Gopher State Twin

If one blown Hemi is bad news, then what are two joined together? Double the trouble?

These now unusual twin engined dragsters once roamed the earth in fairly large numbers. They gathered together into a heard of race cars known as Top Gas Eliminator. There were occasional twins in Top Fuel, but they found more success in the Top Gas wars, a hotly contested category of drag racing which emerged in the post nitro ban era and lasted until it was unceremoniously nixed in 1972.

This particular twin is the restored 1971 dragster campaigned by the Gopher State Timing Association. It was driven by Ron Braun, and wrenched by Ray Ruettiman. It was the fifth in a series of dragsters that the GSTA campaigned throughout the years. This particular gas burner utilized dual blown 392 Chrysler power plants joined at the crankshaft, and it typically ran elapsed times in the 7 second range with speeds of 190+ mph. These gasoline fueled dragsters were known for their trail of black smoke rather than the yellow fire belching from the headers of a nitro burner. Top Gas Eliminator was a breeding ground for future Top Fuel drivers in much the same way that the Top Alcohol dragster category is viewed today. The distinctive twin engined configuration began to appear with increasing regularity during the 1969 season and was common place by 1970.

This historic AA/GD is currently owned by Ted Guth, who restored Roland Leong's original 'Hawaiian' funny car driven by Larry Reyes. Ted brought the stunning funny car restoration to last year's Memphis Rodder's Reunion to be enjoyed by an appreciative audience. Yet this is the car that drew Ted to race car restoration, and the nobility of preserving the history of drag racing for future enthusiasts to enjoy.

The GSTA is a council of Minnesota area hot rod clubs that dates back to 1954. Their stories should appeal to those who are interested in the history of the Memphis Rodders. Read more about this 54 year old organization through this link. Meanwhile, enjoy the photos that Ted provided of this sterling example of a carbon black Top Gas Dragster.