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Note to editor: The Dodge Avenger is a PRO STOCK drag car, not a DRAGSTER. Take a note so the non automotive/motorsports novices aren't misinformed in the future and get weird looks cast in their direction when they go to their first NHRA event and point at a Funny Car or Pro Stocker & say, "Hey, I like the paint job on that dragster". Isn't it bad enough we have to suffer technical innacuracies committed by filmakers on a regular basis? It's okay to slip up on the year of manufacture on a vehicle that's a 1961 but was incorrectly referred to as a 1960, but shouldn't an automotive journalist be expected to discern the difference between and open wheel Indy car vs. an open wheel F-1 car?
First I found the story interesting and see no need to rag on the writer as many who posted here did. Please try to enjoy all car coverage without bitching at the reporting because car guys need to stick together to stop zoning, local junk codes , state , and federal laws from making us extinct.
I owned a total service speed shop in the 60’s and 70’s building ground up cars, engines and paint for the track or street. I used to race a few cars including a 69 SS/C AMX and 66 SS/F GTO along with a front engine AA/FD and a AA/FA that in later years I raced in the Super Pro Class with either a BB or small block depending on my finances at the time . I built my Top Fuel Rail into a street car around 1968 to race on the streets when that was hot way to race in the 1960’s
Technically all vehicles raced at a drag strip are and were called ‘dragsters’. The writer did label the Pro Stock car as
as well as using the term ‘dragster’ which it is.
A lot depends on where you live. Same for food like here we call it a submarine sandwich a ‘sub’ and in different parts of the USA it’s called a hogie, a hero, or a few other names
Apparently what you are referring to as a ‘dragster’ is technically called a ‘rail dragster’ that includes all classes of rails. and like a a sub, people shortened ‘rail dragster’ to just dragster or ‘rail’. Some dragsters are defined further by only using their class that uses a rail design such as the AA/F Dragster is often just referred to simply as a Fueler . Over the years people began to refer to them as Rails and eventually the term Dragster became associated with a Top Fuel Rail Dragster.
Do you know why or how these race cars became known as ‘dragsters’? It was way before a rail was even thought of and when race tracks were few. Before there were many speed shops and pretty much no suspension science Good Ole boys in the south and west would heat and weaken the rear springs so the car would squat in the rear for better weight transfer. When they raced their old door slammers the weak springs in the rear and power lifted the front a little bit (no where near the wheelies of the last 30+ years) and some people thought the cars looked like they were dragging the rear bumper on the ground. It only takes one guy to come up with a phrase or name for it to catch on and ‘dragster’ did same with ‘Hot Rod’ came to be when some guy talked about another guys fast car and described it as having hot rods and Choppers became so named after men came home from the war and bought Harleys and Indians like the ones they rode in the Army, then ‘chopped’ the front and rear parts of the fenders and ‘chopped off’ other unnecessary parts to go faster.
Funny cars were originally factory bodied cars Classed as A/FX and one day another racer looked at a MOPAR race car and said “hey that car looks funny” It took a close look to see the owners sneakily moved the rear wheels forward a few inches for better weight transfer and the name Funny Car was born. That eventually morphed into a new class of wilder and wilder door slammers that changed a lot over the years from basically stock metal cars to todays breed of what is basically a short rail dragster with a fiberglass body that kinda looks like a real car. The writer seemed pretty accurate to me , even if he was not he could be a rookie just starting out as we all were at one time so cut the guy some slack
ivy8mush, I have had cars in Hot Rod Car Craft, Cars, Street Power, Street Machine, Street Racer, Street Cruiser, and a few others . many photographers and writers don't know about cars and this is only a side job because face facts, nudie mags pay girls and photogs big bucks, but car owners get zero for their car being featured in a mag and photographers often do both pics and the story..
One shoot was for a former Jungle Jim Camaro that I modified for the new owner into a wild street car. I met the writer at a local beach for the shoot and one of the first things he said was "ok what's so special about it?'
It seems the mirror smooth mirra metal flake topped black paint job with flames
wasn't noticable to him, nor were the big tires and the chromed engine, so I just pointed out what he should shoot and told him the info he needed that he simply repeted in his story on the car
He told me he would spend a day on my car and earn $50 and he did freelance work for fashion mags, a local news paper where he was from and also weddings to make a weeks pay when he could get the work.
That was in the 60's and early 70's and I doubt it's changed since then except getting worse, considering about 90% of the car mags from back then no longer exist and how many speed shops are left? Or race tracks? Hot cars were everywhere every day back then. You could not go to a high school, pass a gas station,or drive down the street without passing several street machines, street rods or customs. now you only see some at cruise nights in the summer and it's rare to see them actually driven to any other places
The bottom line is, so what? any publicity that generates more fans of car hobbies is a good thing, so stop complaining. Make a correction if you think you see a mistake but appreciate the coverage or better yet chuckle a bit if what they wrote or did in error was funny. Also consider what is written is also usually edited by others before it's published