Today's picture of the car that ran the world'd first four-second quarter mile


FourFather

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 24, 2007
503
Wichita Falls, Texas 76306
That was a great pioneering accomplishment. How about some more pictures from the day,,,, please...
Thank you, Wwabbitt.

Pictures? Sure.

Anything, or period, in particular?
The reason I ask, is that I have been blessed with a lot of different rides!

I built and raced:

Cushman motorscooter in the the late '40's
An unblown gas Pontiac dragster in the late '50's
Blown gas Pontiac dragster- early '60's
Twin Pontiac engined dragster first on gas and later on nitro -mid 60's
Single engine Pontiac fuel dragster-mid 60's
392 Chrysler Hemi fueler (several of those) (all the dragsters I built through this point in time were front engined) -mid 60's
A variety of motorcycles -mostly short track and half-mile dirt, and some road racing at Daytona -'66-'74
Unblown gas dragboat -'74
Unblown fuel dragboat-'75-'77
Blown fuel dragboat -'78-'84
Rear engine top fuel dragster (my first "store-bought" dragsters, I built all the ones before this, myself) -'85-'99
Ariel Atoms, road racing and autocross,- 2007 through present day
 

Empty Pockets

ex-GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Oct 18, 2006
1,322
Washington State
Does it seem to you that twenty seven years have gone by since then?

NO!!!

Twenty seven months, maybe...
 

SBR

GT Owner
Aug 23, 2009
204
I agree, time sure flies. I remember reading about the 4.990 pass and was simply amazed by the accomplishment. You were always one of my favorite drivers!
As for the NHRA, they have lots of problems and it remains to be seen as to whether they can figure it out. It seems like the Pro Stock class is dying a slow death which is too bad.
 

RALPHIE

GT Owner
Mar 1, 2007
7,279
Pictures? Sure.

I built and raced:

Unblown gas dragboat -'74
Unblown fuel dragboat-'75-'77
Blown fuel dragboat -'78-'84
Would love to see pictures of these boats!

Ralphie

My '74 Sanger -
View attachment 37896

View attachment 37898
 
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FourFather

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 24, 2007
503
Wichita Falls, Texas 76306
Some more of my unblown fuel hydro, by taking pictures of old photographs in my scrapbook-







 

RALPHIE

GT Owner
Mar 1, 2007
7,279
This picture is so HOTTTTT, Eddie!! YOu must have had some very tall gears in your Casale!

Great graphics on the picklefork!!

View attachment 37936
 

Copenhagen GT

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Jun 5, 2008
1,136
Copenhagen, Denmark
Love those pics Ralphie .... just you, 500 hp and an oversize waterski :biggrin
 

FourFather

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 24, 2007
503
Wichita Falls, Texas 76306
Amazing accomplishment :thumbsup:usa

Being non US I´ve never gotten to follow sports like drag racing up close like others, so I had to Google on the background .... WOW what an impressive career in racing all kinds of go fast Machinery :thumbsup:thumbsup

Please share more race stories and pictures. How did you end up boat racing?

For those that hasn´t seen the Wiki page - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Hill

:cheers
Anders
Hi, Anders,

I appreciate your kind words and will be happy to share some of the fun memories.

How I ended up boat racing is not a question that I think I can answer briefly, but I will have a go at it, after church.

We go to a little country Cowboy Church that is a 60 mile round trip for us, and we usually have lunch with our church friends before starting back, so we're away from computers till around 3 or so. Incidentally, that is how I have accumulated almost all the 4,000 + miles on my Heritage. "Just rarely driven, by an old man and his wife to Church, never over the posted speed limit, and only on pretty Sundays" sounds like a used car salesman's pitch- but actually almost literally true in this case.

And it may take a while to find some of those old pictures and convert them to a form we can use on here, may not make it today, but don't give up on me-

Eddie
 

FourFather

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 24, 2007
503
Wichita Falls, Texas 76306
In answer to Anders question about how we got started boat racing:

By the mid-sixties I was a Stage IV nitrohaulic. Considered irreversible and incurable. This was in the days of the front motor dragsters, and we used iron 392 c.i. Chrysler hemi's we were able to obtain from wrecking yards for about $35-50. We used the stock Chrysler block, cylinder heads, intake valves, and other stock parts. The blocks, unfortunately, would split lengthwise top to bottom on about the 30th run, and this generally led to engine fires that blew right back on us, since we were sitting right behind them. I finally got burned badly enough (this was before firesuits and proper safety equipment) that I vowed never to sit behind one of those fuel-burning engine bombs again.

So I was in remission for several years while I raced motorcycles, until I watched a pair of blown fuel hydros run at the Aqua Festival at Austin, Texas. The first boat race I saw was where one of the hydros crashed into pieces high in the air with the driver also high in the air among the debris with his personal parachute open. I thought at the time that those guys had to be crazy to do that, but it looked like an unblown gas hydro would still be a lot of fun and perfectly safe.

About 28 days later I had my own unblown gas Kindsvater hydro with a 494 c.i. Reynolds aluminum alloy Can Am engine in it. I won my first race, and it was about three races later that I set the national record. I then thought an unblown fueler would be faster but still safe; so I built an iron 496 Chevy, port-injected, on 98% nitro, and it became the world's quickest and fastest unblown fueler. It ran 170 mph NDBA record in the quarter at Lake Ming in 1977, the last time I ran it.

The next logical move was blown fuel hydro, and we were blessed with incredible success with them, having official records in all four sanctioning associations and the overall world e.t. for drag racing at 5.16 (quicker than the cars). The 229 mph quarter mile I ran for the NDBA record at Chowchilla California, was in the Guinness Book of World Records for ten years as the world's fastest propellor driven boat.

I crashed heavily in 1984 at Lake Firebird in Phoenix, Arizona at 217 mph while winning my second championship in the World Series of Drag Boat Racing. So my last ride at a drag boat race was out of there in an ambulance, with the most broken bones and trauma of any my crashes either before or since. So far.

About one full year later, I had made a full recovery except for the brain damage, which the doctors all said was a pre-existing condition, or else I wouldn't have been doing that in the first place.
 

FourFather

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 24, 2007
503
Wichita Falls, Texas 76306
RALPHIE, the gears were 1.63, and the tattle-tale tach showed 8650 on the NDBA record run, with a 11 1/8 x 20 Menkens prop.

I used 96% Nitro that day, with no alcohol in the mix.

She rode plenty free, as you can see in the pictures.
 

Copenhagen GT

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Jun 5, 2008
1,136
Copenhagen, Denmark
About one full year later, I had made a full recovery except for the brain damage, which the doctors all said was a pre-existing condition, or else I wouldn't have been doing that in the first place.
:biggrin:lol:rofl

So what´s the secret behind you and your team repeatedly being able to build engines - I would imagine - with more power than the competition.

Hope to see you at the upcoming Rally.

:cheers
Anders
 

FourFather

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 24, 2007
503
Wichita Falls, Texas 76306
RALPHIE, Your "it's all about money" post is stunning in its insight, clarity, accuracy, and kindness. I actually teared up a bit reading it, perhaps because it seems like you condensed my whole life into a very few well-chosen words, and better than I could do.

Thank you.
 

FourFather

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 24, 2007
503
Wichita Falls, Texas 76306
I agree, time sure flies. I remember reading about the 4.990 pass and was simply amazed by the accomplishment. You were always one of my favorite drivers!
As for the NHRA, they have lots of problems and it remains to be seen as to whether they can figure it out. It seems like the Pro Stock class is dying a slow death which is too bad.
Thank you, SBR.

I perceive NHRA's main problem is the the amount of money it takes to be competitive in the pro ranks. The $ required makes it impossible for a team paying their own bills to be able to race. I still believe that if NHRA would limit engine use to one per weekend in the nitro classes, the good tuners would quickly figure out a way to make them last, still go plenty fast, and cut expenses WAY down, to probably less than half what it is now.
 

FourFather

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 24, 2007
503
Wichita Falls, Texas 76306
Unblown fuel Kindsvater drag boat-

 

FourFather

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 24, 2007
503
Wichita Falls, Texas 76306
Eddie the Texan Hill top fuel boats-











 

FourFather

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 24, 2007
503
Wichita Falls, Texas 76306
Another great day of top fuel dragboat racing-



And now on display at my Eddie Hill's dealership for Ariel Atom, Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Polaris, Victory, and Slingshot. In beautiful downtown Wichita Falls,Texas. Yeehaa!



 
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RALPHIE

GT Owner
Mar 1, 2007
7,279
Those are some VERY serious numbers - you really had to have the horses in that engine to pull that prop and ratio! I run a Precision 11¼ x 17 on my Sanger which will only top out at around 125 mph or so if I could get the motor to achieve 7,000 rpm, using 1.25 gears in the Casale. I've only had it up to around 100-105, and that's damn exciting to me!

Back in 2005, I went over to a Sanger boat reunion where there were quite a few pickleforks and shovelnoses. On that day, the Sanger factory trailered over a newly splashed version of "Climax" (they have kept the original molds) which I'm sure you ran up against over the years.

View attachment 37948

In fact, you probably knew and raced against the guys that drove it. When I was getting my boat operational (I found it in a field outside of Ramona, CA), Greg Shoemaker gave me a lot of help - boat guys are like car guys, I guess - nice to be around, friendly and helpful.

View attachment 37953

I didn't get my boat until 1998, when I was 56, so the thought of competition never entered my head - but I can understand the thrill of pushing these machines to their limits. Here are a few pictures of some of the hotter boats that were at the reunion - I found it interesting though that I was the only one to put mine in the lake that morning and make some noise!

View attachment 37950
View attachment 37951
View attachment 37952
 
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RALPHIE

GT Owner
Mar 1, 2007
7,279
Great Pictures, Eddie!! Thanks for sharing.

Is that a Crower mechanical fuel injection intake under the cover on the unblown fuel Kindsvater drag boat? I was able to pick up one of those and replaced the dual quads/tunnel ram on my Sanger. Never put zoomies on it yet, as they're outlawed when recreational boating. Some day though....
 

FourFather

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 24, 2007
503
Wichita Falls, Texas 76306
Very cool pictures. I'll bet that was a great day. I never tire of looking at well built high performance machinery.

Good on you for getting her wet and making noise--after all, that's kinda the whole point!
 

FourFather

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 24, 2007
503
Wichita Falls, Texas 76306
:biggrin:lol:rofl

So what´s the secret behind you and your team repeatedly being able to build engines - I would imagine - with more power than the competition.

Hope to see you at the upcoming Rally.

:cheers
Anders
There are different answers for different eras.

I built this car using the engine as a stressed member, with aluminum H-beams for the lower frame rails, and thin wall steel tubing for the upper rails, Cushman motorscooter front wheels, hubs and spindles, go-kart style steering with no steering gearbox, etc.,and even with the all iron Pontiac engine, the total weight was in the 1050-1100 pound range, and that gave me a pretty big advantage over the more conventional dragsters that were much heavier. So I did not need more horsepower than the others in the class, and still had the world's fastest and quickest unblown gasser.

 
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