In the top speed
department there is some question. Garlits claims to have run
210 mph at Alton, Illinois and backed it up. However, he has
yet to run over 230 anywhere else, so you can draw your own conclusions.
Beebe and Mulligan have run over 230 at 15 different race tracks,
with their best being 233.85. They hold the NHRA record at 229.
ran 231 three times at the Indianapolis Nationals, and on and
There is no doubt in the racers minds that
the Beebe and Mulligan machine is the strongest of all . . .
and they don't want any part of it, until the last round, that
is. On the technical side the car is the same machine built by
Tim Beebe and Lee Sixt back in '66'. The superiority of the 392-inch
or early-type hemi Chrysler is almost legend.
Designed and produced first in 1953, its supremacy
in the fuel dragster ranks is uncontested even by the famous
SOHC Ford. The good breathing characteristics, comparative strength,
and top-end power output have made it the engine to use in a
fueler. There are probably a 100 or more of this type Chrysler
running in the country with basically the same equipment as used
in Tim's engine. His record-setting performance, however, is
due primarily to his ability to "make it operate".
The engine combination is almost universal: 8:1 compression,
.030-inch overbore, stock stroke, 23% overdrive on the blower,
27 degree lead and 80% nitro. (How many times have you read that?)
Tim's use of
the fuel Injector is probably his biggest secret. He runs 80%
nitro as previously mentioned, but that's where the similarity
to others ends. While most modern fuel racers run 50% of the
fuel through the blower and 50% through the port nozzles. Tim
deviates from this practice. He prefers In run 70% of the fuel
through the top and 30% of the fuel through the port nozzles.
Instead of tuning with nozzle or drill sizes, i.e. thousandths
of an inch diameter, he knows the precise flow rate of each nozzle
and can dial a cylinder to the exact temperature desired. To
determine these flow rates. Tim has spent countless hours on
the fuel injector flow bench.
a run he determines the condition of each Cylinder by reading
both the cylinder and the plug. A good running "hole"
will develop a brown kidney shaped soot formation on the top
of the piston, hold the valve adjustment in its preset lash and
draw three threads of heat on the spark plug. This, of course,
is for an individual cylinder. If the entire engine reads either
"rich" or "lean" Tim adjusts to the condition
by adding or subtracting a few percentage points of nitro.
Though the rails have been retired in favor
of a new Race Car Engineering frame, the combination remains
basically the same . . . tough.
Photos and story by Don Prieto,
Reprinted from the 8th Annual Edition of Hot Rod Magazine