NHRA - National Hot Rod Association


The Thread That Won’t Die

07 May 2010
Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor

Unless someone intervenes and adds a few more hours to the day, this might be the last Insider column for a week or so. I fly to Atlanta early next week for the "Big Go South" (catchy, eh?), and I’ll be thrashing on event coverage there for NHRA.com and for National DRAGSTER early next week, so I'm not sure when I'll be able to drum up something new, although the column has proven itself somewhat self-sustaining based on your contributions, so we'll see. Just don't send out the search parties if you don’t see anything early next week.

The Thread That Won’t Die continues to weave its way into the column with still more wedge wackiness. For a trend that didn’t last all that long nor was much widespread, it has sure captured the fancy of the Insider Nation.

I mentioned earlier this week that most of the photos I'd seen of Don Prudhomme's Hot Wheels wedge were with the Funny Car-style headers coming up under the body rather than through the wedge as was usually the case, and once again, hall of fame photog Steve Reyes rides to the rescue with this shot, from the cover of the September 1971 issue of Drag Racing USA, showing "the Snake's" wedge in its original configuration. The photos were taken by Jere Alhadeff.

Below this is an impressive display of wedge photos of the cars we've been discussing lo these many weeks. The top photo is a great head-on look at the Hot Wheels wedge with the Funny Car headers, and if you look closely at where the headers used to exit through the body, you can see the plates that were made to cover the holes once the pipes were rerouted.

Below that is Chris Karamesines' wedge minus the bodywork after "the Greek" came to the same conclusion as Prudhomme that the extra weight of the wedge wasn't a good trade-off for its aerodynamic qualities. If you look closely, you can still see that the side panels have the little kickout on which the wedge body rested. Below this is Kenney Goodell's wedge with the headers through the body and then Leland Kolb's mount (sporting flopper headers) and the recently discussed Lisa & Rossi "doorstop." According to the car number, that's Bill Tidwell behind the wheel in Bakersfield, Calif. 




A couple of weeks ago, as the wedge discussion was just beginning, I showed you a pretty-well-circulated Pete Gemar photo of Robert Lindall's Re-entry in the pits at Indy 1966, but just this week, while trolling through the Miscellaneous R folders for an edition of the Misc. Files for this week's National DRAGSTER, I came across two photos of the car in action. I've never seen these before, nor any of the car in action. To add further to the mystery, check out the photo below, which shows the car slowing at the end of a run at that event minus the rear bodywork. Did it blow off? Was it removed? Anyone know?

OK, that's all I've got today. Like I said, you'll have to keep your eyes peeled to the home page for the next update because I'm not sure when I'll have something new over the next week, but keep checking and keep writing!