A Sampling of the Cars in the Early 1960s

The Early 1960s

The second decade of rear-engine dragster design expanded and extended the work of the pioneers of the fifties. These photos show a sampling of some of those cars.

Ken Miller

ca. 1960

"Tiller Miller" dual Pontiac-powered dragster

Speed Sport Special II


Tucson, Arizona. Lyle Fisher and Red Greth installed a blower on the fuel-burning Chrysler prior to setting out on the '25 T modified roadster's national tour in 1960. 187.50 mph. Click here to see 8mm movie footage of Speed Sport II; (1) begins at 2:24 mark and goes to 2:33 mark, and (2) begins at 3:16 mark and goes to 3:24 mark of the video. 

Marr & Carruthers


Sacramento, California. Dave Marr (driver) and Lynn Carruthers. Chrysler. 149 mph.

Magwinder/Sidewinder Plus One


Built by Chuck Jones and driven by Jack Chrisman. Later sold to Bill Mann. Lastly run by Hammel-Cullinan & Mulvey from Lancaster, California.

Tony Beckers


Des Moines, Iowa. He ran a single Harley-Davidson engine in 1960, clocking about 100 mph in 14 seconds. He made it a dual-engine H-D dragster in 1961, improving his times to 115 mph in 12.8 seconds.

Hedrich & McClure


Altadena, California. Holly Hedrich and Bob McClure. 392 c.i. Chrysler A/MR. 158 mph in B/MR using a 331 c.i. Chrysler.

Jack McAfee Motors Special


Burbank, California. Porche Super 90-engined X/D owned and driven by Jack McAfee. 105 mph top speed.

Sidewinder II


Wayne Reed (owner) and Jack Chrisman (driver).

Coleman Bros. Speed Shop Chassis Research Special


Baltimore, Maryland. Earl Howard (driver)

Ted Cyr's Sidewinder


B fuel Chevy-powered dragster. Driven by Emory Cook. 170.13 mph top speed

Chet Herbert


Driven by Zane Shubert. Chevy-powered sidewinder dragster

Speed Sport IV


Phoenix, Arizona. Lyle Fisher, Don Sullivan & Red Greth (driver). Air turbine engine. Bottom photo courtesy of Ted Sitterley

Cook Bros., Jahns, & Hedges


295 c.i. Dodge C/FD. 180 mph+. They initially had a tricycle configuration, but later switched to a four-wheel setup.

Sidewinder Plus 1


Lancaster, California. Hammel, Cullinan, & Mulvey. 170 mph top speed on fuel.

Israeli Rocket


Miami, Florida. Top Gas dragster of Cohen, Shapiro, Sonnenblik, and O'Brien. Driven by Paul Shapiro. Ran a blown Olds in 1963 and a blown Dodge with Orner injector in 1964-65. 8.71 ET.

Scrima & Bacilek


377 c.i. Chevy on fuel. Ronnie Scrima, George Bacilek, and Roy "Goober" Tuller (driver).

Johnson & Spackman


Desoto-engined D/FMR. 158 mph top speed.

Tony Nancy/The Wedge/Century Olds

1964, 1969-71

Sherman Oaks, California. Gas dragster. 179.28 mph top speed. Gary LeDuc, of North Hollywood, bought the car from Tony Nancy in 1969, running it through 1971 as an A/GD with an injected Buick engine and automatic transmission.

S & M Speed Shop


Buffalo, New York. Jim and Dan Sivenpiper. 170 mph top speed in A/FD.

Modern Specialist


Long Beach, California. Doug Church, Bob Cowan, and Doc Hunt. Porche Spyder Carrera engine. 104 mph top speed.

Nasty I & II


Somerville, Massachusetts. A & B Speed Shop sponsored a rear engine car owned by Al Czerniak, Ron Still, and Joe Jacono. The photo shows "Nasty 1" which ran in the early 1960s, but "Nasty 2" debuted in 1965 and had a longer wheelbase and was much more streamlined. It was billed as the world's fastest rear-engine streamliner.

Dart Charger/Polka Dart/Don Garlits' Dart


Dodge contracted Dick Branstner to build an experimental car. He and Jay Howell used a '64 Dart, putting a blown nitro-fueled 426 Chrysler in the rear of the driver. Roger Lindamood also drove it. The car recorded a top speed of 173 mph before the car was given to Don Garlits in 1966 at Branstner's request. Garlits made some modifications to the drive train and engine placement. Emory Cook was driving at Detroit Dragway on June 11, 1966, when the car was completely destroyed in a crash.

Mahan & Verhelst


Bremerton, Washington. Mike Clancy built a '23 Ford-bodied coupe running a blown small-block Chevy for Ken Mahan and Jack Verhelst. 161 mph top speed.