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Anybody from Pomona remember this gasser?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by gup, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. This is a great story, I'm happy you found the builders, would be awesome if you hooked up with some of the GHS crew that put it together......keep dig'n.
     
  2. 5w32
    Joined: Jan 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,062

    5w32
    Member

    i have been emailing Royce with questions , here are some of the responses:


    Steve,
    Here goes.
    Question:
    1. did it lift the front wheels?
    A. it moved about 6 feet, then lifted the wheels about 2-3 inches. It carried them about 15-20 feet, then gently lowered them - no "hard landing." Part of the whole process was made more effective with 90/10 shocks. A marvelous invention of the era, as long as you understood how to make use of them.
    2. did you have wheelie bars?
    A. Did not need them. Car was heavy enough, and the lift bars were located at a point that gave us maxlimum tire "plant."
    3. 1 piece side windows.... did they slide ,roll up, or stationary?
    A. One piece lexan, stationary.
    4. fuel tank location, what material, style of cap and size/volume?
    A. in front of the engine, above damper pulley for safety. Remember, the car did not have a belt driven water pump, therefore, no belts or pulleys. There was an aluminum plate where the water pump would have been. Water pump and fuel pump were both military surplus adjustable pressure electric units. It was a pretty conventional aluminum tank (like a small beer keg) mounted horizontally. Volume was about 3 gal. It had a hinged, snap-down cap w/neoprene seal.
    5. colour & shape of parachute, release ring or lever?
    A. as I recall it was a white 360 degree Diest with w/logo embroidered. Chrome release lever.
    6. rear bumper, nerf bars, nothing?
    A. nothing
    7. high stall?
    A. Rossi, 11" medium stall - 1800rpm, if I recall correctly
    8. did you have front brakes?
    A. No.
    9. was there a headliner?
    A. No.
    10. cool can?
    A. We had 2. One for water reservoir (3 gal) - electric water pump from tank to engine, went from engine through a tubular aircraft oil cooler - back to tank. One fuel cooler - electric pump from tank to a copper coil in a vertical cylindrical container full of ice - out of the cooler to carburetor. Carburetor - 1000+cfm Carter Thermal Quad.
    11. parachute anchor point?
    A. Frame - then under the body - to pack mount plate to chute pack.
    12. balast?
    A. Yes - 149 pound diesel truck battery, properly secured in the trunk. Diesel truck batteries typically weigh 160 pounds, or more, making them illegal (150lb ballast max was allowed). We had one specially built for us by Power-Flo batteries in Montclair, Ca. (out of business long ago). The first time it ran at an NHRA event (WinterNationals 1970) Cloy Fitzgerald, Tech Director told us we could not use it, even though it was mounted properly to be ballast, because it was too heavy. I asked him what the legal balast was, he said 150. I told him our battery weighed 149 lbs. He started to get nasty and I asked him how accurate the the weigh scale on the return road were. He said it was "perfectly" accurate. One of our pit crew's brother was an editor for National Dragster, and a tech inspector, asked Cloy if we could run it if it was, infact, 149 lbs. Cloy backed down and let us take the battery out of the car and have it weighed at the scale. He wrote a note to the weight inspection team to send an official time slip, along with the battery, back down to the tech inspection lines. When it came back, he came over and said, what did they weigh it out at? I just handed him the weight slip. And - it said 149.00. He shouted "put it back in"!!! Never, "I'm sorry," "you got me," or even "screw you!"

    I'm still searching for the still pictures I am looking for. Found some of other vehicles I have owned, or been associated with, but no Stud-breaker. That name just popped into my head. That was what we called the car before we went to the Dana 60 rear end. The aluminum W442 rear end was always shedding wheel studs and axles. We got about 10 runs out of a factory axle befor it would snap. The last time it blew an axle, it also blew the steel axle tubes out of the aluminum center section. Pieces of the housing got all the way into the starting line stands on the south side of the track (Irwindale). As time goes by, I will put you in touch with my buddy who was driving when that happened. His name is Rick Mabry and he owned, or was associated with. several race cars in the day. I usually drove the car during qualifying time trials as I seemed to be able to make the car run harder. Rick was much better on the tree than I, so once we got the car dialed to be consistant for the conditions, he had a much better shot at winning.


    a couple more:
    1. how did you get the car to the track, trailer, ramp truck, flat tow?
    2. what intake manifold?
    3. what valve covers?
    4. compression ratio...not sure but i think you mentioned 12:1 , piston brand?
    5. is this the traction setup you used last? i assume the the other brackets were for ladder bars at one time.
    6. what brand tachometer? did it need a transmitter ? cable drive?
    7. what type gas pedal? cable operated or mechanical linkage?
    8. i am guessing that when you radiused the wheelwells you shortened the wheelbase about an 1" or more...correct?

    Q.
    1. how did you get the car to the track, trailer, ramp truck, flat tow?
    A. Open trailer. Same color as car, same style Rocket wheels as car. Really added to
    the car/trailer combination going down the road.
    Q.
    2. what intake manifold?
    A. factory aluminum 442 Olds with a little grinding here and there. My grandad, Rocket
    Car man, once told me that normally asperated engines performed better if the air going
    though the intake ports in the manifod and heads was spinning. Mixes the fuel/air mix
    better.
    Q.
    3. what valve covers?
    A. No name finned aluminum
    Q,
    4. compression ratio...not sure but i think you mentioned 12:1 , piston brand?
    A. J&E pistons. First 455cid Olds pistons they built. They made an error in the dome height.
    Compression ratio was closer to 18:1 when calculated - based on actual cylinder
    pressure. They machined the dome off bringing the compression down to 12:1.
    Q.
    5. is this the traction setup you used last? i assume the the other brackets were for ladder bars at one time.
    A. part 1 - yes, if those are still solid aluminum. Part 2 - the narrower brackets were for
    the original rear end (an old Chevy with ball bearings). They were junk, with brackets
    welded onto the axle tubes, thus warping the tubes. We wanted the rotation
    application to be under the spring pads (axle centerline) and lifting pont to be where
    it is now.
    Q.
    6. what brand tachometer? did it need a transmitter ? cable drive?
    A. Stewart-Warner - electronic transmitter.
    Q.
    7. what type gas pedal? cable operated or mechanical linkage?
    A. Both. Linkage first, later went to cable.
    Q.
    8. i am guessing that when you radiused the wheelwells you shortened the wheelbase about an 1" or more...correct?
    A. We radiused the wheel wells when the original rear end was still in the car. When we
    went to the Dana 60, we decided to be sneaky and shorten the wheel base and move
    the 149 pound battery as far back as we could to get as much weight transfer as
    possible. You are the first person to ever notice the discrepency between the front
    and rear wheel to wheel well clearance. You get an "A."
     
  3. moses
    Joined: Dec 7, 2004
    Posts: 1,101

    moses
    Member

    wow to cool ....jeffrey
     
  4. Nice work. That guy has all the answers!
     
  5. 5w32
    Joined: Jan 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,062

    5w32
    Member

    heres some photos captured from the 8 mm video
     

    Attached Files:

  6. MikeRose
    Joined: Oct 7, 2004
    Posts: 1,574

    MikeRose
    Member
    from Yuma, AZ

    What a great car, and story! Wish my high school had a teacher like that. Mine didn't even have auto shop.
     
  7. selohssa
    Joined: Jun 16, 2009
    Posts: 451

    selohssa
    Member

    What are the plans once it is up and running?
     
  8. 5w32
    Joined: Jan 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,062

    5w32
    Member

    i plan on taking it to the Bakersfield hot rod reunion in 2011 , then start the full restoration. here is the progress on the headers.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Wow, those shots from 8mm rule!
     
  10. 5w32
    Joined: Jan 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,062

    5w32
    Member

  11. Man that video rules!! Thanks for sharing. It sure was a good looking car. Can't wait to see it restored.
     
  12. kruzer
    Joined: Mar 4, 2010
    Posts: 1

    kruzer
    Member

    Graduated from Garey High in 1974,remember the car and Mr Hunt,he would take many students to Irwindale for races,and was a staple at the Winternationals,Orange County was another High Scholl competitor of ours
     
  13. 5w32
    Joined: Jan 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,062

    5w32
    Member

    hey kruzer , do you know how to contact any of the other students?
     
  14. chief-imagineer
    Joined: Nov 26, 2010
    Posts: 35

    chief-imagineer
    Member

    To Steve,
    Thanks for making a decrepit auto shop teacher feel young again.
    Thanks again - Royce
     
    DallasVW171 likes this.
  15. I love the 8mm video.

    How's the restoration coming?
     
  16. 5w32
    Joined: Jan 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,062

    5w32
    Member

    to chief-imagineer ....you are only as old as you think! one day you will drive it again....
     
  17. cgaswillys
    Joined: Oct 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,076

    cgaswillys
    Member
    from New Jersey

    This is a great thread. Awesome car, keep at it and bring that old girl back to it's former glory. I like the Olds power and the blue panel paint job.
     
  18. roughneck424
    Joined: Jan 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,084

    roughneck424
    Member

  19. Bobby Green
    Joined: Jun 9, 2001
    Posts: 1,318

    Bobby Green
    Member

  20. Great thread... Congrats are persevering and finding out the history of the car.
     
  21. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,885

    The37Kid
    Member

    Glad I found this thread, great car and story, makes me want to get back to my Lyndwood project.
     
  22. 5w32
    Joined: Jan 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,062

    5w32
    Member

    here is the progress on a few things for mock-up ,motor/trans mounts fabbed, headers built, dual master installed: jfz front discs: new brake lines, moon tank mounted, shocks properly mounted on shortened f1 arms, 53 chevy p/u radiator mounted, tilt front end straps , rear bumper on( brackets shortened, kill switch mounted, fiberglass decklid mounted and fit to body(prop arm mounted) , tailights restored.
     

    Attached Files:

  23. dogbreath
    Joined: Nov 27, 2010
    Posts: 16

    dogbreath
    Member

    memories are still a little fuzzy,after all it was the late 60's and early 70's,, but i was a road agent in Mr Hunts class , remember when the 455 showed up in the crate, as i recall it was refered to as a "X" motor , correct me if ii'm wrong, remember the torch finish on the red paint job, the club house shared with the "cameros Ltd" by PVC, chasing parts in the teach's 58 ford panel truck, And the 1st day at the Winternationals, still hot rodding after all of the years,
     
  24. 5w32
    Joined: Jan 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,062

    5w32
    Member

    wow, great to hear from you! send me a PM with your phone number i would like to call and talk about the car!! i will be talking to Dave Smith next week. he was the olds racing contact where the engine came from
     
  25. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,058

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    What a great thread! I'm glad you were able to find out the cars history and even track down Mr. Hunt. I'm sure he has lots of stories to tell about this car, would love to hear them all! The pics and 8mm are just icing on the cake.
    As for the paint choice, the panel version with the high school & sponsor lettering sets it right in the middle of your documentation. I'm sure a lot of the students would come forth with memories if they saw the car.
    Please keep us updated, I'd like to see this car come back to life. Subscribed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  26. JAWS
    Joined: Jul 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,846

    JAWS
    Member

    I love this story. Great read.

    My vote is for the red version. Until the Principle stepped on their toes....anyway....seems the car was intended to be that way in the dreams of the original builders.

    Thanks for sharing the history.
     
  27. wow this sure is cool to see it progress from just and old race car wanting to know the history to actually having the kids that put it together back then seing it now, must be a great feeling
     
  28. chief-imagineer
    Joined: Nov 26, 2010
    Posts: 35

    chief-imagineer
    Member

    5w32,<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    I am compelled again to graciously express my, and a lot of students’ appreciation for your rescue of Great Balls ‘O’ Fire. We were very proud of it in its heyday. It was a blast to build, and surprised everyone when they realized it was created by a starry eyed young teacher and a bunch of his students. It was “created” in the sense that it was a labor of love, not something that had to be done. It was strictly an extracurricular activity, and yes, the students participated immensely during its design, construction and competition. A tremendous amount of learning occurred because it was extremely interesting and a whole lot of fun! When I saw the pictures of it in the condition you found it, I nearly cried. Then I began to realize that it must have been destiny that directed you to it. You are in a position to be able to allow it to rise, like the Phoenix, to inspire yet another generation of go-fast junkies to appreciate its beauty, grace and functionality.
    We (club members and I) are going to do our best to arrange a club reunion around Winternationals time to celebrate and reminisce. If it takes a little longer to get it put together, we’ll try for the Bakersfield Nostalgia meet.
    Again, thank you, and may you have at least as much fun with it as we did.
     
    DallasVW171 likes this.
  29. 5w32
    Joined: Jan 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,062

    5w32
    Member

    heres todays project finished, front plexiglass windows, the drivers side is a slider( Two Lane Blacktop style). all glass except windshield is light blue plexi,
     

    Attached Files:

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