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Mickey Thompson's might have been first, but Leslie identifies Calvin Rice's slingshot, built by Melvin Dodd, as the first successful car of this type. The idea was to put more weight behind the rear wheels to keep them from spinning. Doug Hartelt (first to build a supercharged Chrysler) built the engine. This is from May 1957, two years after Rice won the first NHRA Nationals in Great Bend, Kansas, (and finished in Perryville, Arizona). A famous photo shows Rice at the starting line in Kansas with the Hemi, but Calvin swapped in a Flathead during the event. Rain postponed that race, and when it resumed, many weeks later in Perryville, Arizona, Rice won with the Ford engine.