Twin Engine Drag Car Text History
Hot Rod Shop Twin by Jerry Newman
Emmett Cull by Don Jensen
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The First Ten Twins
On your site, you had a shot of a twin engined, turbo powered 4 cyl. flat head twin, with no known owners. That car belonged to the Mancillias Bros. of Southern California. These guys frequent the local cruiser night hamburger stand circuit. I spoke with them about the car, having seen pictures of it back when it was being run - 1971, or should I say, attempts at making it run. According to the brothers, the thing ate a clutch on the line and it was parked, never to have seen the light of day since. They still own it however. One of the motors was pulled and installed in a T Bucket altered car, which has been running for many years since.
Thanks for your site, I have the ( Hot Rod Shop ) twin from Milwaukee. I started my drag racing career by working on this car. The car was parked in 1963 when a light weight single engine car was built.
I switched to nitro in 63 with Andrews & Fisher. The car had sat in the same two car garage that it was built in during 1959. I bought it in 1998, and plan to display it when I find all the parts.
I have more pictures for your site, in the picture you have from 1962, the Lefty Mudserback torsion bar front end can be seen. I believe this is the last one left in existence.
The car also held the Drag News top gas record ( I think 181 mph ) for a time before John Peters took it back.

Thanks again, Jerry Newman  Lannon, WI.
Oh My! I didn't think there were any pictures of this that I would ever see ! This was my buddy, Ken Miller. It had a Harley Davidson fork and spring assembly. The two motors were connected to a I ton Ford rear end., that Miller had carefully fabricated with two pinions, one in each direction. Miller was an engineer and drew blueprints of every inch of the car before he started. He was not a welder, so he had Bob Boos do the welding. Miller worked alongside Bob, fitting weld joints. Miller got his boss to spring for two brand new Pontiac engines and transmissions. I have no idea what he did with the oil pump pickup in the rear engine, but you can see the pan was modified. I think whatever it was , it didn't work because the rear engine ate itself up right away, maybe only made one or two runs. I don't remember any of them, I think it was 1960. Track was Minnesota Dragways, which was newly built the year before. After the rear motor failed, Ken unbolted the rear chassis/motor assembly and continued to run the car with one motor. It never did anything. However, it was extremely well built for the times and as light as possible, light - weight being a fetish for Miller.
I often wondered what would have happened if his inventive nature could have been channeled into more practical, less complicated machinery. After Ken's racing efforts were over, he got into boats and ended up with a 40 foot Chris Craft.
Mancillas Bros. by Bill Duke
Lidtke and Van Unen - Lidtke and Ellis by Tony Carter
In the late 60's and early 70's I was part of a pit crew for Duane Lidtke owner of a Twin Engine Top Gas car. The car was driven by Kenny Ellis. I recently saw a picture of this car on your site and it brought back many good memories.
Lidtke and Van Unen were together before Lidtke and Ellis. Van Unen went his own way in the 60's.
Lidtke and Ellis Twin had a short body at first, then Ken Ellis built a full body for the car. The short body was red and the full body was black with silver and blue metalflake swirls and designs. It was a good lookin car! The car was sold in the mid 70's, shortened, body and all, and used as a single engine dragster but I don't remember what class.

TwoToGo Footnote: The Lidtke and Ellis Twin was in the last NHRA national event where two twins ran. Jim Bucher was the winner.
Emmett Cull, San Leandro, CA built this car the winter of 55-56 using the Bustle Bomb concept, but with a clutch on the rear engine. The only picture I have is of the Hayward Head Hunter's display ( 16  cars ) at the February 1956 Oakland Roadster Show.
At this time it's powered by a Wayne Chevy front and Flathead in the rear on fuel. I don't know what it turned, but did not do well. But teaming with the Bryne Bros., with their Flathead in front and Paul Lushners Flathead in the rear they ran 145.87 mph for top time Memorial Day 1956 at Kingdom        ( Lodi ) also top time ( 146-148 ) at Bakersfield ( Minter Field ) about the same time. I don't know what they did later, I was busy with my car and got drafted in early 57. I recently found out that in 1960-61 he partnered with Al Hubbard and they ran two Chevy's in that car on fuel. Running in the very high 160's.
Dugan and Turnow by Chuck Bayuk ......
The "Tiller Miller" by Ron Johnson
Mancillas Bros. by Bill Duke
Hot Rod Shop Twin by Jerry Newman
The "Tiller Miller" by Ron Johnson
Lidtke and Van Unen - Lidtke and Ellis by Tony Carter
Emmett Cull by Don Jensen
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Dugan and Turnow by Chuck Bayuk
Dugan and Turnow by Chuck Bayuk
This was the SPEED SPECIALIST dragster from Denver. The front engine was a Chrysler from
their front engine dragster. The rear engine was a Desoto Hemi. These guys were bucks down
racers and did all of their own fabrication. They coupled the two engines to the early Ford rear
axles by cutting two Ford rear end banjo housings in half and bolting the remaining two pinion
gear halves onto the Ford axle housings with one pinion shaft forward and the other shaft going
to the rear. What they ended up with was two pinion gears driving onto one common ring gear.
Quite a load for that old Ford rear end.
The car was ill handling with that Desoto acting as a counter weight in the rear. I saw one of
their pit crew lift the front end off the ground with minimal effort on his part. It would merrily
bounce around going down the track to the point where the track officials asked them not run
it any more.
And thats the way I remember it.
Chuck B.
Mancillas Bros. by Bill Duke
Hot Rod Shop Twin by Jerry Newman
The "Tiller Miller" by Ron Johnson
Lidtke and Van Unen - Lidtke and Ellis by Tony Carter
Emmett Cull by Don Jensen
Dugan and Turnow by Chuck Bayuk