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Snake45

Is There a Name for This?

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Is there a name for the type of dragster frame as seen in the AMT Double Dragster and Monogram Sizzler/Revell Slingster? I mean the old style with dual roll bars on the sides of the driver. I've started calling them "handrail" frames because they remind of handrails on stairs, but I wonder if there's another name used for them. 

I know that Chassis Research built some of these, as did Kent Fuller (before he went to the single overhead loop that eventually became the norm, around 1962). 

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tv-tommy-dual_orig.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Also commonly known a "rail", "digger", and "slingshot".  I remember the last most commonly when growing up.  ABC's "Wide World of Sports" was the major conduit of info.

Edited by The Junkman

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I don't recall any special name for this style of chassis and roll bar, usually they were all just called "Rail Jobs" in sort of a generic way. 

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Posted (edited)

Slingshot. Mickey Thompson is widely credited for originating and popularizing the design with the driver behind the rear axle, allowing maximum engine setback for the most possible weight transfer under acceleration.

And one of its chief advantages was the severely narrowed rear axle, which helped limit the tendency of cars to self-steer if they had unequal traction on the rear tires.

The term "rail job" was applied to the earliest stripped down cars that were nothing but frame rails, engines, and running gear. The term expanded to encompass anything similar, including "slingshot" cars.

Thompson's own words:

“It was late 1954 that I decided to build a radically new type of dragster. For years everyone in the sport had been making noises about traction, weight transfer and about getting as much of the weight of the vehicle as possible concentrated on its rear driving tires. As the whole sport learned to get more and more horsepower from its engines, the need for greater traction became even greater.
Gradually the idea took shape. The big obstacle was keeping the driver between the engine and the rear axle. This required a drive shaft of a certain length, which pushed the engine forward by that amount. Now if you would place the driver behind the rear axle you could couple the engine-transmission assembly directly to it and you would really have the main weight of the vehicle focused on the driving wheels.”
“There was another problem to traction and that was the amount of rubber on the ground. If you could double the area of rubber on the pavement, you could probably transmit almost double the horsepower to the road before the wheels would spin. That is when I went to dual rear wheels and everybody laughed at my "Truck", but I got the results I'd hoped for. Then I went to the A-1 Tire Company and talked them into building moulds for the first recap wide-tread slicks, which I seemed to have invented. This paid off some more.
One of the biggest factors limiting dragster performance in those days was directional stability-the things were just desperately hard to keep going in a straight line. I felt that this could be helped by approaching as closely as possible to a three-wheel configuration with the front wheels very wide apart and the rear wheels just as close together as the width of the driver's body would allow. So I built a dragster that way.
As it gradually took shape, the result of all these ideas made me the butt of jokes all over southern California. But funny thing was that it ran and one day a Santa Anna hot rodder Leroy Neumeyer said to me, ‘You know what that beast reminds me of, Mick? A slingshot. You know, the way the driver sits back there like a rock in a slingshot.’"
That was the name that stuck and the configuration proved to be so successful, so unbeatable, that within a couple of years it became the standard of the sport.
Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Yah yah yah, I know all about slingshots and rails and diggers, but those terms lived on long past the type of roll bars I'm asking about. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Snake45 said:

Yah yah yah, I know all about slingshots and rails and diggers, but those terms lived on long past the type of roll bars I'm asking about. 

Like you said, both Kent Fuller and Chassis Research built the style of frame you're asking about, but so did others.

T.E. 448, below ("totally enclosed") was kinda the "kleenex" of the type, and is still a name commonly used to refer to this design.

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/retro-te-448-fed-dragster-build-tech.576068/

So you can call it a "Chassis Research T.E. 448-style" frame. Or not.

JC-Whitney-06.jpg

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Check this out...non-mandrel bends, oxy-acetylene welding on a T.E. 448:

[IMG]

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, keyser said:

...I remember it as a Dragmaster...

The classic Dragmaster is more like this, kinda like the Chassis Research K88, but different...

Projects - Dragmaster Dragster Found Hanging On A Wall. | The H.A.M.B.   or with double hoops like the Mooneyes frames  image.jpeg.f2aebb6aec96ba1d38a1e9d5ca182c8c.jpeg

Both were available as Revell parts-packs.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The other Revell parts-pack frame was a Kent Fuller version of the TE448, identifiable by its small-diameter-tube X at the rear, with upper and lower forward rails forming a shallow triangle, the basis for the twin-nailhead powered Tommy Ivo car above in Snake's original post.

The TE448 had double Us at the rear, and generally more parallel forward rails, as in Snake's first photo.

And I don't know who built the first one, but I find the Fuller version to be the superior design.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Here's a TE448 that has had the sides of its rear cage raised to comply with sanctioning body regs. Probably should have gone a little higher...

Picture

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DOG SLED! THERE we go! Succinct and descriptive! :D

I KNEW there had to be some kind of way to describe these things! :D

Thanks Daddyfink! B)

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I've heard early dragster chassis being called "skidbar chassis".  Not sure if that refers to the roll cage design (which would seem to let the chassis skid if overturned) or the "underslung" design (lower frame rail below the rear axle) which would let the chassis skid if a rear wheel came off...

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1 hour ago, Mark said:

I've heard early dragster chassis being called "skidbar chassis".  Not sure if that refers to the roll cage design (which would seem to let the chassis skid if overturned) or the "underslung" design (lower frame rail below the rear axle) which would let the chassis skid if a rear wheel came off...

VERY interesting, thanks! 

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Dogsled and skidbar. Geez, never heard those but makes sense. Early chassis and enclosed frame FE’s are gorgeous. Never liked RE rails. Great stuff. Glad reissues of old tired kits are out since I missed them first time. 

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Some awesome photos in this post - thanks for starting it Snake.  Like you, I can't say I have ever heard of anyone referring to this design.  Slingshot would have been perfect if it hadn't continued on to cover the evolution of all front engined dragsters from that time forward.

Dog sled is growing on me!

Cheers

Alan

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7 hours ago, keyser said:

Dogsled and skidbar. Geez, never heard those but makes sense. 

I never had either, which is why I asked the question. Was "dogsled" ever used back in the day? I dunno and don't care. That's what I'm calling 'em from now on, and Daddyfink can have all the credit. B)

BTW, I dislike the term "rear engine" for the current (for the last 50 years or so) type of dragster. The engine hasn't moved an inch--it's the same place it's always been. It's the DRIVER who moved up front. So I call these cars front driver or forward driver cars. B)

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9 minutes ago, keyser said:

Front-drive drag cars. They're called Hondas. I'm confused Snake :D

Apparently. I said front-DRIVER, not front-DRIVE. See the difference? B)

(If you don't see the difference, ask a pirate. :lol: )

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RRRRRRRRoger that :D

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My wife would call that a "whattayacallit"!

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57 minutes ago, Snake45 said:

Apparently. I said front-DRIVER, not front-DRIVE. See the difference? B)

(If you don't see the difference, ask a pirate. :lol: )

And just to confuse you a bit...😁

How about this Top Fuel concoction Noel Black brought to Fremont ...

 

 

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1 hour ago, Daddyfink said:

And just to confuse you a bit...😁

How about this Top Fuel concoction Noel Black brought to Fremont ...

 

 

Oh, I KNOW what to call that one. "Just Sick And Wrong." :lol:

(The car in the background is a '66-'67 GTO. It's amazing someone built something this weird that late.) 

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1 hour ago, Snake45 said:

Oh, I KNOW what to call that one. "Just Sick And Wrong." :lol:

(The car in the background is a '66-'67 GTO. It's amazing someone built something this weird that late.) 

It was a Land Speed car and this was taken during some shakedown runs at the track. Noel Black, owner/driver, lost his life in this car 

It was nicknamed the Rhinoceros due to the scoop bump up front. This is the car with the body on.

ff26.jpg

History - Drag cars in motion.......picture thread. | Page 1669 ...

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Didn't know that; my condolences. I'll say it looked better with its clothes on. 

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