Do people collect dragsters? You bet they do. In fact, The Automobile Gallery (www.TheAutomobileGallery.org) in downtown Green Bay, WI, is a collection of cars that visitors can view as works of art. And The Gallery has a 2006 Undercover Motorsports Swing-Arm Dragster mounted on the wall.
This “turn-key” mid-engined dragster was built by Undercover Motorsports. It is powered be a 555-cubic-inch 900-hp Chevrolet V8 from Dart Machinery, Ltd. This Troy, MI, company sells intake manifolds, aluminum cylinder heads, valve covers, billet engine blocks, crankshafts, cups, shims and girdle nuts, guide plates, studs, bearing caps, timing covers, valve springs and many other parts for competition engines.
The dragster’s Dart engine has BMF cylinder heads, nodular main bearing caps, Victory intake valves, Manley exhaust valves and “Nex Rek” valve springs, an Eagle rotating assembly, Speed-Pro piston rings, a Johnston three-step oil pan and a Titan oil pump. It also has an APD gas 4500 carburetor and a camshaft, push rods, roller type valve lifters and rocker shaft from Crane Cams. MSD supplied the spark plug wires and crank trigger. It also has an ATI damper, ARP head studs and Wiseco pistons.
This car has all the “bells and whistles” that Undercover Motorsports offered in 2006, plus some later additions. It includes the swing arm chassis design that Undercover manufactured and they plumbed it as well. It has a rear airfoil wing, lots of chrome parts and headlights, and the dual brakes came from Strange Engineering, as did the rear axles with Pro gears. It has a new Ambruzzi transmission and converter along with a Moroso vacuum pump, a CSI water pump, Dynatech headers and an MSD digital ignition system. Finally, it has Afco shock absorbers and Mickey Thompson equipment out back transferring all that power to the ground. The car is fully certified.
Onboard, the dragster’s UXD dashboard is by RacePak. It has Biondo valve covers, a K & K air filter, an East Coast alternator, a Mega fuel system and an APD gas carburetor. Other features include RCI belts, K & R delay box, switches and air filter, a MegaDial digital dial board, a Bandit shifter, a Dedenbear air solenoid, an Optima battery and a Racepack computer. Up front are Hoosier tires on Mickey Thompson wheels. Graska paint is used on the inside and outside.
All these parts weren’t just installed for art’s sake – this was a legitimate dragster. The car made 86 passes down the quarter mile with Tom Ferguson as the driver. Ferguson, a pilot and a drag racer, invented the LinearDyne weather station and had one of the earliest finite understandings of how the weather affected elapsed times (ETs) in bracket and index drag racing.
Undercover Motorsports dragsters carry a serial number tag on the upper chassis tubing on the right-hand side of the cockpit. The number of this unit is 1204. The 240-in. long dragster went for about $70,000 when it was new.
William “Red” Lewis, the founder of The Automobile Gallery, wanted the museum-like collection to showcase the history of the automobile from the brass era up to today. He wanted to fill the Gallery with interesting and colorful vehicles and to display each of them in a unique way. Mounting a 20-ft. long racecar on the wall is a sure way to get people to notice it. The dragster is probably the only car in The Automobile Gallery that hasn’t been moved since it opened about a year ago. Other cars are rotated monthly, but the dragster keeps “hanging around” as proof that dragsters are definitely collectible works of art today.