What Is a Belly Tank Racer? Drop Tank Cars and Lakesters Explained

What Is a Belly Tank Racer? Drop Tank Cars and Lakesters Explained


Little lozenges with wheels and a view port zip alongside a dry lake mattress. They present up in drawings and logos. They pop up at native automotive exhibits and land pace occasions. Folks name them stomach tanks, tankers, or drop tanks, and they’re related to classic dry lakes racing. However the place did they arrive from, and why do they appear the best way they do? Stomach tank racers are a mixture of WWII plane leftovers and hot-rodding ingenuity. They’re a part of the early days of hot-rodding however are nonetheless in use at this time. Let’s begin with the place they got here from. Reply: the sky.

What’s a Drop Tank Automobile?

The drop tank was designed to increase flying time by appearing as a transportable gas cell that may very well be dropped as soon as empty. That approach, the pilot may extra nimbly have interaction the enemy. They’re often known as stomach tanks or wing tanks relying on the place they had been connected to the airplane. Throughout WWII, they had been accessible for the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, Lockheed P-38 Lightning, North American P51 Mustang, Northrop P-61 Black Widow, and different fight plane.

After the conflicts ended, 1000’s of the tanks languished in navy surplus yards, and racers quickly seen. They snapped up the slickest shapes that may work the very best as race machines. They had been, and are, quick little suckers. Earlier than WWII, streamliners ran simply over 100 mph—at this time, greater than 360 mph!

In early dry lakes racing, the Southern California Timing Affiliation solely acknowledged roadsters and coupes. They quickly accepted streamliners as a result of racers needed to check new theories of aerodynamics. This morphed into many lessons, and lakesters obtained their very own sport after they break up from the streamliner class.

The attraction was that exposed-wheel lakesters had been a lot simpler to construct than enclosed-wheel streamliners. The tank gave you the entire physique, you would stuff bits of a Mannequin T body and a flathead motor inside and add Ford axles on each ends, and also you had been almost finished. That is what the builder of the primary acknowledged postwar tank, Invoice Burke, did.

Over the subsequent 60 years, tankers went from junkyard bombs to finely crafted pace weapons. Flathead Fords had been a traditional supply of energy, however like each type of dry lakes racing, there at the moment are broad classifications of engines sizes. What makes them attention-grabbing is that though all of them have a vaguely acquainted look, none is similar. This can be a wide-open class that builders can interpret with some wild mixtures. Do not suppose that simply because it is a classic fashion that it is a dying classification. On the 2016 SCTA Velocity Week, 30 automobiles registered for the lakester class. It is a class the place nothing is regular, and tanks and lakesters provide a hot-rodding historical past lesson. Here is a take a look at the racers from Velocity Week 2016 and the automobiles that impressed them.

Andrew Welker: “The Blonde Bitch”

Automobile# 2255 Class: XF/GL
X is Classic Flathead; F is engine class 123-184ci; GL is Gasoline Lakester.
Engine: 284ci Ford flathead V-Eight with Hilborn mechanical gas injection and a Vertex magneto.
Transmission: G-Drive G-101A 4-speed
Rear axle: Rodsville quick-change gearset
Wheels: Customized aluminum 6.0×18-in rear; 4.25×18-in entrance
Tires: Dunlop Classic Racing 5.50×18 entrance, 7.00×18 rear
Document in school: 196.557 mph

“I had the chance to purchase a stomach tank and a few components associated to that in 1998,” Andrew Welker says. “I wasn’t able to construct the automotive, although, so I saved them within the rafters of my dad’s barn till 2007. Unable to work on the automotive, I simply designed plans. So once I had the money and time, I figured it might all come collectively. Ultimately, I dedicated to construct a race-legal automotive. … I used to be fortunate sufficient to have a MKVIII 300-gallon drop tank that the Navy used on numerous plane throughout WWII. We completed and raced the stomach tank for the primary time in 2012. I needed to construct as classic a automotive as attainable, each the outside look and the mechanicals. Some issues are undeniably fashionable, such because the rollcage and different security gadgets, however I attempted to maintain interval appropriate the place I may. For instance, within the lakester class, operating a flathead computer-controlled ignition and EFI are allowed, however I selected to stay with Vertex magneto and Hilborn mechanical injection. It may not be aggressive within the class—the report stands at 196.5 mph—however I’m happy operating in opposition to my very own greatest speeds. Racing a stomach tank with a flathead is traditional classic Bonneville.”

Andrew is an engineer by occupation and used his expertise in 3-D CAD to create a {custom} chassis that matches proper up in opposition to the tank pores and skin. His tank is 6 inches narrower than the P-38 tank most racers use. To assist with the tight packaging, he used a pair of electrical water pumps reachable through doorways within the bodywork. The primary day out in 2013, the tank had two radiators, however he has since transformed it to an ice tank with a pair of warmth exchangers. Andrew says it really works completely on the quick course.

“I needed to make it possible for I may match all the things inside the unique tank,” he says. “I did not need to stretch it. These tanks seem like cigars in case you do this. I actually needed to stick with classic know-how as a lot as I may, so I constructed the body to adapt to the road of the stomach tank. Utilizing part laser lower C-channel items and pro-bent sections of tube, it was a five-year course of.”

For the cover, Andrew had assist from a younger metallic man named Zac Shure. Zac hammered out a bubble in aluminum, which Walker used to kind a windscreen help and the cold-formed Lexan windshield.

The purple cover developed from Andrew’s unique plan to color the tank like Bobby Inexperienced’s Previous Crown Velocity Store tank. Then his father-in-law supplied to shine it. You’ll be able to a decide your tooth within the ensuing end.

Andrew is fortunate sufficient to have an all-family workforce along with his spouse, Kimberly, their 2-year-old daughter, his brother Steve alongside along with his spouse, Ashley, and their two sons. Kimberly helps run the automotive on the salt and is liable for the Blonde Bitch nostril artwork. “People go actual quiet once I inform them it is named after me,” she says.

We requested if he had a land pace hero, and with out hesitation, he named Alex Xydias.

Xydias So-Cal Stomach Tank

So-Cal Velocity Store, began in 1946 by Alex Xydias after he obtained out of the Air Drive, is a staple of hot-rodding historical past. Collectively they set quite a few data and supported among the best names in land pace racing.

Steve Nelson: “Liberty Storage Lakester”

Automobile#221 Class: F/FL
F is 123-184ci; FL is Gasoline Lakester (alcohol, nitro, or different non-gasoline gas).
Engine: Arias I-Four aluminum Pontiac Iron Duke with an Arias Hemi head and Hilborn gas injection.
Trans: Tex T-101 NASCAR 4-speed
Rear axle: Halibrand quick-change gearset
Wheels: Marsh metal wheels with Moon disc covers Tires: 25×4-15 entrance, 28×4-15 rear Goodyear land pace tires Document in school: 223.305 mph

Steve Nelson first drove Jim Yuberry’s E/GL fuel lakester in 2001 and ran 227 mph. He was hooked and made plans to have a lakester of his personal. By serendipity, he met a man at a celebration who owned a pair of auxiliary tanks. Ultimately, Steve persuaded him to half with them.

After placing tape to the tank and pen to paper, Steve drew up a slick F/FL lakester design across the pair of 300-gallon Grumman Albatross seaplane auxiliary gas tanks.

With assist from his mates, Steve constructed the complete round-tube DOM mandrel-bent tube chassis with torsion bar entrance suspension and a solidly mounted ’40 Ford quick-change rear axle. As a result of the tanks had been fusion-welded and asymmetrical with a cast-alloy wing mount on high, Steve determined to slice each the tanks in half and use simply the underside sections from each to kind a brand new symmetrical clamshell physique. This can be a traditional constructing trick for lakesters. It includes eradicating not solely the highest mount but in addition the interior baffles. They needed to very fastidiously slice the onerous metal tank aside with a die grinder. That left sufficient supplies to kind a flange lip that Steve may kind right into a flat-edge joint to bolt the 2 sections collectively. The results of becoming a member of the 2 decrease sections of the gas tanks was a physique with a 30-inch diameter that needed to be stretched 1 foot.

To keep away from messing up the newly crafted physique, Steve created a fiberglass mildew of 1 half of the tank and used that to determine the precise places of holes and ports he wanted to chop. On the straight tube axle, they added a pair of fairings to the rear to assist settle the air round all that strong tubing.

“I needed a lakester that was pushed from inside, not sitting out within the air,” Steve says. “We made it a laying-down automotive and had Plane Windshield in L.A. do us an ideal set of Lexan panels. Making these was a lot simpler with the fiberglass template. We obtained it proper the primary day out. It additionally makes it very straightforward to wash the automotive, particularly if we have to disassemble it after any salt flats journey.”

When Steve first ran the lakester in 2008, it was operating in V4/FL class (classic four-cylinders manufactured previous to 1934). It went 194 mph powered by a ’32 Ford Mannequin B block constructed by Phil Andrews with a five-bearing girdle, an REM DOHC cylinder head, and mechanical gas injection operating alcohol. On the 2014 World of Velocity, he managed a brand new report at 201.804 mph, enabling membership within the Pink Hat Membership (200 MPH Membership).

In 2015, they put in a brand new, extra superior four-banger—an Arias four-cylinder aluminum Pontiac Iron Duke with a Hemi head. They added Hilborn gas injection and the suitable cam, supported by plenty of engine prep work. The little 183ci banger put out a large 348 horsepower.

In 2016, on their first day out with the brand new engine, Steve managed 195 mph on the two-mile, however the moist salt circumstances had been just too tenuous to pursue the 223-mph report. Regardless of the setback, they really feel that in the future, given good salt circumstances and Ma Nature in a pleasant temper, they’ll have a severe probability at tickling the report books.

Like most land pace racers, Steve provides plenty of credit score to his workforce. His spouse, Jeanne, retains everybody in line and feeds them. “Them” on this case is crew chief John Spease, Russell Nelson, Rex Schimmer, Al Grey, and Terry King.

Steve’s vote for land pace hero is the well-known Al Teague. “Al Teague’s my hero racer,” he says. “He is been to the wall and again once more so many times—champion stuff!”

Al Teague Teague’s 409-mph streamliner began life as a lakester.

Joe Streng: “Flakester”

Automobile#958 Class:XF/GL
X is Classic Flathead; F is engine class 123-184ci; GL is Gasoline Lakester.
Engine: 1939 Ford V8-60 bored to 149ci.
Transmission: 1939 Ford operating excessive gear solely.
Rear Axle: Ford Mannequin A with an early Franklin quick-change gearset.
Wheels: Customized Ford rims
Tires: Goodyear Entrance Runners: 25-in entrance, 27-in rear
Document in school: 198+ mph

Joe Streng’s little racer is a traditional sit-up fashion machine with a full vertical skyscraper rollcage. Joe’s machine is constructed from an unique metal P-38 drop tank. Though it follows the traditions of ’50s engineering, it makes use of the present security options required by the SCTA.

“I really like the nostalgia of the early days at El Mirage and Bonneville,” he says. “I used to be simply wandering round this previous farmyard-turned-junkyard in Colfax, California, ready for my buddy to purchase a component for his automotive. He’d identified the blokes there for years, and I used to be simply alongside for the experience.

“The place coated a number of acres, and I used to be simply taking a look round. It was filled with automobiles, components, previous tractors, and junk. I noticed this attention-grabbing previous orange factor protruding of the blackberry bushes. It turned out to be an previous rusty go-kart created from an unique metal P-38 stomach tank; I knew I needed to have it. It had been transformed to a go-kart again within the mid-’50s and was properly used. It had a Cushman entrance and rear suspension gear.

“After a pair hundred {dollars} modified arms, I set about retrieving it from the blackberry bushes with a sequence noticed. The true journey was simply loading it behind the pickup, which took out his again window. He was not impressed! Again residence my spouse needed to make a planter out of it, however I stated, ‘No approach, I am going Bonneville racing!’ “

Joe had been going to Bonneville for 30 years and cherished the salt flats life. He crewed on a Studebaker workforce from 1990 to ’93 and beforehand labored for Sacramento Classic Ford.

For his personal automotive, he break up the tank, discarded the previous {hardware}, and began on a brand new chassis. He used Mannequin A operating gear all through for a sit-up fashion, and the tank was stretched 11 inches. As this was his first strive, he wanted assist from El Mirage, which included making the rollcage to fulfill the 200-mph customary.

At Sacramento Classic Ford, he discovered a cute Ford V8-60. That is the 136ci flathead that was principally utilized in early dash automobiles. It is outclassed by the massive flatheads as a result of it provides up about 100ci, but it surely’s cool due to its rarity.

“You merely get higher or be taught one thing new each time you make a go,” says Joe, whose aim is to go the 100-mph mark. “I’ve run 92.60 mph, so I feel my purpose is kind of achievable. As a result of the report in my class is so excessive, I even needed to do a parachute go for automobiles that run over 175 mph. I discovered this beautiful humorous contemplating my sub-100 mph passes.”

As a result of there isn’t a separate engine class for V8-60 flatheads, Joe runs in opposition to automobiles with a lot bigger engines within the XF class. He is about 100 mph away from the category report, so he runs for a private greatest in opposition to the report of 130.155 mph set by Alex Xydias in 1948.

Scott Blackburn: “Free Nuts Particular”

Engine: XF-class 8BA Mercury Flathead V-8
Trans: C4 computerized
Rear axle: Ford Banjo Winters 2.33:1 quick-change gearset
Wheels: 15-in Coker wheels
Tires: 28-in Goodyear Frontrunners
Document in school: 214.317 mph

The splendidly named Free Nuts Particular is a tribute to builder and driver Scott Blackburn’s faculty days when he was a proud member of his highschool’s Free Nuts Automobile Membership in Damaged Bow, Nebraska. Scott has been a automotive freak/hot-rodder his entire life. So when Wayne Litchenwalter, an older hot-rodder with 18 salt data to his credit score, requested if he’d like to assist crew for him on his ’39 Ford coupe at Bonneville, there wasn’t a second of hesitation.

That was again in 2009. Scott spent fairly a while within the pit lanes ready for Wayne’s coupe to maneuver as much as the beginning line. Throughout these hours of downtime, he struck up lengthy conversations with Bobby Inexperienced and his crew, manning the Previous Crow Velocity Store stomach tank. On the journey residence, Wayne stated to him, “You want these stomach tanks! You already know, I’ve one within the rafters of my store. It is yours if you wish to construct your individual.”

The tank’s provenance stays a thriller. Initially, Scott thought he’d inherited a 165-gallon P-38 metal tank. “Wayne just isn’t fairly positive both the place it got here from or how he ended up with it, however the story goes that in Nebraska throughout World Warfare II, there have been a variety of Military Air Drive coaching bases there. Within the years after the struggle, farmers would discover these tanks mendacity within the fields. We expect this tank may very well be a kind of.”

The tank turned out to be a 175-gallon P-38 jug, which is a little bit small for a lakester. Scott added a number of toes and obtained it into extra usable kind. “It grew to become an actual seat-of-the-pants operation,” he says. “We break up the tank so we may work out the parameters of the chassis and put a chassis format down onto the storage ground in chalk proper off the tank. Then we began chopping and bending a mass of 1 5/8-inch DOM tubing. It was all traditional eyeball engineering, as none of us had constructed a Bonneville automotive earlier than.”

The chassis features a solidly mounted Ford Banjo Winters quick-change rear axle with a dropped Ford axle and buggy springs up entrance. Coker 15-inch metal wheels and Goodyear Eagle racing tires stand 28 inches tall at every nook. It took Scott a 12 months to construct with the assistance of Louis Maring and assistance from some native hot-rodders.

The engine construct was turned over to Louis, who’s the workforce mechanic, crew chief, fabricator, and guru. Louis took a inventory 8BA Mercury flathead, cleaned up the porting, and constructed it up with an Isky cam topped off with a modified 2000 Mustang supercharger, Holley 650cfm double-pumper carb, and digital ignition.

At Velocity Week 2016, Scott ran 147 mph in opposition to a 205-mph report, however he isn’t involved. “I am right here doing it, and that is far more necessary to me—simply to be a part of it—than making an attempt to beat a present report,” he says. “We hoped to high 150 mph this 12 months. We got here shut, so we’re more than pleased. Subsequent 12 months, given good salt, we are able to nudge the needle up a number of extra notches.”

For this 57-year-old hot-rodder whose skilled world is in medical units, constructing an actual stomach tank lakester was a fantastic life-changing problem. Scott is assisted by his spouse, Kim; his buddy Louis; and Louis’ spouse, Louise. They make their Free Nuts Particular adventures to the flats in Utah’s Nice Salt Lake Desert a lot extra enjoyable.

“Yearly we have gone, we have now discovered one thing new,” he says. “Subsequent 12 months, we are going to add ballast to the nostril after one of many tech inspectors requested us the place our ballast was and the way a lot it weighed. Appears that may assist stabilize us a tad extra at pace.

“We actually did not know what we had been doing,” he concludes, “however we constructed it regardless!”

Automobile# 9030
Class: Gasoline Lakester
V4/GL: V4 is Classic 4, pre-1935 American four-cylinder engines as much as 220ci. GL is Gasoline Lakester.
Engine: 1933 Ford Mannequin B I-Four with overhead-valve head.
Transmission: Dash Automobile modified Falcon/Maverick two-speed.
Rear Axle: 9-inch Ford with 2.47:1 to three.93:1 gearsets.
Wheels: Metal with Moon discs
Body: Tube
Tires: 26-inch or 28-inch Goodyears
Document in school: 197.333 mph

John Neilson’s fuel lakester appears to be like prefer it immediately appeared out of our archive pictures, circa 1956. Packaging is the trick with profitable stomach tank lakesters. There may be so little free house inside most of them, and when the automobiles are upgraded to fulfill fashionable security necessities, they often lose their conventional feel and look. However not this one. John got here into the land pace sport after burning out on severe SCCA racing. He checked out planes and boats after which ended up with mates at El Mirage. He fell in love with the four-banger Mannequin A gang, and that was it—he was hooked.

After deciding a lakester was the best way to go, John went in the hunt for components. Not like the opposite guys’ tales of dusty rafters, John obtained his tanks in a most fashionable place. He discovered a pair of 300-gallon aluminum F8F Bearcat cells on the market on eBay. He purchased them and had them shipped to his store. When he unwrapped them, he discovered that the tanks had been each brand-new and nonetheless stuffed with a cosmolinelike preservative.

With frequent checks within the SCTA rulebook, John constructed the body utilizing a full-width 9-inch Ford rearend solidly mounted to a entrance straight tube axle positioned so the axle sits ahead of the spring and rack-and-pinion steering. Inside six months, he had the 122-inch wheelbase body principally finished and cleared by tech inspection. Internal and outer Moon discs full the bundle.

The physique is now painted in a Navy-inspired flat blue. John had the assistance of Ken Jeffries in fabricating the fiberglass engine cowl. The rear hood stretches again to the aluminum parachute tube with its 4 openings for the rate stacks to poke out and seize air. He matched up the physique colour on the brand new rear physique and added a sophisticated aluminum star to the nostril for fashion.

John needed it to be secure and quick, so he paid shut consideration the principles. However he additionally needed the classic look. He chosen a 1933 Mannequin B inline-four with a trick overhead valve head conversion. He constructed it up with a five-main-bearing girdle operating a dry sump, which he topped with a one-of-a-kind Moller head that had been solid within the ’70s however by no means machined. He labored this into the meeting by including {custom} Dash Automobile-style 2.4-inch fuel-injection stacks and his personal {custom} electronics FI management pack. John constructed the remainder of the powertrain utilizing a modified two-speed Ford Maverick/Falcon transmission and utilizing simply first gear and ultimate 1-to-1 gear ratio, a typical trick.

John began on the constructing course of in mid-2010 and was prepared for his first occasion in Might 2013 at El Mirage. It sailed by tech the primary day out and managed to hit 90 mph. He is now made 20-plus passes within the lakester. He has pumped up his most pace (to date) to a wholesome 157 mph.

Class Wars The present SCTA guidelines and data ebook lessons streamliners as physique types with absolutely enclosed wheels, however lakesters are “particular automobiles constructed by which there isn’t a streamlining, fairing, or overlaying of the wheels or tires.”

E.J. Kowalski: “4 to Go!”

Courses: V4F/FL and V4F/FS
Kowalski Racing Lakester
Engine: 1932 Ford flathead I-Four Transmission: Chevy S10 five-speed guide
Rear Axle: Ford ¾-ton rear quick-change conversion.
Wheels: Weld spindle mount entrance wheels/{custom} metal rear wheels
Tires: 17-inch Prime Gasoline entrance, 28-inch Goodyear Frontrunners rear
Data Set: V4F/FL: 143.053 mph, 2016; V4F/FS: 143.869 mph, 2016

Go a fast eye over E.J. Kowalski’s uncooked aluminum lakester, and you recognize it is a weapon with a goal. It is a completely different form than the extra frequent rounded stomach tanks with the physique and cockpit absolutely enclosing the automotive. The rear bodywork is peppered with scoops, consumption ducting, and aero aids.

E.J. comes from an extended line of racers. He first got here to Bonneville in 1988 along with his dad to race a 1929 Ford highboy. “We ran that roadster in C/GR fuel roadster and nonetheless proceed to race it at this time,” he says. “I used to be hooked and determined to construct a lakester about 10 years in the past. I lastly obtained to the salt with it for the primary time in 2009.”

Constructing this automotive was like making an attempt to suit a ship in bottle, E.J says. The Kowalski Customs workforce break up the tank in half horizontally, stretched it about 12 inches, and lifted the cockpit and middle part a little bit. They spent the remainder of the time configuring the body and packaging all the things wanted into the shoebox-size house. The body is suspended off a solidly mounted rear axle with a quick-change gearset; up entrance it runs a Ford Anglia axle with steering from an previous gasser.

“Our automotive is configured from a 1949 F-86 Saber jet auxiliary gas tank,” he says. “It was constructed for enjoyable out of components laying across the store. After we first constructed it with a Mannequin A engine, I used to be excited to go 100 mph, however now I need to go 150. Bonneville racing is form of an habit that has a Want Syndrome inducing you to maintain going sooner and by no means be happy.”

In 2016, the workforce picked up two data, first for V4F/FL gas lakester at 143.053 mph and second in V4F/FS at 143.869 mph. That was a 20-mph bump on the standing report.

And sure, that is a streamliner report achieved by merely including fiberglass rear wheel fairings to cowl the entrance and high of the rear wheels. This can be a conventional Bonneville class change technique that is a major sport changer.

E.J. ‘s lakester is powered by a Mannequin A engine that runs a Donovan aluminum head and a single 500cfm Holley carburetor on gasoline. That is backed as much as a standard flywheel and clutch meeting operating a Chevy S-10 five-speed transmission, permitting the lakester to be both a drive-off-the-line or push-off-the-line competitor.

Kowalski Customs often runs a number of automobiles on the salt, however this 12 months it was only one. “It is an actual kick to drive this factor,” E.J. says. “You sit up entrance such as you’re driving a hearth truck the place you actually cannot get a really feel for what’s behind you. It wants immense focus to make it keep on observe.”

E.J. has some future plans. They’re all associated to attaining pace, after all. Step one is to construct a nitro motor.

FACTOID: Earlier than Bellies

Even earlier than WWII, there was curiosity in streamlined shapes for racing. Bob Rufi constructed a race automotive just like the postwar drop tank. He crashed. Charlie Beck rebuilt and additional streamlined it. He managed a report at 112.50 mph on the final meet earlier than the lakes had been closed all through WWII.

Gerber/Tracy: “Particular”

Automobile# Lakester:1459
Class: F/GL
Homeowners: Chip Gerber, Gene Gerber, and Steve Tracy
Builder: Craig Naff, Syclone Motorsports, and Howard’s Customized Iron Engine: Esslinger Engineering I-4, 375 hp Transmission: Jerico 5-speed
Rear Axle: Modified Ford 9-in
Wheels: 5.0×15-in Mooneyes wheels
Tires: 28×4.5-15 Goodyear Eagle Racing Particular tires

That is no unusual lakester. The Gerber/Tracy workforce constructed their new machine with a mix of artwork, colour, engineering, energy, and charm. Up to now, the workforce ran the extremely profitable SRR/C Gerber Particular: a 1932 Ford Roadster that managed greater than 40 runs at 200-plus mph. Based mostly on the success of this gorgeous road roadster, Steve Tracy and Chip Gerber determined to step it up a notch and construct a refined and unique Bonneville drop tank.

The tank was morphed out of a Sargent Fletcher F-Four Phantom jet fighter tank from the mid ’60s. Alongside the best way, it ended up within the care of sheetmetal wizard Craig Naff in Woodstock, Virgina. Craig developed a brand new hand-fabricated physique that retained unique items just for the wings and sections of the nostril. He revamped the tail part and transformed the fastened horizontal magnesium tail fins, which allowed the crew to regulate the downforce on the salt flats or dry lake mattress. Every weld was smoothed however not floor to keep away from the chance of damaging the structural integrity of the components. To get the look they needed for the automotive and nonetheless adjust to the principles, they stuffed in all of the welds with lead solder so they may mix and easy the joins. Craig did the inside aluminum work, and Larry Sneed upholstered the Kirkey seat in bombardier leather-based.

Inside, the engine-turned aluminum sprint is stuffed with Basic Devices gauges. Above is a fitted Prime Gasoline dragster cover. The bodywork burned by over 650 hours of Craig’s time. It was finished with 4 sheets of 0.063-inch-thick 3003 aluminum and one 4-by-8-foot sheet of 0.090-inch 3003 aluminum utilizing a Yoder Energy Hammer and a Pullmax Forming Machine.

The lakester makes use of a {custom} straight axle with spindles and steering arms from Pete and Jake’s. Each axles are positioned with arrow-style management arms. A tricked-out Ford 9-inch rear axle has been gusseted with air deflectors and runs Currie axles with a light-weight blue-printed 2.91:1 gearset. Braking is dealt with through a single rear axle set of 11.5-inch Wilwood disc brakes.

Powering the lakester is an Esslinger Engineering custom-built 182ci four-cylinder motor with 375 horsepower at 8,200 rpm. It is a dry-sump, fuel-injected, all-aluminum mill. A Jerico five-speed air-shift transmission is coupled with Tilton 5.5-inch clutch to ship the facility to the rear wheels.

Each a sponsor and a associate, Superior Plating in Nashville, Tennessee, added all the jewellery to the automotive with greater than 1,000 plated components from fasteners to suspension components.

2016 was its first day out after its debut on the Detroit Autorama. Chip says the automotive managed six passes with Steve on the helm, operating a formidable 193 mph on a 228-mph class report. Not dangerous for the primary time.

“With our roadster, we managed to place a bunch of individuals within the 200 MPH Membership. That included my 72-year-old dad! We intend to do the identical with the lakester.”

Lakester Roll Name

Most hot-rod pioneers raced on the dry lakes, and plenty of constructed lakesters after seeing Invoice Burke’s automotive. Lakester racers of observe embody Alex Xydias with the So-Cal Velocity Store tank, Charles Scott’s Scotty’s Muffler Service lakester, the Reed Brothers, the Burke/Francisco tank that Wally Parks as soon as raced, Seth Hammond’s No Nitro Hammond lakester, Ron Major’s Flat Hearth, and the 366.586-mph lakester by DRM Racing/Tony Waters with Fred Dannenfelzer on the helm (quickest of all time). These are just some of the excessive flyers, a part of the wealthy historical past of quick automobiles that maintain getting sooner.

Notable and Historic Stomach Tank Lakesters

  • Andrew Welker: “The Blonde Bitch”
  • Xydias So-Cal Stomach Tank
  • Steve Nelson: “Liberty Storage Lakester”
  • Joe Streng: “Flakester”
  • Scott Blackburn: “Free Nuts Particular”
  • John Neilson: Lakester
  • E.J. Kowalski: “4 to Go!”
  • Gerber/Tracy: “Particular”



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