Zoomie Headers -- A Winning Design
by Jim Hill - 12/10/1998
Ronnie Still's East Coast based FE dragster (blown small-block Chevy,
6-71 with two-hole Hilborn) had three pipes angled back and slightly up. The pipes closest
to the tires (No.'s 7 and 8 cylinders) pointed directly back and at the tires! A few other
guys tried variations on this basic theme of "zoomie science", but all
eventually came back to the "Original Recipe" with the "11 Secret Herbs and
Spices" flavor of zoomie headers.
Ramchargers did try a collector header design a few times. Being heavily influenced and
financed by Chrysler's performance/racing engineering group, these guys were always trying
new stuff. A lot of strong lab theory suggested that a header system with simple
collectors could "tune" engine torque to improve the mid-range area where the
'Rams saw room for improvement. Chrysler's experience in normally aspirated race engines
showed significant gains in this area, and even more enhancements when properly matched
with induction systems and valve timing. Shortly thereafter, engine technology, tires and
clutch advancements negated any improvement that this heavier, less aero-efficient system
could deliver. Form follows function, or somethin' like that.
Other than they're stronger and vastly more expensive for today's TF cars, the basic
zoomie header design has remained consistent.