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Harry P.

Vintage Drag Racing Classes

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Any drag guys out there? I need a list and short explanation for the classes used in the late 50s/early 60s era, like A/D, B/D, AA/FD, etc. I'm building a vintage-style dragster and want to put the correct class markings on it.

Of course, I meant drag RACING guys...not guys in drag! ;)

Edited by harrypri

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And while you're at it throw in the markings "Gasser's" and "Altered" from as well

I enjoy building vintage drag racing vehicles, but omit the markings fearing I might label an "AA" as an "AD", or a "PD", etc.

thanx ;)

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Drag racing classes has always been about modifications and in today terms "power adders" as a rule of thumb a AA car would be blown or turboed an A car would be injected or carbed.

In the MP Modified production classes alot of things went into consideration. cubic inch to weight ratio, Manufacturer rated horsepower, transmission type etc.

Also be aware that AHRA NASCAR and NHRA plus 1/2 a dozen other sanctioning bodies all used their own designations.

Thing to do do is brush up on class rules by reviewing old rule books if you really want to get anal about it .

A Class a given car might run often changed race to race because of rule revisions or someone "Dumping the index" Making your "E/SA" E= Class SA= Stock Automatic run in F/SA by simply adding some weight or changing a carb or head casting #.

Simple huh! ;)

If been thinking of scanning old rule books and posting them to my fotki site for reference.

In the meantime grab a beverage and cruise my Fotki site

http://public.fotki.com/VincePutt/drag_racing/

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You would need a large book to lay it all out and it changed over time. The first group of letters before the slash was always related to engine size or factory rated horsepower. The second group was the larger class designation or Eliminater. AHRA, IHRA and NHRA all had different designations for some classes and a few that were the same. Some Eliminater groups also had multiple classes within them.

The doubling of the prefix letters started in the early 60s and ran until the mid 70s and it merely meant you supercharged the car and that only happened for the top 1,2 or 3 groups in some classes.

There were gas dragsters and fuel dragsters hence /FD or /D. There were fuel altereds /FA and gas altereds /A. But in the fifties it was just dragster /D class and they had roadster /R and coupe /C classes in addition to stock class. Sometimes those were designated as fuel or gas. The gas coupe class turned into gassers /GS which ran from AA/GS to CC/GS(supercharged) and A/GS -I/GS (Injected or carbed)

/S (stock) was very limited to modifications and again it had to be factory available parts and engine. /SS (super stock)was a production car with more mods allowed but the engine had to be available in that car. Stock and super stock had factors that determined the factory horsepower and weight and what class it fell into. It was very complicated. /MP was weight to cubic inch and you could swap engines. It was a level up from Super Stock.

There were short lived classes such as Modified Compact in the 70s. Ohio George ran a turbo Pinto in AA/MC!! There were sport car, street roadster, and super modified - /SM (Kinky -No?) For one year they had X/SS wich was a trial run for Pro/Stock. The early funny cars had unusual class designations until they came up with /FC.

It would be a lot easier if you posted a pic and those of us with knowledge could help you figure out the correct class. A good alternative is to go through old magazines or websites with vintage pics and just match up the cars to your models.

I hope my laying out how confusing it all is helped!!!! ;):P:P

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I'm talking about this model:

exterminator.jpg

It's a generic representation of a typical late 50s/early 60s dragster. It can be built in many version, including twin-engine, and both blown/injected or carbureted.

I'm specifically building the single-engine, blown version. The kit doesn't say what engine size is represented.

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Harry,

Since that engine can be almost any cubic inch size you want you might as make it bigger, right? The style of that car puts it in the early 60s so I would say you are perfectly safe in calling it AA/FD. That would be if it is a nitro car.

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I guess it could be a nitro car, but I thought that back around 60-61 or so most dragsters were still running gas.

AA/FD for nitro, AA/D for gas?

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Harry,

I just pulled out Don Montgomery's Dragster and Funny Car Memories for research and here is what I found. Only NHRA banned nitro but lots of strips were still running fuel car shows. The kit you have is dated mostly by the roll bar style which was rarely seen after 60-61 or so. That style of frame was not seen before maybe 58-59. Depending on sanctioning organisation, year, and fuel your kit can correctly be any of the following - AA/FD, AA/GD, A/D, A/FD, or A/GD. How about them apples! Pick the one that sounds good or you already have the decals for. :P

I will be looking forward to seeing that kit built. I have never seen it built and I know you will do it justice. :blink:

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I guess it could be a nitro car, but I thought that back around 60-61 or so most dragsters were still running gas.

AA/FD for nitro, AA/D for gas?

There were several years in the early sixties when the NHRA outlawed the use of fuels other than gas. I'm not sure about the other orginizations. If you read Hot Rod, Car Craft or Rod&Custom (all Petersen Publishing Co.) in those days you only heard about the NHRA because Wally Parks was head of NHRA and editor of Hot Rod. Anyway, I think fuel was allowed starting in '63. Fuel pretty much killed off the twin engine dragster because the limiting factor on speed became traction instead power. So I'd say if you build with two engines make it AA/D. If you build with one engine it could be either AA/D or AA/FD or even A/FD. Some of the fastest dragsters of the day were actually A/FD (look up Rivero-Weekly-Holding -Fox otherwise known as "The Frantic Four"). Once again probably because traction was so limited with the tires of the day, no downforce, etc. that you could give away a few cubic inches and still be just as fast.

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If you have some time and want to do a little research start here.

http://www.draglist.com/sitemap.htm

The kit decal sheet has AA/D with B,C options depending on which version you build, single engine - blown or carbed, dual engine - blown or carbed etc...

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I will be looking forward to seeing that kit built. I have never seen it built and I know you will do it justice. :)

Thanks! I've already started with the preliminaries...gluing together engine block halves, front axle halves, fuel tank halves...basically all parts that are molded in halves! I need to take a trip to the LHS tomorrow and pick up some styrene, aluminum and brass rod and tubing so I can scratchbuild all the fuel system fittings...I can't just leave it at the "stick the tubing on the pin" level of detail! I'm going with a natural cast look to the blower-no chrome-and I'll be using the mag wheels and slicks from the Big Deuce instead of the kit wheels/tires, just cuz I like the look of the Big Deuce "vintage" mags. Not sure if I'll keep the slicks as whitewalls, tho...I haven't seen too many photos of cars of this era running whitewall slicks! (just one, in fact). I've already picked up the paint. I'm going with my favorite, DupliColor. Turquoise frame and engine block, gold (actually GM "Buckskin") body. I think the turquoise and gold color combo looks period correct.

Thanks to all for your input. This is going to be a fun buildup.

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Thanks! I've already started with the preliminaries...gluing together engine block halves, front axle halves, fuel tank halves...basically all parts that are molded in halves! I need to take a trip to the LHS tomorrow and pick up some styrene, aluminum and brass rod and tubing so I can scratchbuild all the fuel system fittings...I can't just leave it at the "stick the tubing on the pin" level of detail! I'm going with a natural cast look to the blower-no chrome-and I'll be using the mag wheels and slicks from the Big Deuce instead of the kit wheels/tires, just cuz I like the look of the Big Deuce "vintage" mags. Not sure if I'll keep the slicks as whitewalls, tho...I haven't seen too many photos of cars of this era running whitewall slicks! (just one, in fact). I've already picked up the paint. I'm going with my favorite, DupliColor. Turquoise frame and engine block, gold (actually GM "Buckskin") body. I think the turquoise and gold color combo looks period correct.

Thanks to all for your input. This is going to be a fun buildup.

Hiya, Harry! I also have this great kit...I used to race a C/Stocker, Fremont Drag Strip. (later called "Baylands") My racer was a '56 Ford convertible, 292" Y-Block...a real Chevy eater. 92 mph @14.20, respectable enough to irritate Hillary, the Pits Official, who took it upon himself to honor every protest! (they used to tear you down in those days, $50 would do it! The Chevy guys would cry like babies, "A Ford CAN'T BE that fast!" Well, it was. And they never caught me cheating. They measured it 'til hell wouldn't have it)

Anyway, the Twin Dragster has Y-block Ford engines. (T-Bird 312's? With Crankshaft Co. OR 'Hank the Crank' strokers, these engines could have gone to 402 cubic inches EACH, which could put yours in AA/FD, or AA/D.)

Some Ford colors might be novel, as most think these engines to be...ho-hum Chevy smallblocks.

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