Kent Fuller's grandson Gregory waits in the pits at El Mirage prior to taking the Smoke-n-Mirrors streamliner down the course. The team made two runs at the first SCTA event of the season, qualifying Gregory for his 125mph license.
For years we've been watching the progress of the Kent Fuller streamliner project. Earlier this month, the D/Fuel Streamliner made its first two full passes at the SCTA season opener at El Mirage. Nicknamed "Smoke-n-Mirrors," the car features a monocoque design, French-block flathead V8 and all-steel body.
On its first passes, owner and driver Gregory Fullerâ€”Kent's 16-year-old grandsonâ€”successfully completed his 125mph SCTA licensing runs. â€œThe streamliner ran straight and true with no problems,â€ Don Tubbs, the team's technical director, says. â€œKentâ€™s design and construction functioned flawlessly.â€
Currently the streamliner is powered by a 304cid flathead equipped with Baron heads and a 750cfm Quick Fuel Technology four-barrel. Tubbs says there are two more engines in the works.
For the Fuller team, this is only the beginning. With Bonneville Speed Week fast approaching, they're taking the summer to improve the car's driveline and braking systems. In time, they hope to change powerplants and ultimately push the streamliner past the 300mph mark.
So why Smoke-n-Mirrors? From his unique chassis designs of the â€™60s to his latest Bonneville project, Kent Fuller has always been an innovator. When he started building the streamliner, it featured a laydown driving position and periscope-style mirrors for driver visibility. Tubbs says this was legal per SCTA rules, but it required extensive safety testing to get approved for competition. The costs were staggering and the processes were slated to take years, so the car was outfitted with a conventional canopy. The mirrors are gone, but the name is here to stay.
With Gregory inside the cockpit, second driver Andy Davis guides the 'liner toward the starting line while Don drives the push truck. This angle shows how small the car really is. Other than the wheel fairings, canopy and rear fin, the handmade body has a diameter of a mere 2.5 feet. Photo by Jim Miller.
For more on Fullerâ€™s final racecar project, make sure to check out our previous email newsletters here and here. In the meantime, weâ€™ll keep you posted on the Fuller teamâ€™s run for the record books.