Roll cages are the difference between life and death in motorsports. NHRA requires any car running 10.99 or faster to have at least a 6 point cage to protect the occupants. For the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, a segment on the legendary wheel standing Hemi Under Glass didn’t go according to plan. For a quick history lesson, the Hemi Under Glass was a series of wheel standing Barracudas built by Hurst Performance. For entertainment during drag racing intermissions, the rear engined monsters would carry the front wheels down the 1/4 mile track.
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Bob Riggle has been the wheelman for Hurst for over 50 years, so Jay decided to ride along at Irwindale speedway for a wheels-up run. Unfortunately, the uneven landing surface of the infield caused wheel hop during braking. Wheel standers aren’t good at cornering because they lack sway bars. The sway bar connects left to right sides and keeps the car planted in the corners. Since they are heavy, most drag racers choose to trash them once their car becomes a track only machine. Along with a helmet and a 5 point harness, a cage should be on your list if you plan to push the limits of your car. Once it cools off in FL we will be installing a roll cage into our 1968 Charger project car, but in the meantime stay tuned to Autofluence for more updates from Jay Leno’s Garage.