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HISTORY OF A HOT RODDER- Tom Masa Part 1

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by KING CHASSIS, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. KING CHASSIS
    Joined: Aug 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,863

    KING CHASSIS
    Member

    [ Part two here,http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=223963&highlight=masa
    Part three here, http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=225155&highlight=masa



    As some of you know when I built my dragster, I got alot of the parts from a local racer named Tom Masa. Who had them stowed away in his garage for fourty years. story here http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=174060&highlight=zorbas+ghost Tom has raced them all or wrenched on them all. Following are some photos he was kind enuff to scan and share with us all. Left in his own words as sent to me.

    This was my first car. I bought off a car lot on Kingshighway. It was super clean. I made a two carb intake manifold (brazed it together) did not have an arc welder. Split the exhaust manifold with two glass packs. It was so loud I was always getting tickets. I pissed off a motorcycle cop. He waited for me to get off of work and gave five tickets in five days. I got the message and off came the glass packs. I had planned on putting a 292" GMC engine in it but I got drafted to go to Korea. I sold the car [​IMG]

    <!-- type = text --><SCRIPT defer type=text/javascript>YAHOO.Shortcuts.hasSensitiveText = false;YAHOO.Shortcuts.sensitivityType = [];YAHOO.Shortcuts.doUlt = false;YAHOO.Shortcuts.location = "us";YAHOO.Shortcuts.lang = "us";YAHOO.Shortcuts.document_id = 0;YAHOO.Shortcuts.document_type = "";YAHOO.Shortcuts.document_title = "";YAHOO.Shortcuts.document_publish_date = "";YAHOO.Shortcuts.document_author = "";YAHOO.Shortcuts.document_url = "";YAHOO.Shortcuts.document_tags = "";YAHOO.Shortcuts.annotationSet = {"lw_1195361235_0": {"text": "Illinois","extended": 0,"startchar": 798,"endchar": 805,"start": 798,"end": 805,"extendedFrom": "","predictedCategory": "PLACE","predictionProbability": "0.999073","weight": 0.369154,"type": ["shortcuts:/us/instance/place/destination", "shortcuts:/us/instance/place/us/state"],"category": ["PLACE"],"context": "JB bridge to Rt.3 in Illinois I beat him but the","metaData": {"geoArea": "145755","geoCountry": "United States","geoIsoCountryCode": "US","geoLocation": "(-89.504128, 39.739281)","geoName": "Illinois","geoPlaceType": "State","geoState": "Illinois","geoStateCode": "IL","type": "shortcuts:/us/instance/place/us/state"} },"lw_1195361235_1": {"text": "Chevrolet","extended": 0,"startchar": 927,"endchar": 935,"start": 927,"end": 935,"extendedFrom": "","predictedCategory": "OTHER","predictionProbability": "0.537453","weight": 0.35,"type": ["shortcuts:/us/instance/other/vehicle"],"category": ["THING"],"context": "engine out put the stock Chevrolet back in From that dayon" },"lw_1195361235_2": {"text": "AOL.com","extended": 0,"startchar": 1336,"endchar": 1342,"start": 1336,"end": 1342,"extendedFrom": "","predictedCategory": "","predictionProbability": "0","weight": 1,"type": ["shortcuts:/us/instance/identifier/hyperlink/http"],"category": ["IDENTIFIER"],"context": "dragster See what\x27s new at AOL.com and Make AOL Your Homepage","metaData": {"linkHref": "http://www.aol.com?NCID=AOLCMP00300000001170","linkProtocol": "http","linkRel": "nofollow","linkTarget": "_blank","linkTitle": "http://www.aol.com?NCID=AOLCMP00300000001170"} },"lw_1195361235_3": {"text": "Make AOL Your Homepage","extended": 0,"startchar": 1517,"endchar": 1538,"start": 1517,"end": 1538,"extendedFrom": "","predictedCategory": "","predictionProbability": "0","weight": 1,"type": ["shortcuts:/us/instance/identifier/hyperlink/http"],"category": ["IDENTIFIER"],"context": "what\x27s new at AOL.com and Make AOL Your Homepage","metaData": {"linkHref": "http://www.aol.com/mksplash.adp?NCID=AOLCMP00300000001169","linkProtocol": "http","linkRel": "nofollow","linkTarget": "_blank","linkTitle": "http://www.aol.com/mksplash.adp?NCID=AOLCMP00300000001169"} }};YAHOO.Shortcuts.overlaySpaceId = "97546169";YAHOO.Shortcuts.hostSpaceId = "97546168";</SCRIPT><META http-equiv=Content-Type><META>This 47 Chevrolet Fleetline replaced the 37 cpe. I had to sell because of getting drafted. I immediately proceeded to prepare to build the GMC engine I wanted to put in the 37. It was a 292" six cylinder, three carbs, headers, Howard cam, 1950 large port head, and a dual ignition I made using a Nash dist. cap and rotor. The Nash had two points, condensers, and coils. I modified the point breaker plate to relocate the points. The thing looked awesome. I had a lot of fun with that car. ONe cold winter night, I was racing a new Cadillac from the JB bridge to Rt.3 in Illinois. I beat him but the engine developed a knock. Turned out it spun a rear main. I pulled the engine out , put the stock Chevrolet back in. From that dayon, I have never hopped up and raced my only transportation. That's when I built the first dragster. [​IMG]
    Here is a picture of the GMC car. As you can see it was a pretty basic chassis. Rail frame, Ford transmission, rear end. 4.11 gears I think. Some one made a bell housing to mate a Chev. or gmc to a Ford transmission. Not much else to tell. 110mph in that car seemed pretty fast to me.

    [​IMG]
    This is my first dragster. a old rail frame sprint car chassis, a 292" GMC engine on alky. Three old 97s. Ran 107 at the first organized drag event in 1954 at Laweranceville IL. It got me on the way .[​IMG]Here is the second dragster I built with a high school buddy. It was a tube chassis. Note roll bar, we did not have a tube bender. we did not have any money for an engine, so we teamed up with this guy who had a 283 with a 471 blower and a home made chain drive( no guard) Car went 134 mph in Sept 1958.[​IMG]This was a supercharged Triumph motorcycle built by a buddy of mine. we were taking it to Dodge City Ks to a all bike drag meet. While loading it on the trailer, the tailgate on the trailer dropped on my right foot. It cut it pretty bad. Had to go to hospital and be stitched up. I told the guys to take my car and go themselves. They came back runner up for top eliminator. I could ride better than the who built it . They told me we would have been top eliminator. Oh well[​IMG]This was my 1951 Triumph thunderbird. It had 12to one pistons, Isky custom ground cams. two carbs, a water-alky injection I made. I always wound up running the track manager at Alton dragway for comp eliminator. I beat him every Sunday. He was hot because it was always real close. He had a 32 ford cpe. with a big Olds engine in it. He would come blowing by me in the lights but he ran out of real estate as they always say. Lots of fun. The bike was fast.[​IMG]Here is a better picture of my bike taken at Parks air college. That bike pulled so hard in low gear, that you had a hard time getting your foot up on the shift lever. Those were fond memories[​IMG]
    Damn Tom shure did it back then. And still does it now. Look for part 2 soon. As tom gets into sports car racing and back into dragsters. KING
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2009
  2. Great story, thanks for taking the time to post it.
     
  3. Mark in Japan
    Joined: Jun 19, 2007
    Posts: 1,432

    Mark in Japan
    Member

    Legend + Documentation = CULTURE :D
     
  4. biggen
    Joined: Aug 28, 2005
    Posts: 112

    biggen
    Member

    I have met tom and seen his photo's this guy is a real racer.
     
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  5. 52 HenryJ
    Joined: May 19, 2007
    Posts: 576

    52 HenryJ
    Member

    Great story thanks for posting!
     
  6. jonzcustomshop
    Joined: Jun 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,927

    jonzcustomshop
    Member

  7. Sam F.
    Joined: Mar 28, 2002
    Posts: 4,225

    Sam F.
    BANNED

    that is awesome, i read the story in Garage and even cooler to now read this.
     
  8. FLAT-TOP BOB
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 1,958

    FLAT-TOP BOB
    HAMB O'dex Editor
    Staff Member

    thanks for posting!
     
  9. monsterflake
    Joined: May 13, 2003
    Posts: 3,760

    monsterflake
    Member

    nice! how many pictures do you have?
     
  10. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,251

    Royalshifter
    Moderator
    from California

    Very cool......part two please!!
     
  11. Conder
    Joined: Jan 16, 2005
    Posts: 983

    Conder

    Good job Brian!
     
  12. hemi coupe
    Joined: Dec 25, 2001
    Posts: 1,169

    hemi coupe
    Member
    from so-cal

    Guys like Tom are my heroes!! Thanks for taking the time to show the pic's.
    Jimmy White
     
  13. Nick32vic
    Joined: Jul 17, 2003
    Posts: 3,007

    Nick32vic
    Member

    thank you so much for posting this brian. Cant wait for part 2.

    I wonder if Tom has any pictures from alton dragway and that 32? Those would be neat to see too.

    I guess ill see you at bills christmas party.
     
  14. HHRdave
    Joined: Jul 31, 2006
    Posts: 1,068

    HHRdave
    BANNED
    from So Cal

    Great post!!!! It's awesome to share the history and photos on this site of the passion that existed and brought us to where we are today. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this.
     
  15. Bass
    Joined: Jul 9, 2001
    Posts: 3,324

    Bass
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to post the photos and captions.
     
  16. Rusty
    Joined: Mar 4, 2004
    Posts: 9,309

    Rusty
    Member

    Too COOL!!!!!! That is some awesome stuff
     
  17. Machobuck
    Joined: Aug 1, 2006
    Posts: 221

    Machobuck
    Member

    Thank you!!!! The pre unit is to die for...
     
  18. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,757

    pasadenahotrod
    Member
    from Texas

    Nice job of writing and illustrations.
    Most folks don't know the bikes were often the kings of any given drag strip for many years. The days of running against whatever came up next in the lane made things exciting for many and horrifying for others.
     
  19. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,054

    Rand Man
    Member

    Nice examples of early rails. Dang, another Jimmy-powered HA/GR.
     
  20. dirty mikey
    Joined: Oct 1, 2007
    Posts: 136

    dirty mikey
    Member
    from chicago IL

    thanks for sharing a great story
     
  21. Burny
    Joined: Dec 20, 2004
    Posts: 1,541

    Burny
    Member

    Awesome read...can't wait for part II
     
  22. THOMAS S&C
    Joined: Sep 24, 2006
    Posts: 416

    THOMAS S&C
    Member

    Cool story and pics, look forward to part two!
     
  23. malkintent
    Joined: Sep 3, 2007
    Posts: 442

    malkintent
    Member

    i'm gonna read this every night before i go to sleep,
    and curl up with my shift lever..

    great so far!!!
     
  24. Awesome!

    Sam.
     
  25. KING CHASSIS
    Joined: Aug 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,863

    KING CHASSIS
    Member

    Yeah, this is some great stuff. Tom is the kind of guy that every rolled up cuff, black T-shirt wearing poser wishes he was. And you could be standing next to an older guy just like him at the food store or some shit and not even know it. Guys like him just take it like a grain of salt. After many conversations it came to surface that he knew someone that i knew. I said " yeah that is cool Steve raced AA/FA, and you raced B/FD.... I bet you guys talked eachothers ears off!" And Tom replied "did he? he never metioned that" Two guys that breathed Nitro for years of their life and never told each other during their few years of knowing each other. WOW.
    KING
     
  26. TwinH
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 106

    TwinH
    Member
    from Finland

  27. ProEnfo
    Joined: Sep 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,500

    ProEnfo
    Member
    from Motown

  28. El Jefe
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 669

    El Jefe
    Alliance Member

    That's what it's all about. The pics and stories are priceless. Needs to be retold. Looking forward to more.
     
  29. What an awesome story. Thanks for sharing.
     
  30. Traditional Joe
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 29

    Traditional Joe
    Member
    from Belgium

    Thx so much taking the time to write it.
    We all need the Part 2 ;)
    T.J.
     

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