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The Hill Files

Quarter-Elliptic Suspensions

by Jim Hill - 11/06/1998

Seems to me that the top bad-ass A/GS guys were using "quarter elliptic" leaf springs on those cars. (OK purists, relax! These cars did have blown 392's, so they're "close", and I'm leading up to something here.) Before multi-link, coil-over spring/shock, adjustable suspensions were fabricated into drag cars, good old fashioned multi-leaf systems were "state-of-the-art" stuff, even on the A/GS cars. "Traction bars" ranging from short, rigidly mounted designs to half-chassis "ladder bars" were used to cancel out some of the leaf spring design's tendency to "wrap up" under extreme power.

Connie Swingle actually designed and built a similar set-up into one of Garlits' cars in about '65. This used leaf springs cut into quarter-elliptics. He ran this car at an event called The Dixie Drag Festival, at Valkaria Dragway, an abandoned WW II airfield near Melbourne, Florida. The car had a severe "bog" problem, then would blaze the tires in a fashion more typical of the day. I believe Swingle set Top Time at this event, 190+ on a surface that was pretty poor for high-HP cars. This suspension system didn't last long in the car, and was back to a traditional solid-mount within a shot time afterwards.

Jim Hill
Crane Cams


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