Sexiest Dragster of the 50s?
Ryan’s post about the HAMB Drags got me thinking about my favorite Dragsters of the late 50s… The ones that were a little ahead of the curve and daring in their day. Going back to the post-war drag racing days, Diggers were often crude rail jobs with little more than a blown engine hanging out front. As the NHRA formed and the drags grew in popularity, one big factor began to change some dull Diggers into purpose-built Dragster diamonds: Curvy bodywork, inspired by experimenting with aerodynamics and the desire to stand out at the Strip.
Its hard to pick one favorite car of the entire late 50s drag scene, but mine would have to be Hank Vincent’s “Top Banana”. Hank was a Hayward, Calif. electrician, and along with his brother-in-law George Santos who built the Chevy engine, they campaigned the car to hold national records in B/FD and C/FD classes. Sadly, Hank was killed racing the car at the Fremont Drags on May 29, 1960. The beautiful body of his #53 Dragster was hammered out of aluminum by Bay Area legendary metalshaper Jack Hagemann. The sexy shape, capped by aircraft-inspired enclosed canopy and heavily-drilled chrome front axle make this car my top pick. What’s your favorite?