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History Butlin Buick - Explorer '55 Chevy Gasser

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Dreddybear, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,912

    Dreddybear
    Member

    A few months ago a customer of mine was in my shop and we got to talking about cars. I mentioned that I was into hot rods and he launches into a story about this '55 Bel Air that he and his buddies were Racing in the SFV back in '66. I expressed interest in the car and he came around today after finding a pic. It's fucking AWESOME! I scanned it-

    [​IMG].

    Does anyone remember this car? Any whereabouts? According to my customer, this pic was taken around mid '66.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2008
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  2. 41hemi
    Joined: Jul 2, 2007
    Posts: 923

    41hemi
    Member

    That thing looks wicked!! Must have been an Explorer post group project. Explorers is the next level up the ladder for those that are 18 after Boy Scouts.
     
  3. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,912

    Dreddybear
    Member

    I see. I was wondering about that, he kept saying Boy Scout Project. That car has the stance for sure!
     
  4. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,912

    Dreddybear
    Member

    BTT. Anyone remember this car?
     
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  5. G V Gordon
    Joined: Oct 29, 2002
    Posts: 5,606

    G V Gordon
    Member
    from Enid OK

    Man, if we had projects like that I may have stayed in scouting after I discovered cars and girls!
     
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  6. buzzard
    Joined: Apr 20, 2001
    Posts: 4,334

    buzzard
    Alliance Member

    The car looks cool. Especially for a bunch of Boy Scouts!
     
  7. Lee Martin
    Joined: Jun 17, 2005
    Posts: 740

    Lee Martin
    Member

    Let's hope that one survived. What motor did they used to run?

    -Lee
    Atomic Radio
    www.atomicpinup.com
     
  8. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,912

    Dreddybear
    Member

    He said at first it was a 283 and they later switched to 327. Couldn't remember specs but he said it was around 12-1. They would get their gas at the airport.
     
  9. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,353

    Hellfish
    Member

    You might try contacting Explorer Post 547 (if they still exist) and see what they know. Thye may have a good troop historian. If not, I'm sure they'd like to hear about this project!

    Why was a Buick dealership sponsoring a Chevy?
     
  10. Retrorod
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,989

    Retrorod
    Member

    I REMEMBER THAT CAR! I saw it run at San Fernando and a few times at Lions in Long Beach. I don't recall much about it except I remember it sounding VERY healthy and ran pretty well. I think Butlin Buick was in Van Nuys.
     
  11. John Bush
    Joined: Feb 23, 2016
    Posts: 4

    John Bush

    Hi All. I know this is an old post that I'm responding to, but I was curious as to what happened to Explorer 1 also. I was part of that Explorer Post back then and was there from the time we bought that "old" Chevy for $125 and put in a lot of weekends getting it to what it was in the picture.( It was dark metallic green in the picture. It was a bone stock non-running two tone salmon pink and black derelict when we bought it. I left the group sometime 1967 or 68. Last time I was at the NHRA museum, there was a picture of us and the car.
     
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  12. How cool is that!
     
  13. John Bush
    Joined: Feb 23, 2016
    Posts: 4

    John Bush

    Old post, but as I remember, the 283 is correct with dual quads and 12-1 compression, then bought a brand new 265 block and reworked it to around 269 cu in with Hilborn injection and I seem to remember compression somewhere in the 13's with Venolia pistons. Used a Muncie 4 speed. If memory serves me right, we had a 5.36 gear rear end with the first engine and switched to a cut down Pontiac rear end with 6.14 gears for the second engine. The car launched so hard that we had to put a small aluminum gas tank up front to feed the beast. With the second engine we also bolted the hood and fenders together and made a tilting front end on it. Pretty fast for the day, we ran mid 13's with the 283 and somewhere in the 12's with the second engine. Also ran E-gas class with the 283 and I believe F-gas with the injected motor. With the first engine, it was still street registered and I remember going from Reseda, where Butlin was located, to Van Nuys and back and using well over 1/3 of a tank of gas. Our Explorer Post was a young group with our oldest Adviser being only 21 years old when I joined. Fun times.
     
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  14. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,912

    Dreddybear
    Member

    Dude, Thanks for the input! I made this post like 8 years ago and forgot all about it! I love when info gets put together. Now someone needs to find the car!
     
  15. KandN Kustoms
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 170

    KandN Kustoms
    Member

    Ok call me stupid but, what is the graphic on the side of the car?
    Only reason I ask, is because I have an old club plaque with the same thing on it and always wanted to know the significance of it?
     
  16. It's the Explorer emblem as seen on this patch:
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Amazing HAMB power!!!
     
  18. KandN Kustoms
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 170

    KandN Kustoms
    Member

    Hey thanks Sancho, I really appreciate it!
    That's pretty cool, I'll have to do some research on the plaque I have.
    Maybe it was started by some Explorers!
     
  19. John Bush
    Joined: Feb 23, 2016
    Posts: 4

    John Bush

    I agree. Always wondered where it ended up. I left the group after the family moved out of the area and all the new members (14 year olds) wanted to sell the car and buy mini bikes. I couldn't take it. But the 50 plus year memories are great! Thanks for for posting the picture.
     
  20. John Bush
    Joined: Feb 23, 2016
    Posts: 4

    John Bush

    I of course don't have one any more, but our t-shirts we wore to the drag strip when we raced the car had a racing slick instead of the colored band.
     
  21. Jeff Hansen
    Joined: Mar 5, 2016
    Posts: 1

    Jeff Hansen

    John, I don't know where the car is. I was a member of Post 547 during your tour but I don't recall a face. Age group was from 15-18 yrs (41HEMI). We were out of Butlin Buick in Reseda, Ca. Our troop advisors were Mike Stubbs (Butlin Sales Mgr) and Red_____(head or parts department). Picture is taken in rear lot at Butlin behind the parts dept. That is where we worked on the car and stored it. 283 and dual quads is correct for first motor--265 punched to 272 with injection for second. Our best time was 105.5 in 13.01 secs at old San Fernando drag strip. We didn't run Buicks (HELLFISH) because they weren't fast and too heavy. Quickest Buick in that era was probably the 65-68 GranSport and could not compete with Mopar and Pontiac. We also ran the 55 Chevy because we could afford it. All work on the car (including pre-race tune) was done by the scouts under the advisors supervision. All money for parts, etc was earned by our troop through car washes and waxing cars at $10-a-pop for the Butlin lot. We did drive a group of brand new Buick Opals from the docks in San Pedro out to Butlin Buick in the SFV. We had a great time as 16-yr-olds running a detour ralley with about 10 of these cars down through Hollywood circa 1966. As John mentioned, 'Explorer 1' was street legal and we did cruise Van Nuys Blvd many times. I forwarded the link to a couple of former members in Washington state, Mel Winsor and Matt Ryan. Brian Phillips was our driver. He died while fighting the Hull Brothers Lumber fire in North Hollywood at age 30. Sorry to move the dialogue away from the car but I uncovered the old post on my 66th birthday (50 years after the actual event). They were great times and the car was just as good as it looks in the photo.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
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