Thursday, July 25, 2013

Breathing Fire On The Dragon

I could claim to enjoy this video because it's visually spectacular, including the background (it is).  Or because it reminds me of the old, and hugely successful, Racing Beat RX-7's (it does).  But partly it's just the show-offyness appealing to my inner teenaged boy.  Killboy said (Comments section of the video post) that the "built" 400 h.p. engine had just been installed and hadn't yet had its final tune. The implication was that the flames would disappear.

Street RX-7 rotaries did not, of course, pump huge amounts of unburned gas through their catalytic converters and out their tailpipes.  They did pump unburned gas into the converter, as the 20+ m.p.g. my car got proved.  That butter-smooth 7000 r.p.m. zoom-zoom came at a cost.  How many 1.3 liter engines need a 4-barrel carb?  But racing RX-7's like the one below were the first racing cars to use noise suppression even before courses had decibel limits.  A racing rotary going by at high revs was above the pain threshold unless it was slightly muffled.

And before that, flames out the exhaust were the signatures of turbo racing Porsches.  In road racing, from the early '70's to the mid '80's (before electronic engine management), flaming exhausts after a shut throttle were a visual cue to Big Performance.  Thanks for reminding me, Killboy.  We see some interesting stuff on the Tail of the Dragon in your videos.

The Racing Beat RX-7's (notably Jack Baldwin-driven) ruled the roost in IMSA'S GTU class at the turn of the 1980's.

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