second and then third carb comes on the harder the gas pedal is depressed. I have seen some set up to run on one then on all three at about 3/4 +/- open of the center, coming on all the way when the pedal is on the floor.
When I got my '65 GTO it's Tripower linkage was set up in the 2 + 4 (barrels open) set up, it ran much better when changed to a progressive 2 + 2 + 2 set up. Basic idea was to give performance with a degree of economy (even when gas was .27 cents the average guy was making $2 - $4 an hour, much like prices Vs wages today).
That one barrel carb's discharge tubes look more like shower heads, looks like it can supply a lot of air and fuel in a hurry.
Bill, yes indeed those metering blocks look like Holley's design, one end probably feeds one tube and the opposite feeds the other. Sure does look smooth enough to shove a whole lot of air down the throat.