Building a car that’s different from everything else is something that Frank Dragotta, Jr. (who has one of the coolest names for a drag racer we’ve ever heard, by the way) has always loved to do, and his newest creation, the “Slim Stang” is exactly that: different. Dragotta has been deeply entrenched in the world of nostalgia racing for a long time with various cars, but the Slim Stang takes it to a whole new level.
Over the years, Dragotta has run everything from front and rear engine dragsters, to his 1948 Fiat known as “The Little Red Apple”, but since he couldn’t see very well out of the car, it was sold, and he retired from racing.
His retirement was short lived, though, as Dragotta explains. “I spent some time in Florida and upon my return last spring, my friend, Luke Zane, made me an offer on a vintage Don Long 1970s Funny Car chassis that I couldnt refuse.”
Knowing I didn’t want a Funny Car body, a T-Bucket, or a Bantam body, I kept doodling on my note pad and out of the blue it came to me. My first car in high school was a 1965 Mustang, so that’s what I went with. I Googled aftermarket replacement panels and came up with a set of door skins and quarter panel skins and fired up my trusty Mig welder and began creating,” Dragotta tells of how the Slim Stang concept came about.
“Every part is an aftermarket reproduction part. I hand-formed the trunk and cowl. It’s a one-piece removable body that’s all metal, with a functioning trunk lid, tail lights, and backup lights. The next part of the project will be to fabricate a front-end with working headlights,” Dragotta says.
At just 27-inches wide, the body is a fraction of the size of the original car, and it only weighs 1,500 pounds. The Slim Stang will be powered by a 500 horsepower small-block Chevy, backed by a TH350 transmission and a Ford 9-inch rearend.
With so little weight, and so much power on tap, Dragotta should be quick at the track. “I’m expecting it to run 5.40’s in the 1/8-mile, and the best part is that I can see out of it.”
One thing’s almost certain, though: Dragotta’s Slim Stang won’t have an equal at any track in the country