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Drag Racing News
Jul 26, 2012

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Famous Slingshot Rail Dragsters featured at Concours d'Elegance of America at St. John's

The Croshier-Baltes-Lavato fuel dragster has been restored to look exactly as it did when it was one of the sport's quickest and fastest cars in the early 1960s.

A once in a life time selection of eleven of the most famous Slingshot Rail Dragsters will be featured at the 34th Annual Concours d'Elegance of America at the Inn at St. John's in Plymouth, Michigan on Sunday, July 29, 2012.

Born over 50 years ago, Slingshots get their name from the extreme rearward positioning of the driver's torso behind the axle and slicks. In the early years of drag racing, the front-engine slingshot dragsters stood above the rest. The cars, also known as Top Fuel dragsters, run on a mix of approximately 90% nitro methane and 10% methanol rather than gasoline or simply methanol.

The cars were purpose-built for drag racing with an exaggerated layout that resembled open-wheel circuit racing vehicles. However, slingshot dragsters are much longer, much narrower and are equipped with large tires in back and small tires in front. Built by professional chassis builders, they were constructed by bending and welding together tubing and with the engine in front of the driver, as traditionally placed in race cars.

This year the Concours will feature cars by the renowned chassis builders, the Logghe Brothers. In terms of pure craftsmanship and innovation, few drag racing chassis builders can match the legendary reputation of the Logghe Brothers, Ron and Gene. Aside from having built some of the most successful cars in the sport, they also pioneered the first flip-top body Funny Cars. The Logghe Brothers were inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. Logghe chassied rails on display include those of Bob Gladstone, John Logghe, and Keith Crain.

In addition to the Logghe rails, also on display are the AA/Fuel dragsters of David Hoyh, Jerry & Pat Baltes, Larry Payne, Don & Ken Fox, Dave Dupps, as well as the A/Comp Coupe of Todd Schmidt.

Dubbed "More Aggravation," Al Bergler's 1964 Austin Bantam Coupe is a delight to see whether sitting still or running at the track.

Also highlighted will be premier dragster body-builder, Al Bergler. Michigan native and Shelby Township, MI resident Al Bergler, is a longtime drag racer who has been a major force in the national scene, both in the Sportsman and Professional ranks. Al's lifelong vocation has fit in well with his racing efforts, as he is also one the highest regarded racecar body part fabricators in the world.
Built by the Arfons brothers in 1955, this Allison aircraft engine powered dragster awed crowds wherever it appeared in the mid to late 1950's. Currently owned by John Rowley, the car has been meticulously restored to look just as it did back in the day.

A special feature will be Green Monster #5, created by the Arfons brothers in Akron, OH and powered by a twelve cylinder Allison aircraft engine. This dragster dominated the strips and speed records during the mid- to late-1950s. The dragster wears its original shade of green paint and monster's face.

Don't miss the opportunity to see this collection of dragsters along with all the expected classes of classic cars on Sunday, July 29, 2012 at The Inn at St. John's in Plymouth, MI. The show opens at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m. and is open to the public.

The Concours d'Elegance of America at St. John's in Plymouth, Michigan on Sunday, July 29, 2012, is one of the most prestigious showings of classic, rare and magnificent automobiles in the world. It will take place on the lush and historic grounds of The Inn at St. John's, with numerous associated events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday leading up to the grand presentation on Concours Sunday. In addition to the exhibit of more than 300 prestigious collector cars, the Concours will offer an automotive art exhibition, vintage car racing, a vintage car auction, Mode du Concours and associated social events all dedicated to the beauty and glory of the automobile.

The Board of Directors of the Concours d'Elegance of America has announced that the College for Creative Studies (CCS), Leader Dogs for the Blind and Hospice of Michigan will be its charitable beneficiaries at the 2012 Concours d'Elegance of America at St. John's.

For more information contact: www.concoursusa.org


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