One of the icons of engine performance is the standard Roots supercharger. You know, the kind that used to be found on any GM bus motor and that as far back as drag racing history goes has been used by racers to help their engines make more power. The supercharged engine can be seen in the earliest photographic records of drag racing being used on everything from the earliest “rail jobs” to the ’55 Chevy campaigned in the early years by one John Bandimere Sr.
Drag racing legend has everyone from Don Garlits to Jack Chrisman robbing 6-71 “GMC” blowers off of city buses and bolting them on to engines just like they came off of the engine. That’s a cool legend, but the facts are that almost from the beginning of their use, racers were modifying them in a lot of different ways from changing the inlet and exhaust ports to redesigning the rotors and the cases themselves.
In the last decade or so the technological improvements in superchargers have been responsible for the domination of Pro Mod by supercharged cars and the quantum leap in speeds and ET’s in the nitro ranks. Because of that, the most closely guarded secret in many race teams’ pit was the supercharger itself with the inlet and exhaust port of the ‘charger being covered at all times and the intake manifold often concealed from view. Most of the
premier blown nitro and alky teams either have or have access to a supercharger dynamometer for tuning and testing.
Sanctioning bodies now have almost as many rules regarding the specifications of each type of charger whether it is a standard or Hi-Helix roots blower or a “screw” blower as they do for engine blocks or cylinder heads. There are a half-dozen people who specialize in modified or custom-built superchargers. The sanctioning bodies now have tech inspectors whose specialty is superchargers.
Which brings us to the crux of this tech story. One of the acknowledged supercharger gurus is Darren Mayer, who, along with the likes of Al Billes, Les Davenport and Chuck Ford, are known for their supercharger expertise. Right now, though, Mayer’s DMPE is kind of the leader of the supercharger developers, manufacturers and modifiers.
Early last year Mayer developed his M5 Supercharger for blown alcohol applications, and it is generally given credit for making the five-second supercharged Pro Mod pass a much easier proposition in an off the shelf purchased Supercharger. He claims it is the best performing Pro Mod blowers (not needing modification) you can purchase.