Air/Gas Powered RC Dragster – The Basics

If you love drag racing, but don’t want to sit behind the wheel of a real car, then an RC dragster is definitely for you. You get all the heart-pounding fun of being at a real live track, but instead of just watching the action unfold, you are actually part of it. You are where all the joy is-but without all the safety concerns!

Don’t get it wrong-safety is still very important in this exciting hobby. Whether you seek to burn up the competition a gas powered rc dragster or smoke ‘em in an air powered dragster, the sky’s the limit when you get into this amazing hobby. Check out our guide to get you started.

I’m New Here. What is an RC Dragster?

Air/Gas Powered RC Dragster
skeeze / Pixabay

It is important to understand the fundamentals of these cars, so you can get off on the right foot with your new hobby!

A “dragster” refers to a car that is modified or built from scratch for use in a drag race.

When a real drag race takes place with actual cars, the goal is nothing more than pure speed. These are done on a short track or short distance, usually no more than a quarter of a mile.

When you race with an RC dragster like the Quicksilver 1, you will go an even shorter distance. The object is the same though-speed. It’s all based upon what you’ve put into your car and the modifications you’ve made.

RC dragsters can go pretty fast-we’re talking 60 to 70 miles per hour. The best ones can get up to 100 MPH-faster than any of us go when driving our everyday commute! Again, it is all dependent upon the mods you’ve made to your car.

Races can take place anywhere it is safe to do so: a large, open parking lot, a driveway, or open area where it will not disturb anybody. Some enthusiasts even opt for all-terrain tires, so they can challenge anybody, anywhere.

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Sounds Cool...What Do You Recommend?

The first car we will have a look at is the Primal RC 1/5 Quicksilver. It is a gas-powered dragster and it’s ready to rock. It does have a price tag of $1100, but you will soon come to see it is well worth it.

First, you get a well-constructed dragster made of carbon fiber. The lower frame plates, rear wing sides, and front lower wing mount are all made of this durable material.  The engine doesn’t hold back, either-it is a Zenoah G290 4 bolt, 2 stroke pull-start engine. Your launch will smoke the competition with the dragster’s 8000 RPM clutch. There is a dual exhaust system on the dragster, offering a sound and performance like no other.

The wheels also leave nothing to be desired. You get large high traction drag racing tires on the back, equipped with medium compound foam. They come with heavy duty nylon rims that have aluminum bead locks as well as 24 mm hex inserts-this adds strength!

You will also enjoy the rear mechanical disc brake system that has a built-in cooling fan. Ball bearings are used throughout the entire vehicle. The vehicle is powered by gasoline. The fuel tank holds 280ccs and features a quick-fill system. You get a 3-liter red fuel storage container so that you can fill up quickly and get back into the fun with no mess.

There are several other great features on this dragster. It is considered advanced, but with practice, you will become familiar with this machine and learn to control it with ease.

What If I Want to Build My Own?

RC Dragster
clickphoto / Pixabay

Building or modifying your own dragster is something that you absolutely can do. At Primal RC, many of the cars come ready to be assembled and raced. However, modifying them makes them your own car and not just a stock vehicle.

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For example, you might consider the Quicksilver 1/5 Scale Almost Ready to Run model. Sometimes called ARR, these require you to add on the essentials-the radio, receiver, pipe, engine, and clutch. The more advance option, this ensures you get to essentially build your own RC dragster.

For the particular model, you will need a complete 23-34cc engine with clutch and air filter. You will also need a muffler or tuned pipe, and a 2 or more-channel radio and receiver.

On this particular model, the following are featured: A carbon fiber body construction, similar to the one found on the Primal RC 1/5 Quicksilver. The wheels and rims are virtually the same, indicative that quality has not been compromised. The fuel tank is also 280ccs, and the fuel can is included for easy fill ups as the race goes on.  This model is also made with various aluminum parts, a full list can be seen at

The top speeds that can be reached with this RC dragster are 50 MPH and up, provided you have the right engine installed.

Other Considerations

So now you must decide if you’d like a ready-made RC dragster, or one you can add parts to and make your own. A few other things to consider include the following:

The skill level of your car. The two discussed in this article are for advanced RC Dragster racers, but practice makes perfect. If you feel that you need a different skill level, check out beginner dragsters by doing a Google search. There are cars for all skill levels and hobbyists, so don’t be afraid!

Next, you might want to think about the following: 2WD vs 4WD. A 2-wheel drive dragster means less money spent on maintenance, but a 4-wheel drive means better handling and easier traversing over obstacles and conditions of the road you’re racing on. Think about what matters to you and what you aim to get out of your dragster.

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It is a rewarding and fun hobby to get into when you consider RC dragsters. Knowing that there are several available for all skill levels means that everybody can get into this and work their way up the ladder. Be prepared to spend a little money here and there and do some work. It may seem daunting at first, but when you roll past the competition with ease, you will be happy you did it.

Stan D

Editor at
Stan is the editor at where we are passionate about all things Remote Control and especially Drones! We want you to know as much about them as possible before you buy and when you are getting used to them. There are a lot of questions about RC & drones and that's where we come in, to help you with relevant information.