Turn the Earth (or turn the car)
Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Moving Bomb
Top Fuel is cool, no question about it. It's the automotive equivalent of a child's imagination. A zillion horsepower, flames out the noisy bit of the engine (or the other bits if it goes wrong) and there it is, the world's most ridiculous way to make your internal organs re-arrange themselves. Not even joking about that last bit, your liver will enjoy it's new location in your left thigh if you watch them long enough.
But one day, some bright spark (read "complete headcase") decided that instead of having all that noise and vibration in the back of a nice long dragster chassis and plonk it right in front of your face in a shorter chassis with a flip-top body keeping the fire nice and safe with you when it escapes the engine through the wrong hole.
Nutter. Also note: a rare photo of the most impractical Volvo in the world.
But hey, that's ok, because when the planets all align and that, it's a fantastic show. Nitro Funny Cars are loud, exciting, a heck of an eye pleaser and the motorsport equivalent of bloody stupidity. Good stuff.
The KFC Return Road has not smelt the same ever since.
In only the second race meeting I ever attended, the local track put on a two way Nitro Funny Car battle. I arrived a little after the first pass, so had missed the bit when one car's engine decided to just twist itself into non-use for the rest of the night. Oh well, just the one car left. Well, when they turned the taps on it, violence ensued. My internals enjoyed a brief re-arrangement as they shook about for the first time ever. Well... until the car lost traction at 30 feet. Two runs that day, both times the same result. But that brief show of chaos hooked it for me.
EXCLUSIVE: Inside a nitromethane-fuelled cylinder. Experts in the field will have already pointed out the overly rich tune.
So the reason I put this into words? Well, about 12 years later, I now introduce this mental class to my better half for the first time. The problem is selling this to her in words that are... gooder than my usual standard. Stand on this vibrating exercise machine of dubious worth and turn it up to maximum just isn't cutting it.
But hopefully she'll enjoy it. In a Wile E Coyote wearing a rocket and skates kind of way.