General Challenger

  • Drag Racing Classes

    The NHRA has a huge variety of categories and eliminators. Class eligibility is based on requirements that include type of vehicle, engine size, vehicle weight, allowable modifications and aerodynamics. Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street and Pro Mod feature a single class of vehicle in heads-up competition. Comp, Super Stock, and Stock are made up of a variety of classes equalized by a handicap starting system....
  • Evolution of Rear Spoilers

    A car spoiler is a stylish automobile accessory that can be mounted on the rear of most cars. There are many different styles of spoilers. The general shape consists of a slender slightly downward angled piece of metal, fiberglass, silicone or carbon fiber that is usually the width of the vehicle. Some seem to appear to mold into the vehicle and others stick out with two small ledges on both sides. The term "spoiler" is often mistakenly used interchangeably with "wing." An automotive wing...
  • Mufflers

    Since the beginning of hot rodding, enthusiasts have tinkered with their car’s exhaust system, particularly the mufflers, to get the “right sound.” A muffler’s job sounds easy enough- reduce exhaust volume to tolerable levels while allowing the sweet sounds of your ride to waft through the air. But this becomes a monumental task as horsepower increases. Engines build horsepower by pushing spent exhaust out of the tailpipe as fast as possible. As pistons furiously churn, exhaust velocity...
  • Pro Stock Record Holders

    Pro Stock quarter mile drag racing times have dramatically decreased over the decades, since the class was established in 1970. This has been the result of tremendous advances in technology. To determine who is the fastest competitor, forty-nine years ago, NHRA instituted the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The champion is determined by a point system where points are given according to finishing placement and qualifying effort. The season is divided into two segments. After the first 18...
  • High Impact Paint

    In the late 60s/early 70s, Dodge was already offering some of the hottest cars of the muscle car era- awesome machines like the Hemi Challenger and 440 Six-Pack Super Bee. Designers, however, decided to rev up the cars’ visuals to match, creating a far-out assortment of vibrant exterior paint colors. These special colors (a $15 option) generated a big buzz in the showrooms and launched an industry trend. The color palettes used by all the automakers were opened up, giving paint designers...
  1. How Do Navigation Systems Work?

    Getting lost while driving, or stopping at a gas station to ask for directions, has become a thing of the past. With GPS in your car’s navigation system, in the portable navigation device on your dashboard, or in your smartphone, it is easy to pull up a map and see where you are, or get directions to where you are going. GPS makes you safer, routes you around traffic delays and helps you find nearby services. GPS (Global Positioning System), a technology we now take for granted, started...
  2. Featured

    Nitrous Oxide

    Juice. Squeeze. Laughing gas. Nitrous oxide has many aliases. It can inject a healthy dose of horsepower into an engine, via direct port, carburetor/throttle body plate, air intake tube or, air cleaner injection, to give a race car the winning edge at the track. In racing, nitrous oxide (often referred to as just "nitrous") allows an engine to burn more fuel by providing more oxygen than air alone, resulting in a more powerful combustion. The gas is not flammable at a low...
  3. Why Do Hemi Engines Have Dual Sparkplugs?

    Each cylinder on a Hemi engine has an ignition coil pack over one spark plug, and a regular plug wire connected to the other spark plug. Further, the coil pack also has a plug wire attached to it that extends to the opposite cylinder bank. Each cylinder shares a coil pack with another cylinder. Each of the two plugs on a given cylinder is fired by a separate coil. One plug has a coil directly attached, and the other is fired via an ignition wire connected to a coil located on another...
  4. High Impact Paint

    In the late 60s/early 70s, Dodge was already offering some of the hottest cars of the muscle car era- awesome machines like the Hemi Challenger and 440 Six-Pack Super Bee. Designers, however, decided to rev up the cars’ visuals to match, creating a far-out assortment of vibrant exterior paint colors. These special colors (a $15 option) generated a big buzz in the showrooms and launched an industry trend. The color palettes used by all the automakers were opened up, giving paint designers...
  5. The Origin of Scat Pack

    The Dodge Scat Pack was originally introduced in 1968 with the Charger R/T, Coronet R/T, Dart GTS, and Super Bee. In order for a car to enter the Scat Pack it had to be capable of running the quarter mile in the 14s (14.99 or faster). Mainly a marketing term, Scat Pack cars got twin bumblebee stripes and special decals. It became legendary in the enthusiast community and symbolized one of the most feared groups of street machines every to rumble from stoplight to stoplight. In the early...
  6. "Grandfather" of the 2018 Dodge Demon

    Did you know that the controversial Dodge Demon name goes back 48 years? In 1970, the restyled Plymouth Valiant, named the Duster, was a massive success. Dodge immediately insisted on getting its own version. That car became the 1971 Dodge Demon. 1970 Plymouth Duster 340 Both the A-body Plymouth Duster and Dodge Demon were fantastic cars for the money (starting just over $2,100). The two cars were virtually identical, underneath. The attractive-looking Demon came with four optional...
  7. Exhaust Headers

    It’s very satisfying to listen to your engine idling and feel its powerful vibrations. But as soon as you step on the gas and hit the road, your headers come into play. They are the first stop for exhaust gases on their way out of your cylinder heads and into the exhaust stream, and they can make or break your car’s performance. Headers come in two types- long tube and short tube. What sets them apart is the length of the primary tubes to the collector. For “shorty headers,” the port pipes...
  8. Drag Racing Primer- Tips with Street Tires

    Here are some drag racing tips to make your trip to the drag strip safe and successful. Before you arrive at track Remove the floor mats, child seats (if applicable) and other non-essential cargo. Every bit of weight you remove can help. Try to plan so you have about ¼ tank of fuel when you arrive. Extra fuel adds weight and you won’t need more than ¼ tank. Don’t show up with your tank on empty. The fuel is usually expensive at the track and you don’t want to be “running on fumes.”...
  9. Mufflers

    Since the beginning of hot rodding, enthusiasts have tinkered with their car’s exhaust system, particularly the mufflers, to get the “right sound.” A muffler’s job sounds easy enough- reduce exhaust volume to tolerable levels while allowing the sweet sounds of your ride to waft through the air. But this becomes a monumental task as horsepower increases. Engines build horsepower by pushing spent exhaust out of the tailpipe as fast as possible. As pistons furiously churn, exhaust velocity...
  10. Limited Slip Differentials

    A limited-slip differential (LSD), or “anti-spin” differential is a type of differential that allows the rear wheels on a vehicle to turn at different speeds when executing a turn. They are widely used in high performance and four-wheel-drive vehicles because they provide superior traction abilities. Various types of differentials can be classified as "anti-spin." These include limited slip, locking and spool differentials. Each performs differently on and off the road. Generally, only...
  11. Hood Pins

    Hood pins are used as a secondary restraint for the hood and are attached by a pin and plate drilled through the hood. They were originally made for the racetrack to keep hoods buttoned down at high speeds, but found their way onto muscle cars of the late 60s/early 70s. Hood pins (two per hood) were most prevalent on Dodge and Plymouth muscle cars of that era (e.g., Challengers, ‘Cudas, Road Runners, Daytonas, GTXs, Super Bees, etc.). They were, primarily, a styling element used to give a...
  12. Superchargers vs. Turbochargers

    When designing an engine to pull in more than atmospheric pressure, engineers often turn to forced induction. It’s one of the fastest ways to add significant power to almost any engine, and there are two prevalent ways it can be done: supercharging and turbocharging. But, which is better? Both are different in terms of how they work, performance and cost. Both operate on the principle that the more air you can get into your engine, the more power your car will make. Supercharging is old...
  13. All About Paint

    In the early days of the automobile industry, painting was a slow process. It was applied manually and dried for weeks at room temperature by solvent evaporation. 1930 Packard Factory As mass production of cars made the process untenable, paint began to be dried in ovens. Nowadays, two-component (catalyzed) paint is usually applied by robotic arms and cures in just a few hours either at room temperature or in heated booths. (Note- That is why car paint can be waxed as soon as the new owner...
  14. Evolution of Hood Scoops

    Back in middle school science class, we learned that in order to make fire, you need three ingredients: fuel, ignition and air- or, more specifically, oxygen. You’ll also remember that cold air is denser than hot air, putting more oxygen in the same amount of volume. While the modern internal combustion engine does a fine job of delivering fuel and ignition, that cold air part becomes tricky as you try to route fresh air from outside through a hot engine compartment. In response, in the late...
  15. Featured

    Tire Speed Ratings

    Tire speed ratings first originated in Europe in the 1960s, as a way to make sure increasingly faster vehicles were equipped with appropriate safe tires. These early speed ratings set the foundation for the current speed rating system used by the DOT and tire manufacturers. Every tire approved for highway use by the Department of Transportation comes with a particular speed rating. The speed rating is a letter corresponding to the maximum safe speed at which a tire can be driven, as...
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