Editor’s Note: I am on Vacation until August, so I have prepared some Friday Features in advance.
I love exploring and discussing the lesser-known aspects of driver suits, and one thing that most fans don’t get to see are the cuffs are the end of the legs. In NASCAR, that is because there is a design feature in suits called the “boot cut.” As seen above, the boot cut features a cuff within a cuff. In NASCAR this is not just for aesthetic reasons. NASCAR, and other stock car classes feature the engine in front of the driver. In the very likely event of an engine catching fire the cuff helps keep the driver’s legs protected.
The other style of cuff is just called “cuff.” I’m going to call it a standard It is a predominant feature seen in many suits, including F1 and IndyCar suits. Since the engine and fuel tanks are located behind the driver, and because of the restricted space within the driver compartment, the cuff style is a popular choice. On occasion, cuff cuts can be seen on NASCAR suits as well. Early NASCAR suit feature cuff cuts, but in the 1980’s, the boot cut became the preferred choice. In the NHRA you see it a lot in the upper echelons, Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock. I also see it in the semi-pro ranks. For drivers in other classes, as in different sanctioning bodies, it is left up to the driver. Some drivers prefer the standard cuff, some prefer the boot cuff.
Next week, something really cool…