Rowan Horncastle 04 November 2011

Video: vintage dragsters

Just smell the tyre smoke. Early slow-motion tech from way back in 1969…

We’ve dug deep into the archives for today’s random video. In glorious HD it isn’t. But it's well worth a minute of your time.

Back in the sixties, men with melon-sized man-plums would strap themselves behind a stupidly big engine and right in between two huge rear rubber wheels, then rocket their way down a strip with nothing more than a gas mask and half-helmet to protect them. This was for one purpose - as the portentous retro voice over artist will tell you - “to conquer the formidable barrier of time”. We sent Piers from TG magazine to have a go in a modern dragster last year, and he couldn't articulate actual words for some time afterwards...

Check out below how they did it back then (and for video geeks, this must be one of the earliest 1000FPS slow motion clips ever?).

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