Author: marksnyder88

Instructor, Lecturer, Professor, Adjunct Teacher of Art

Mark Snyder


Death Drives A Dragster

As soon as I was old enough to work I took a job so I could buy a car. The first car I bought was a dragster.
It was a 1965 Plymouth Satellite that the owner used to drag race until he broke his back. I bought the car in a form that was ready to race but with no motor. So the second car I bought was my dad’s Plymouth Fury III. I knew nothing really mechanical about cars but figured I could put my Dad’s engine in my car. Out of sheer luck and the kind of ignorance that allows you to do things you don’t know you can’t, I managed to merge two completely incompatible cars into one car, my car.
For my thesis show I will be building a dragster. At this time I have no idea whether it will function or not, but this kind of unknowing attempt is rudimentary to my general processes. The Dragster will be modeled after the early 1970’s style of a front-engine, sling-shot design. With its straight-line speed and a driver’s need for complete focus on the goal, the dragster represents a part of America from my youth that I feel has faded. As children we are indoctrinated into societal norms through our schools, in neighborhoods and via T.V. ¬†Wide World of Sports use to broadcast Evel Knievel jumps into our living rooms. And with friends we would attempt bicycle versions in our front lawn. Living on a street with a hill meant that we would also race anything that would move down it from tricycles to skateboards to go-carts. When my friends and I got old enough we all bought cars. Cars represented freedom, mobility and escape. Fast cars represented, skill, daring and need to run the razors edge between life and death; a fatalistic drive, a need to crush out things one did not want to think about or to crush out ones own life.