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History Drag Racing Class Designations ??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by JB_roadrage, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. JB_roadrage
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 372

    JB_roadrage
    Member
    from Caintuckee

    This might be common knowledge on the Hamb, but I was wondering if someone could please explain the class designations for drag racing back in the 60's for me.... or post a link to something that would explain it... I'm a 73 model, so I wasn't around for the good ol days....

    aw1950 posted this for me in his thread, which answered alot, but opens up other questions, like where did the A/FX fit in... or the B/FX.. or others that I've not even heard of before...


    Thanks..
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  2. propwash
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,858

    propwash
    Member
    from Las Vegas

    wow, I saw the title line and assumed the NHRA (national hot ricers assoc) had a class just for guys with large tailpipes, then I realized it was merely a spelling error.
     
  3. JB_roadrage
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 372

    JB_roadrage
    Member
    from Caintuckee

    Damn it... I didn't even notice that...
     
  4. JB_roadrage
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 372

    JB_roadrage
    Member
    from Caintuckee

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  5. rfraze
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 1,973

    rfraze
    Member

    "47 Model here. Went to first drag race in '61. I'll take a shot at getting this started.

    First, In the glory days, drag racing was heads-up. (Flag or light started both lanes at the same time. First one to finish line won.) Winners came back to race other winners til no other competitors, in that class, were left. Class winners won a trophy, then moved on to an Eliminator class, such as Little Eliminator, Middle, Comp, or Top Eliminator for BIGGER trophy or money. Different cars were "spotted" car lengths or start lights were delayed.

    Your car was "teched" and you were told what class you were in.
    CLASSIFICATIONS:
    Stock - had to be pretty close A/Stock and down the alphabet, with an additional letter A for an automatic trans, ex: A/SA (at one time automatics were a disadvantage)
    Super Stock - SS/A, SS/AA (Super Stock/A Automatic)
    Modified Production - Basically stock style cars with engine or chassis mods A/MP
    Factory Xperimental - Stock style body with radical engine and chassis mods. Some were called Xperimental Stock. Put nitro in one and you start Funny Cars. A/FX
    Coupe and Sedan
    Gas - Door cars, on gasoline. Driver on left. Limited engine set-back from stock. Weight-to-cubic inchs determined your class. Early rules required interior and "exhaust system", etc. AA/Gas down AA/GSupercharged - blown
    Fuel - Other than gasoline. F/C - Fuel Coupes, another starting point for Funny Cars
    Competition - Coupe body over the back of dragster chassis A/C
    Altered - Set the engine back more than 10%, center seat, or run alcohol and they move you to altered. Simplest definition of Altered - driver in center. AA/A down
    Roadster - No Top
    Altered - center steer, no fenders AA/A
    Street - left hand steer with fenders AA/SR
    Modified - roadster body on dragster chassis AA/MR
    Sports - sports cars, foreign and domestic AA/SP
    Dragster - tube chassis cars with longer wheelbase AA/FD (Top Fuel) down the alphabet
    Funny Car - class determined by fuel AA/FC - nitro, BB/FC - alcohol, etc

    After classification was determined, the class was determined by engine size, type of induction, fuel, etc. AA -quickest, down the alphabet

    Remember, this was before bracket racing was conceived. Often, cars were built or modified to "fit" a certain class. Most of the time, a competitor could "move up" a class or two, because, in theory, you would be at a disadvantage. You could not move "down" a class (say B class to C or D) without adding weight, because you might have an advantage over others in that class.

    That should start the discussion! Sorry if I missed any classifications, I'm a '47 model.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  6. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,799

    II FUNNY
    Member

    FX classes are confusing. They originally started as low production factory produced cars that did not meet the 50 car minimum to race as stock class cars. Examples would be aluminum nosed Z-11 Impalas, some of the 406 powered Fairlanes before the the THUNDERBOLT. Then they started moving the wheels under the bodies because even in A/FX you had to have a stock firewall so instead of moving the engine back like an altered or a gasser they moved the wheels. Once this started it snowballed and what most think of as A/FX were actually match race stockers or match bash cars that didnt really follow any rules. I'm sure there is a lot more to it than this so maybe some guys who were there can fill in the blanks.
    I'm from 76 so I wasn't there either.
     
  7. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,799

    II FUNNY
    Member

    Looks like I was wrong on the Impala's they made 57 Z-11 cars making them legal for S/S.
     
  8. Hmmmm......

    This could/should be posted on many of the Gasser threads on the H.A.M.B. ;)
     
  9. classic gary
    Joined: Sep 24, 2009
    Posts: 496

    classic gary
    Member

    One of my pet peeves is a naturally aspirated gasser with a/gs painted on it.....
     
  10. Mines a "Gasser" running on alcohol.
     
  11. rfraze
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 1,973

    rfraze
    Member

    There IS a class designation for gassers on meth. In 1993 AA/S was created for gassers running methanol. AA/GS minus the Gas. This heads-up class has been run since at 5.5 lbs per cubic inch displacement and limited to a 6-71 supercharger in '53 and earlier bodies with significant limitations as to body mods. See aasupercharged.net. It is a long and interesting story. Goodguys ran this class with a body cut-off of '72. The NHRA Heritage series called it AA/G. History repeated itself when NHRA cut that class from it's future series. Popularity of the older body style AA/S class has not declined and is still going strong. What we found is that it may be more about the identity of a gasser than the fuel used.
    Several other gasser groups allow the use of alcohol, but strongly protect the gasser identity.
    I could tell you the whole story, but you would have to buy the beer.
     
  12. George Klass
    Joined: Dec 31, 2007
    Posts: 619

    George Klass
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The FX classes first originated at the '62 NHRA Winternationals in Pomona. The first winner in A/FX was Hayden Proffitt in Mickey Thompson's Pontiac Tempest (shown here in an elimination catagory running Earl Wade's 'Vette).

    [​IMG]
    The FX rules were pretty simple. Basically they were Super Stock rules that also permitted the installation of any parts from the same "brand" of car. In this case, for instance, the Pontiac Tempest was fitted with a 421" S/S Pontiac engine, transmission, rear end housing, etc. 10-inch wide tires were also permitted (S/S required a 7-inch wide tire). At that year's race in '62, the B/FX class was won by Don Nicholson with a Chevy SB installed in a Chevy II wagon. Neither of these particular cars were "factory" cars, both built in the racer's garages.

    The Chevy Z-11's were an interesting case. They were origanally targeted for Super Stock class, but since they were never produced in large enough numbers, NHRA created a Limited Production (L/P) class for them, for one year only I think.

    As far as factory produced FX cars, that was limited to the Dodge and Plymouth altered wheelbase cars, the '63 Pontiac Tempest coupes and wagons, and the Ford SOHC Mustangs and Mercury Comets. The vast number of FX cars around the nation were mostly "home built" vehicles. And then when "match race madness" hit, not many of these cars follwed any NHRA class rules, it was "run whatcha brung" time. Those were glorious times...
     
  13. alkydigger
    Joined: Dec 21, 2007
    Posts: 16

    alkydigger
    Member
    from nashville

    A/FX and B/FX meant Factory Experimental . These were the predecessors to the funny cars. Cars that the Factory influenced by either modifying the wheelbases ( MoPar ) or Approving certain limited engines as if they had a legitimate part number so Racers could sort of be factory sponsored, and they became so popular that NHRA created a couple of classes in Super Eliminator ( We ran Gene Snow in 1967) . We had a AA/FA Fuel altered, but ran him for the final in Super Eliminator with which he had the Rambuctious dodge Dart. altered Wheelbase, 426 Hemi, Hilborn Injection, etc.... A/FX .

    Mike Chilando www.alkydigger.com http://www.alkydigger.com
     
  14. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,799

    II FUNNY
    Member

    See I told you someone would be dead on. Thanks George, I hate when everyone thinks that the FX cars were only the AWB cars and not the original outlaw super stocks.
     
  15. George Klass
    Joined: Dec 31, 2007
    Posts: 619

    George Klass
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    In many ways, the FX class was an "outlaw S/S class", particularly with the Dodge and Plymouth racers. Here are some photos of "factory built " Dodges and Plymouth FX cars:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And if your were not one of the "favored few" that got a factory car, you could take your S/S Dodge or Plymouth, move the front and rear end foward, and presto, you had your own Dodge or Plymouth FX'r.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    99 times out of 100, if you see a Dodge or Plymouth altered wheelbase FX car and it's a 2-door sedan (like these two) it's a pretty safe bet that it was modified from a S/S car. All the factory built altered wheelbase Dodges and Plymouths used the "hard top" body (shown above these two).

    Some factory teams that did alot of touring (like Sox & Martin) brought along their factory hard top car and their in-house built coupe, just for the sake of reliability.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    langy
    Member Emeritus

    Me too !!!
     
  17. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,799

    II FUNNY
    Member

    The other thing I hate is when GM owners put FX On they're cars from the 64-65 era when GM wasnt even involved in racing. That's why you see most GM altered wheelbase cars only match racing or getting stuck in the standard altered classes.
     
  18. George Klass
    Joined: Dec 31, 2007
    Posts: 619

    George Klass
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You shouldn't hate, it's bad for the digestion. :)

    Other than a few Pontiac Tempests, GM was out of racing. But how could NHRA have a race class at national events without Chevy's?

    Actually, the FX class kind of disappeared from NHRA almost the same time it started. The "funny cars" were coming. If you remember, the name "funny cars" was derived from the altered wheelbase Mopars, which were FX cars. And even the factory FX cars were being modified beyond recogniton. Look at this:

    [​IMG]
    Hayden Proffitt's "factory" FX Comet.

    [​IMG]
    Hayden's comet after he modified the heck out of it.

    About this time, NHRA through up their hands and ditched the FX class which soon became the Funny Car class.
     
  19. Best thing in this thread is we have two guys who were really there (George Klass, who is in his 70's and Mike Chilando who isn't all that much younger) chiming in with real facts. Way to go guys - appreciate it!

    Also funny - both these guys joined up in 2007 and are FNG's :eek:
     
  20. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,799

    II FUNNY
    Member

    How about strongly dislike then.lol Thanks for chiming in George I wish everyone who joined the HAMB had to read this information, at least then the history wouldn't be so screwed up by the wrong information. I had people ask me about my AWB Chevy II if it was an A/FX car because "A" was for altered.
     
  21. George Klass
    Joined: Dec 31, 2007
    Posts: 619

    George Klass
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I think there is alot of confusion about the FX class, probably because it was more of a "concept" than it was a class. As a NHRA class, I think it was only around a couple of years. Plus, the majority of the cars that fell into the FX catagory were not factory cars, which makes it kind of confusing since it's labled as "Factory Experimental". Even the Dodge and Plymouth factory racers eventually abanded the altered wheelbase Dodge Cornet and Plymouth Belvedere factory cars and built lighter and smaller Dodge Darts and Plymouth Valiants.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    So, the question is, where did the Factory Experimental class end and the Funny Car class begin? I personally think they just blended together...
     
  22. rfraze
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 1,973

    rfraze
    Member

    Break down one designation or class name: A/FX
    Classification: FX Factory eXperimental
    Class: A
    Translation: A/Factory Experimental
     
  23. George Klass
    Joined: Dec 31, 2007
    Posts: 619

    George Klass
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    With any luck, I'll be 74 in April. :D
     
  24. :d:d:d:d:d:d:d:d:d:d:d
     
  25. JB_roadrage
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 372

    JB_roadrage
    Member
    from Caintuckee

    Thank you guys soo much.... your information is greatly appreciated...

    The main reason I asked is I'm building a 63 Falcon Futura that I want to look just like it came off a drag strip in 65... and I don't want to be one of the dumbasses with the wrong class painted on the side...
     
  26. JB_roadrage
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 372

    JB_roadrage
    Member
    from Caintuckee

    I know.. How awsome is that....
     
  27. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 8,227

    Larry T
    Member

    NHRA legal FX cars were stock wheelbase.

    If you want your car to look legal, I posted the rules for Gas, Modified Production, and Altered for several different years on earlier posts. Should be able to find them with a search.
     
  28. JB_roadrage
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 372

    JB_roadrage
    Member
    from Caintuckee

    thank you sir.. I'll look them up..
     
  29. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 8,227

    Larry T
    Member

  30. JB_roadrage
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 372

    JB_roadrage
    Member
    from Caintuckee

    Thank you sir... Pretty interesting reading... think I might print those out...
     

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