Scott's Product Development
for Jim Bryant's Thundercraft
1957 Chevy Drag Racer

In 1988 I created an x-ray technical illustration of Jim Bryant's very popular "Thundercraft" 1957 Chevy drag racing car for Popular Hot Rodding magazine. Bryant contacted me and we talked about his racing efforts several times. Cars such as Jim's accelerate from 0-to-180 mph in less than 8-seconds. After 2 full years of racing, Jim was toying around with the idea of building a super radical '57 Chevy Thundercraft car that would stretch things past the limit. He asked me if I would do some concept sketches of what such a car could look like.

The five drawings below show a profile of the actual race car and then variations of the '57 Chevy theme. Jim was in the high performance fiberglass boats business and "Thundercraft" was the name of his company. After many years and a lot of money, Jim decided to get out of racing and spend more time on his boat business. The project never went past this rough sketch stage.

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Thundercraft 1957 Chevy Profile

* This is a profile of the actual race car.

Thundercraft 1957 Chevy Version 1

* The wheelbase is stretched out and the front end is so low that fender bubbles were added for front tire clearance. This was common on funny cars in the early '70s.

Thundercraft 1957 Chevy Version 2

* Each version has a different shaped hood scoop. The rear window of this sketch shows a smooth fastback roof line that blends into a spoiled shape and a chopped top. Also shown is a biplane rear wing.

Thundercraft 1957 Chevy Version 3

* This version has a more upright roof section and a fastback that tapers back for a teardrop shape.

Thundercraft 1957 Chevy Version 4

* The leading edge of the roof slopes down and the rear portion of the roof line is very tall.

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