A dragster is a specialized competition automobile used in drag racing.
Dragsters, also commonly called "diggers", can be broadly placed in three categories, based on the fuel they use: Gas (gasoline), Alcohol (methanol), and Fuel (a mixture of gasoline and nitromethane). They are most commonly single-engined, though twin-engined designs did race in the 1950s and 1960s.
The design of dragsters evolved from the front-engined rail (named for the exposed frame rails) of the earliest days of drag racing, into the "slingshot" (with the driver between or behind the rear tires, or "slicks") of the early to middle 1960s, to the "modern" type common in the 1970s. These were replaced by rear-engined types, which remain the standard today. The first slingshot dragster is believed to be Mickey Thompson's Panorama City Special, which debuted at the first NHRA Nationals at Great Bend, Kansas in 1955.
Depending on the class they run in, dragsters can be injected or supercharged (or turbocharged), with a variety of possible engines. The engines are most often derived from automobiles'; some early examples used surplus aircraft engines. Today, they may also be electric.
Dragsters are distinct from "bodied" cars such as funny cars and gassers, as well as from altereds.
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