A Sampling of the Cars in the Late Sixties
The Latter Half of the Sixties
The last half of the 1960s in rear-engine dragster design saw an extension of work in chassis and streamlining. These photos show a sampling of some of those cars.
Streamlined Chrysler Hemi-engined dragster. 201.34 mph top speed. Destroyed in crash at 1966 U.S. Nationals
California. Top fuel dragster with 354 Chrysler Hemi motor.
Battle Creek, Michigan. Top fuel dragster owned and driven by Dan Richards. Fred Yeager built the chassis. 427 Chevy (1968-70) and Keith Black Hemi (1971-73).
California. First rear-engined Woody car. Crashed during testing at Lions Drag Strip in December 1969
California. Brian Chuchua, a Jeep dealer, owned a radical rear-engined, chain-driven sidewinder powered by a blown Chrysler hemi engine. Ed Lenarth was scheduled to be the driver, but during testing, Bob Hightower crashed the car at Lions. It was scheduled to have an AMC Gremlin body.
Essman & Sandoval
Burbank, California. Top fuel dragster. Gary Essman did the driving and Frank Sandoval built the dragster and the 392 Chrysler engine.
Speed Sport III
Tucson, Arizona. Modified roadster built by Lyle Fisher and Red Greth. Unable to compete with the fuel dragsters, this third edition of the Speed Sport line of roadster only ran for six-eight months before being retired. After its retirement, Lyle Fisher lengthened the chassis and converted it into a highly successful sand dragster. About 203 mph known top speed. Photos courtesy of Ted Sitterley
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Top fuel dragster owned and driven by Bob Tortorete.
Dan Widner-Kaiser Bros.
Lakewood, Colorado. Top fuel dragster, driven by Tom Kaiser using a Mark Williams chassis and Chrysler Hemi. 249 inch wheelbase. 211 mph top speed.
Lincoln Park, Michigan. Top fuel dragster owned and driven by Dwane Ong. 426 Chrysler Hemi in Woody Gilmore chassis. Won the AHRA Summernationals in 1970. Best time was 6.63 at 224 mph.
Art Malone's Sidewinder
Tampa, Florida. $70,000 and two years in construction. 426 Hemi. Used for testing, but unsuccessful in competition.