Chances are you won’t see any of these rides running your local quarter mile.
Drag racing is a funny thing. Unlike other forms of automotive racing, all you need to do is go incredibly fast in a straight line. Of course it is more complex than that, but at the end of the day if your car can hit and withstand high speeds you’re good to go. This means that just about anything on wheels can be turned into a dragster, as the cars featured here prove. John Force, if you’re reading this, look away.
AMS Performance turned the traditional, slow-moving funeral procession on its head with the Madness Hearse. This heavily customized 1996 Chevy Caprice hearse, which features a custom turbo kit and Edelbrock Super Victor intake among other additions, has 1,000 horsepower and rockets from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds. It needs only 9.94 seconds to run the quarter mile, hitting 137 mph in the process.
The Sleeper Camry is an appropriately named dragster that first popped its head out at the 2014 SEMA show. On the outside it looks like a normal sedan, but inside the Camry is anything but. The purpose-built dragster is powered by a Tundra-sourced 5.7-liter supercharged V8 and a wet nitrous system good for 850 horsepower. The interior features only one seat, a Fast Ed’s racing seat, making this the only Camry in history unfit to serve as a daily driver. Not being able to take the kids to school isn’t so bad when you can do a quarter mile in 9.8 seconds.
A BMW Isetta is one of the last cars you’d want to take to the drag strip, unless it’s the “Whatta Drag” Isetta. This one-of-a-kind car was inspired by a Hot Wheels toy (seriously) and is powered by a Chevy Big Block 502 good for 730 horsepower, which is just a bit more than the 13 horsepower the original Isetta’s single-cylinder engine was good for. This insane dragster measures in at 12 feet 4 inches and shoots 4-foot flames. It went up for auction in early 2013 and sold for $92,000.
Everyone knows that in order to get a school bus to do 367 mph, you need to fit it with a jet engine. The jet engine that propels the aptly named “School Time” is a General Electric J79, the same one that powered the military’s F-104 Starfighter and F-4 Phantom II. School Time looks quite impressive on the track, shooting flames and spouting smoke as it literally and figuratively burns up the asphalt.
If only Jeremy Clarkson had gotten behind the wheel of this jet-powered Peel Trident. You’d expect a jet-powered anything to be insanely fast, but in the (likely) interest of safety this modified Trident only hits 78 mph in its quarter mile. It also ran said distance in 23.3 seconds, which sounds pretty pathetic until you remember that a standard Trident would likely not even go the distance.