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Bringing back the Legendary Big John Mazmanian Gasser

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by beegator, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. beegator
    Joined: Apr 14, 2006
    Posts: 225


    Scott Leber of ScottRods Custom and Pirrone and Ellershaw racing are teaming up to bring back one of most famous gassers and gasser pilots of all time! In honor of this year US Nationals having a class for the "Classical AA/GS Group" Scott, Rock and Bill have committed to build a tribute car in honor Big John Mazmania! with original driver Bones Balogh doing the driving! A very special thanks to Vic Mazmania and Isky cams and everyone else who are working overtime to make this dream a reality!

  2. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,094

    from Oregon

    Uh, that would be Mazmanian, not Mazmania.
  3. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    Big John always had the cleanest, sharpest drag cars around. Loved his Vette too.

  4. beegator
    Joined: Apr 14, 2006
    Posts: 225


    I didn't write it, Rocky did. :rolleyes:

    But he does build motors better than he spells. LOL

  5. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,281


    Fantastic, his cars were as sharp as they were competitive. Will you do a build thread?
  6. Doesn't the original car still exist?
  7. I liked his vette as well but every time I look at it I chuckle. Looks like he radiused the wheel wells with a skill saw. And we always think that every opened up wheel well out there was a perfect curve.

    You are correct he did run some pretty smooth cars.
  8. outlaw256
    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,023


    that there willys is the reason(and the other famous one) for my love of the 41 willys of the most beautiful cars to ever run on a track!!!!!!!!!!!
  9. willysgasser40
    Joined: Jan 5, 2008
    Posts: 153

    from Illinois

    I believe there is at least two "tribute cars" already of Big John's Willys .
    Joined: Sep 18, 2007
    Posts: 3,617


    If it does Big John was never able to find it.
  11. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    Member Emeritus

    Cool thread, we need pictures
  12. beegator
    Joined: Apr 14, 2006
    Posts: 225


    Hopefully Rocky will respond soon and give you all more info with photos. Maybe a spy shot of the body and build. :) They are probably still celebrating Freddy's BG win in the KS Pitman gasser.
  13. hotrod mike
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,729

    hotrod mike

    I seem to remember that Big John sold the coupe to the Hill Brothers in Ohio and it was later wadded up somewhere. Pretty sure I've seen pics with only the lettering changed too. No matter, if Rocky's involved, it'll be beautiful.
  14. SuperJim
    Joined: Mar 31, 2010
    Posts: 191

    from Minnesota

    We did the Willys in 1:18 many years ago so they are long gone, but always did LOVE the way this car looked. Extremely nice. It would be nice to see it.
  15. Hot Rod Willys
    Joined: Nov 10, 2006
    Posts: 1,697

    Hot Rod Willys
    from Ohio

    The original car was crashed, the other steel coupe you may be thinking of was a clone. Now in a private collection.
  16. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,728

    Atwater Mike

    Man, you Gasser Wars veterans give me the Willys!

    God bless you all, for your untiring efforts.
  17. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,693


    A clone of a clone of the original....the original is long gone....:(
  18. The Chameleon
    Joined: May 20, 2012
    Posts: 75

    The Chameleon

    The Jackson Brothers have some good footage of the original car running on the Gasser Files videos volume 1 and 2, for reference purposes. Plus is a great video to watch anyway because of all the old drag footage.
    Speed Gems likes this.
  19. 296ardun
    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 4,460


    Yes, Big John never found the original prior to his death...there is one clone...presume that the one you are going to build is for racing, with the safety stuff now required...that will be outstanding!

    Big John was a good guy, humble when you beat him (I beat the candy vette once, in my Ardun car), and not boastful when he won (yes, he got even and trashed me!!)...guess the Vette is also in a private collection (anyone know for sure), but a raceable clone would be great...and you guys are the right guys to do it...
  20. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 21,622

    from Michigan


    Attached Files:

  21. Boss Hydro
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 849

    Boss Hydro
    from Phila

    This will be a tribute car to Big John and Bones. We plan on having this car at INDY for the US Nationals with Bones driving in the "Classical AA/GS"
    Showcase eliminator. This car will look as close to the original from the outside as possible but will have all the safety mods required to run 8.50 et's. The drive line will be different too as the original ran a four speed hydro. This version will run a hemi and either glide or 400 trans. I'd like to give a shout out to Scott Leber of ScottsRods and john Shelton from American Gasser for the gorgeous body we have to work with. I'd also like to thank Barb Hamilton, Fred Bear, Jerry Mallicoat, Ed Iskederian, Bones Balogh, Al Nosse and my entire crew for all the help on this project. I'll do my best to get some photos as we go along, we're under a tight time line so I don't have a whole lot of computer time in front of me. Thanks goes out to Vic Mazmanian for this opportunity. We plan on giving Bones every chance possible to win Indy one more time and to showcase Big John's legacy to the tens of thousands of his fans that never got a chance to see his cars run.
  22. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,281


    You mean, Indy - like in this years Indy? Jeez, Rocky you'd better quit b.s.'n and have at it!
    That is a lot of work between now and then, you guys just might be able to pull it off.
    Need lots of pics, good luck oj
  23. Mr. Jean
    Joined: Dec 13, 2007
    Posts: 604

    Mr. Jean

  24. BackMotor
    Joined: Mar 9, 2009
    Posts: 78


    Wow, can't wait to see it. Rocky and the boys always do an outstanding job !! :cool:
  25. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902


    I'm sure Rocky's version will have the engine setback and rear fender radius done right. :)
  26. WillysRule
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 799

    from Central FL

    I know you guys build nice cars, but if you're going to build a replica of Big John's Willys, please do it right. Your Boss Hydro and KS Cars turned out great, but there are some other "tribute" cars out there that are horrible. If you're going to have Bones drive the car, and paint his name on it, then build the new car the way the original was when he actually drove it. Big John's Willys went through many changes, including paint, suspension, stance, tires, wheels, etc... Bones quit driving Big John's car in late 64 or early 65. The car still had long ladder bars, quarter eliptic springs, pie crust slicks, it wasn't crazy jacked up, and sat low in the rear. This pic is towards the end of Bones' time with the car.

    Now look at the car in 66. The car is now driven by Dick Bourgeois, it sits higher, it's running either 10.50 or 11.00-16 Goodyear Blue Streaks, Cragar SS wheels on the front, different lettering, a fiberglass injector scoop, shorter ladder bars, the lower rocker guard is gone, and unseen in this pic, the car now runs a combination of parallel leafs in the rear along with coil springs. So my point is, if you're going to build a tribute car with Bones doing the driving, build like it was when Bones actually drove it.:)
  27. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,372

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    "Mazmania"- The fananical enthusiasm toward racer John Mazmanian, which can even lead to building a clone of his car.

    FWIW, I also vote for an early version of the car. Would be cool to park it next to the 'high' version clone pictured at CHRR for a comparison.
  28. Boss Hydro
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 849

    Boss Hydro
    from Phila

    The outward appearance will be of the 64 car I posted a pic of. The chassis and driveline will be different. Shorter ladder bars and coil overs in the back. Mainly to save time on sorting the car out. This car will run 8.50's in the quarter and 5.50's in the eighth so the same suspension they used in the early 60's might not respond as well to todays tracks, tires and power.
    My agreement with Vic Mazmanian and Bones is to have the car "look" like it did in 64 AND be competitive with the cars that its racing against today. Am I going to please everyone on this build..? no. My goal is to please Vic, Bones and myself with a cool "tribute" to a great racer and to give Bones a shot of repeating his earlier Indy victory.
  29. FEDER
    Joined: Jan 5, 2003
    Posts: 1,269


    I totally agree Boss. It will still look the part. But if in origional trim He wouldnt have a chance. How cool would it be for Him to WIN INDY!!! If You build Him a winner and He does, Those tears will be PRICLESS. FEDER
  30. And to do it SAFELY!

    From what I saw of your cars at Bowling Green last week, I applaud your efforts and look forward to seeing the latest edition.

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