Drag racing has typically been an American form of motorsport. The origins of this can probably be traced back to the Prohibition, when bootleggers would modify their humdrum saloon cars to outrun the cops. This practice eventually turned into what is now NASCAR. Another fall out of this was ordinary folk mimicking these bootleggers and hot rodding their cars. Starting out with traffic light skirmishes. These folks eventually moved to safer and legal drag strips.
Nowadays, drag strips see action from everything like small hot hatches to purpose built top fuel dragsters. These dragsters breach the 2000 to 3000 hp mark easily and are little more than a seat bolted to the back of an engine. This dragster seen here though, is very different. Designed by Micky Thompson, a drag racing pioneer, this Mickey Thompson Mini Dragster is a miniature version of these classical full sized machines.
Built between the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, these were powered by a 3 hp Tecumseh single cylinder, air-cooled engine with a centrifugal clutch and no gears. The Mickey Thompson Mini Dragster was built around a tubular frame with no front or rear suspension other than the tire sidewalls. Steering was via a drag racing spec twin grip, and a heavy-duty spot brake was also provided. The fibreglass body and roll cage were added on top of this. The top speed was 20 mph (32 kmph).
Only about 180 examples were built and this one up for sale at RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2018 auction is particularly special given the striking paintjob and the very rare Mickey Thompson front wheels.
The Mickey Thompson Mini Dragster is a unique collectable not just for children or drag racing fans. It is a fun, interesting piece of kit and can be an off-beat addition to any car collector’s garage. Former owners including the likes of Mario Andretti and Paul Newman would also definitely agree to this.
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