Double Letter Class Designators
By Flyin' Phil Elliott
Other then double A, the double letter classes came
into being about 1966.
There is some confusion between dragster folk and "class"
racers regarding double letters and advancing.
Originally, in the '50s, a car was classified cubic inches/weight with
an asterisk (*). A blower advanced the car one class. So, a C/A with a
300 DeSoto and a blower was forced (pun intended) up to run B/A.
By the '60s, separate classes were created which stopped that habit --
and as stated above, the double-letter further defined those classes
(AA/A, BB/A, CC/A, etc.). In some cases -- gas supercharged coupes and
sedans for example -- the double-letters never caught on too well. These
cars were still known as A/GS, B/GS, C/GS though there were a couple of
years when the classes had the double letter PLUS the "S"
(AA/GS, BB/GS, etc.)
In fuel dragsters, the class designations were not as clear from the
grandstands but were based on cubic inches/weight, the way things were
created. I don't have a '65 rulebook here to double-check the numbers.
"A" might have had a maximum of 360 ci.
The thing that throws the monkey wrench into the works for history stat
freaks is that none of the sanctions or tracks got together on these ci/weight
As one example, the so-called "giant killer" injected sbChevys, such as the Logghe-Marsh-Steffey machine, which often ran at 402
ci, were classified C/FD, B/FD, A/FD, and even AA/FD, depending on where
Also, teams that chose to run the 354 instead of a 392 Chrysler would be
classified differently at various places. But keep in mind, these were
for major races where classes were run. At most events, they all were
thrown into Top Fuel.
Still, throw out the classifications, and there were many teams, like
the Frantic Four, long proponents of the smaller Hemi, that felt the
smaller, higher-revving capabilities helped them with various track
conditions. Obviously, the tactic was a good one.
Flyin' Phil Elliott
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