Meet the 2000bhp road-legal dragsters
TG hitches a ride in cars that do 200mph on the strip, then hit the local petrol station to fill up on unleaded
Posted: 27 Feb 2014
Cheeky night runs are true to the spirit of how drag racing took shape in the late Twenties, with good ol' boys in the American south outrunning the law in hot rods with trunks full of home-brewed hooch. Mind you, the only vehicle in our little posse that looks capable of carrying much in the way of contraband is a 1954 Chevy pickup that goes by the handle of Howlin Hauler, and packs 540 cubic inches - that's a hearty 8.8-litres to you and I - of 1,500bhp V8 under its hood.
This truly disparate, desperate ensemble of machinery spans a 70-year age gap, and includes a 2007 carbon-panelled Nissan GT-R 35 alongside a bright orange Toyota Supra, both of which would be more at home on the Tokyo ring road than the A509 to Dunstable. There's also a red Ford Escort RS Cosworth that has blasted in from the Nineties, and a rather innocent-looking, but demon-quick, nitrous-snorting Ford Zephyr. TopGear is sitting on the wafer-thin carbon-fibre passenger seat of a mammoth Mercury Comet from the Sixties, worrying about the trouble we'll encounter when the police eventually, inevitably, flash their blue lights behind us.