The Gang’s All Here

The Gang’s All Here

It’s easy to forget how many great cars existed during our hobby’s golden age. Time and time again, I’m pleasantly surprised to come across a snapshot of a hot rod that I’ve never seen before—cars that didn’t make it into the big magazine coverage or gain much recognition beyond the local level. Sometimes they’re perfect; often times they’re not.

The other day I stumbled upon an old photo with not one but four drag cars that were unfamiliar to me. There they were at the big end of the strip, parked side-by-side, while their owners chatted by the tow cars. The machines spanned the gamut—an altered wheelbase ’55 Chevy, a ’34 Ford with a whole lot of engine setback, a nose-up five-window of some sort and a black lacquer ’41 Willys Gasser. By the look of things, the year is 1965 and they’re somewhere in the Midwest.

It was the ’55 sedan that initially caught my eye. It’s pure ’60s with its straight axle, bright red paint, Hilborn injection, fenderwell headers, radiused rear wheelwells and American mags all around. Is that roof vinyl? Maybe so. At first I figured it was another form of “Godzilla” or “Blown Hell,” but a quick examination ruled both of those out. Talk about a radical homebuilt creation!

When I saw the black Willys, I thought of Jack Merkel (pre-lettering of course). Nope, wrong nose and wrong model. What about that light blue coupe. Is that Jerry Haley’s inline six-powered Plymouth from a couple weeks ago? Right color, right windows and right stance. The Moon tank and rolling stock were different, but that stuff was always changing. Wait! There’s a second photo from the same roll and we get a rear view of all the cars. That’s no Plymouth—it’s a ’35 Chevy.

Alas, all four of these remain mysteries. I figure with the lettering on the “57” car’s decklid, someone out there should be able to give some insight. Either way, this is a four-pack I certainly wouldn’t walk past if I saw them at the big end.

Joey Ukrop

Photos originally posted by loudbang

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