Anything Nostalgia Related.

Moderators: timetravel, ukdrn

 #38651  by Lorcan
We all know the story. 3 second runs. 380+mph. So why does the video say otherwise?

Downloading this video and popping it into *any* video editor shows the car leaving the line at 20.2 seconds and the car passing under the gantry (which was ahead of the finish line) at best at 25.2 seconds. So 5.0 seconds later, not 3.5 seconds.

I can't believe the video is slowed down by 30% and I don't want to believe that one of my all-time heroes wasn't that fast, but something's not right here.

Either the video is not a 3.5 second run or something else is going on. Any ideas?
 #38652  by ahensman
Did you audit the video clock? It may not be counting seconds. Sometimes the video is counting bits per second or other non-descript measurement. Sometimes the video clock is just plain inaccurate.
Personally, I'd be inclined to trust the Chrondecks at the track over some inexpensive video timer.
 #38654  by timetravel
The run on that video clip was a 4.45 at 248mph. I took the footage at the 1984 World Finals meet and whoever posted this clip has taken it from the video I posted on youtube nine years ago and put the wrong info on it.
Sammy did run 3.5 sec that year at the Cannonball but the speed was 286mph.

 #38951  by Stu Bradbury
I don't think you will find this particular video is the 3.58 second run. I was the one that was there on the Startline most times Sammy made a run. On the day he ran the fastest ever 1/4 mile, I remember saying "Bloody hell he's not going to stop before Milton Keynes" I had a feeling he might have been in trouble, jumped in my car and drove to the top end of the strip. When I got there Sammy was out of the car not knowing if it was day or night. He had blood coming from his nose, eyes and ears . He had accelerated so quick that the blood rushed to his head and he was not far from a blackout. I asked him to sit on the barrier and hold on until we got the first aid guys. I said are you okay, he said "Stu I thought that was it, I didn't think I was going to stop. Put too much in the tank and it nearly caught me out" "I said we all thought you were not going to stop, don't do that again whatever you do" What a showman. Very proud to have been his friend. Dearly missed I can tell you that!
 #38953  by ahensman
So here's a couple of really good questions to consider based upon Stu's description of those events.

"Is there something to learn from that fast run that can be applied to the sport today?"
"Was Sammy telling us something that we have yet to learn?"

Sammy ran 3.58 over a quarter mile, but todays fuelers are closing in on 3.65 and 330mph over a shorter 1000 feet.
So is there some magic ET when the human body overrules the mechanical performance and we start to see red-outs with todays fueler pilots?
Can we expect to see those drivers swapping out their fire suits for G-force suits like the jet fighter pilots wear?

Sammy was a leader in his field of ingenuity and progress , a fact most fans don't recognize. All they saw was a guy who strapped himself into a rocket car and went fast. If I recall correctly, that very rocket engine was originally developed by NASA to power the lunar landing vehicles, but was rejected due to NASA not being able to get it to work efficiently.

Then along comes Sammy, defies all the experts at NASA and takes it to those kind of times and speeds. Kind of ironic that he did it all without leaving the earth's surface, huh?

Sammy was a true innovator in our sport, but probably will never be truly recognized in the US because he was audacious enough to run over the designated maximum speed of US tracks. So after 40 years or so, the US race tracks have had to upgrade to cope with what Sammy was doing all those years ago. Amazing and thank you Sammy, I know you can hear me from wherever you are.
 #38954  by Stu Bradbury
Maybe Sammy was never recognize in the USA, but we recognized him in the UK by inducting him into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame. ... my-miller/

The other thing to consider is, Sammy's car was pretty much instant acceleration, not timed like today top fuel cars. Sammy pulled the parachute on leaving the starline, not after a 1,000 feet. That's the difference.
 #38955  by ahensman
Thanks Stu,
I hadn't read the British HOF article before so am glad you posted the link.
The differences between wheel driven and rocket powered vehicle characteristics you described are most interesting and support Sammy's reputation as being a true pioneer of our sport and at the cutting edge of its technology.
It was so sad that he was taken from us so early and that he wasn't able to give us more insight into his particular realm of the most exciting sport in the World
Thanks again