The Magwinder

The Magwinder

The Magwinder was pretty radical for a drag car, even in 1961. Besides being a sidewinder (named so for it’s transverse-mounted, mid-engine set up), it featured a stunning chassis by Kent Fuller made of magnesium (hence the Mag-winder name) that allowed an insanely low and compact footprint. Other odd and notable features were the Renault rack & pinion steering box, Porsche and VW suspension components and a lethal supercharged Chrysler 454 putting out 750 horsepower. With a weight of under 1500 pounds and an extremely short wheelbase, the result was a white-knuckled ride to the very low 9’s in the 1/4 mile at over 170 mph that only a pro like drag legend Jack Chrisman could ever hope of getting down the strip unscathed… Sidewinders were always known to be a handful, but Magwinder was especially so, due it’s light and ultra-rigid chassis. Even with a veteran at the wheel, they were also known to snap axles and throw drive chains pretty regularly. Magwinder’s owner was Southern California hot rodder Chuck Jones, who was perhaps best known for a long string of campaigning these cars along with Chrisman, going all the way back to 1957 with the crude-yet-effective “Automotive Engineering” sidewinder.

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