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History Competition Coupe Curiosity

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by J.Ukrop, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,940

    J.Ukrop
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    J.Ukrop submitted a new blog post:

    Competition Coupe Curiosity

    [​IMG]

    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
     
    kidcampbell71 and OzMerc39 like this.
  2. Comp coupes were cool for damned sure, a lot of them believe it or not became fuel coupes in the early to mid '60s and got pushed by valve in head engines. They were cool, I would like to see more of them some of our vintage race venues.
     
  3. You got that right Benno. HRP
     
  4. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Moonyham and Sharp's 554 car come to mind right away as one that came from the Comp Coupe ranks and graduated to the Fuel Coupe ranks. Breedlove had another '34 that kept getting more radical as time went by, too.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.

  5. I know that if I had an old coupe I wouldn't give a second though to hacking and whacking my way to fame on it. I can see it starting out with a mildish mill, mild chop and civilized engine setback and eventually ending up with a periscope and me crumpled up against the rear bulkhead with a bell housing for a seat. :)

    That was the absolute neatest thing about some of those old coupes was the transformation from uncomfortable streeter to full on race car.
     
  6. hugh m
    Joined: Jul 18, 2007
    Posts: 2,143

    hugh m
    Member
    from ct.

    Betcha a lot if not most became 80's street rods.
     
    Spoggie likes this.
  7. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    If I have read and interpreted my history correctly, Comp Coupe and Sedan came in two flavors. There was full fendered, and fenderless classes. The fenderless stuff was more "unlimited" than the other, with more body modification allowed. Again, if my history is correct, some big changes happened in about '59 or so, when Comp Coupe/fenderless morphed into Fuel Coupe, and the milder full fendered class basically became what we know as "Gassers".

    I could be totally wrong on that, and if I am, someone who was there or more learned please correct me.

    I do know that the Comp Coupe class name was revived again in the early sixties when the class became basically last year's dragsters with some form of abbreviated body slapped on it. Think Fiat, Crosley, Mechershmitt, metropolitan, etc.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  8. You are probably right. Thank God the 554 didn't!
     
    EVL401 likes this.
  9. Yep there seems to be two basic styles of comp coupe, the early one's that morphed into fuel coupes and the later one's that seemed to be used up diggers. I loved watching them both run.
     
  10. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,908

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Wasn't it about 1959 that the NHRA banned fuels other than gasoline? I was there (Minnesota Dragways in the late '50's and early '60's) and remembered how disappointed we all were with the banning of fuel classes. After a year or two, they had to star bringing in "outlaw" dragsters so they could have a fuel show. I think that's what made NHRA come to it's senses about nitro.

    Also, I don't remember any comp coupes that had fenders. As I recall, things were simpler then. The major NHRA categories then were Dragsters, Competition coupes, Modified Roadsters (like Comp Coupes except with a roadster body), Altered Coupe and Sedan, Gas Coupe and Sedan, Modified Sports Cars, and stockers. All of the real successful comp coupes and modified roadsters were basically a very cut down body dropped n a dragster. There were a few oddballs (usually street cars that didn't fit any other class and were forced to run in comp coupe), but none of them were competitive. I had a friend who brought his street rod to the strip after bragging for weeks how he was gonna' clean up. Imagine how surprised he was when they put in comp class against cars in the 9's and 10's because of problem with engine setback or crankshaft height. Back then, you could run 2 weeks without the proper track type safety equipment (scattershield, safety hubs, roll bars etc.) Those were the days.

    A buddy and I ran a "D"-Altered in the early 60's that we had a total of $400 invested. Adding a roll bar, scattershield, and safety hubs doubled our investment. All of my photos are gone (my brother cleaned out my mothers house when she died and threw away everything). My partner in the car is a pack rat who keeps everything; next time I get to my home town, I'm gonna' see what he has left.
     
  11. They didn't ban fuel they banned nitro. there were still alchy burners running in the fuel ranks.
     
  12. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,908

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Could very well be. Back then to us, nitro was dragster fuel, alcohol was for drinking!
     
  13. Kinda surprised they were still running a flathead in the early 60's. ( There's a 60 Chevy in the background). I would think the overheads were beating up on them pretty bad.
     
    volvobrynk likes this.
  14. Joey -

    Are they no longer teaching investigation skills in journalism school? :rolleyes: :D

    A simple Google search revealed that a 75 year old Frank Faraudo is still living in the Santa Rosa area ... and the Google Street View of his house (with the garage door open) reveals that he's still a Hot Rodder:

    Frank Faraudo Garage.JPG
     
  15. Tubman,
    Methanol is pretty hard on the old pipes. :D

    Dan
    There were a lot of flathead guys that just hung on. Perhaps not as competitive as some of the valve in heads but with the smaller inches they were not running in the same class and so they were still competitive in their own right.
     
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  16. BillWallace
    Joined: May 6, 2011
    Posts: 132

    BillWallace
    Member

    Competition coupe & sedan class started out as a class that was wider open than altered class & pretty much allowed anything goes as long as the body was produced in the USA. My first car in 1957 was a 1929 whippet sedan cut down & a 303 olds engine mounted where the seats should have been & the driver sitting on the ford banjo rear end . After we would run our class we would take the body off & compete for top eliminator. I was 17 yrs old & wasn't allowed to drive in races. The most expensive part on the car was the crash helmet.
     
    volvobrynk likes this.
  17. Man I would have liked to seen that. most of the time when we think of Competition coupe we think of bantams and Ford coupes, I'll bet the Whippet was just slick. I don't think that they could have weighed very much at all.
     
    volvobrynk likes this.
  18. THAT is F#@$%^ing cool as hell! I wonder if that's the same "32"? Only rebuilt for the street.
     
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  19. typo41
    Joined: Jul 8, 2011
    Posts: 2,572

    typo41
    Member Emeritus

    Nor did the 15 oz Coupe!
     
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  20. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,940

    J.Ukrop
    SUPER MODERATOR
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    @HEMI32 Looks like the box has been opened for a future post! Also, with a bit of investigation you'd discover that school isn't back in session until Jan. 20... :cool:

    All kidding aside, nice find.
     
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  21. 296ardun
    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 4,457

    296ardun
    Member

    Correct, even in the really early days of drag racing there were separate classes for fuel coupes and competition coupes...competition coupes could have the engine anywhere, could have radical body chopping or channeling (not sectioning or narrowing, though). The CC that started this discussion was a CC because it was both chopped and channeled and the engine was way set back. Fuel coupes, on the other hand, could not be radically chopped or channeled, for most drag strips, 6" was the most -- either chopped or channeled but not both, and the engine could not be more than 25% back on the original wheelbase. So 554 did not start out as a CC but rather as a lakes car that evolved into drag racing when it got a 5 1/2 chop and an engine setback, but once it hit the drag strip it was always a fuel coupe. CC did not have to have the stock frontal area, but fuel coupes did. Fuel coupes also required full fenders, though that rule went away when fuel coupes became fuel altereds. You are correct in that the first rules required an American-made body, which is why Bantams became popular, but later they were relaxed to allow foreign bodies (i.e. Fiats and Simcas)

    Great thread!!!
     
  22. seatex
    Joined: Oct 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,664

    seatex
    Member

    Now THAT is scary................

    It might be cool, but enough reason to keep your garage door permanently closed............... like looking up and seeing a drone hovering over your house. Big Brother is on the block. FUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKKKK
     
  23. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,200

    flamingokid
    Member

    I love it when we aren't left wondering
     
  24. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 2,450

    rd martin
    Member
    from indiana

    the original batto trucking crosley was a comp coupe?
     
    volvobrynk likes this.
  25. In the sense that the suicide front end gave it more engine set back, yes. It probably ran altered class at non NHRA events.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
    volvobrynk likes this.
  26. The first car that came to mind when reading this thread was the '32 Sedan, the "Orange Crate". I don't know enough about the Competition Coupe class to know if this car would have been run in that class. Nevertheless, it surely was one beautiful car and I believe it had a life as a racer before it's run as a full-on show car.
     
  27. ..orange crate.jpg competition coupe class???
     
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  28. 296ardun
    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 4,457

    296ardun
    Member

    Batto's blown Buick Crosley ran as an altered...I remember it at one of the early Smoker's meets. The Orange Crate was also an altered...note that the engine is set back about 25% of the WB and the frontal area is stock. The top is also chopped around the altered limit of 6"....

    Having said all of this, guys pushed the rules, as Dean noted....sometimes the engine was really set back more than 25% of the wb, and sometimes the car was both chopped and channeled more that the limits.Les Hawkins gave me a lesson in how the rules might get bent. He had the hood on his 15 oz. coupe, and told me to count the louvers before the front of the engine (have totally forgotten the number), then he took me to the 554 coupe pitted near him at Irwindale; "count the louvers"....by his and my count, Gene Mooneyham had set his engine back a couple of inches more than the rules allow......of course this was Les' interpretation (he and Gene were good friends), and they weren't racing in the same class given Les' smaller motor...but still creativity meant trying stuff like this to get an edge on the competition. Of course the real reason why the 554 beat so many lighter cars was the talents of its owners and its driver...but every little edge helped.
     
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  29. 296ardun
    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 4,457

    296ardun
    Member

    There was a very good article on the Crate in TRJ...it did race before it became a show car, was somewhat rougher than its final version...and ran several different engines, including an Ardun...I think it kept its rear fenders even in its racing days, molded to the body, which were not required in the gas altered ranks.
     
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  30. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,533

    indyjps
    Member

    [QUOTE="HEMI32, post: 10797387, member:
    simple Google search revealed that a 75 year old Frank Faraudo is still living in the Santa Rosa area ... and the Google Street View of his house (with the garage door open) reveals that he's still a Hot Rodder:

    [/QUOTE]

    Is anyone in or near Santa Rosa, we're talking about the guy and his car in the thread. Anyone willing to go meet him and get the full story. I'd love to see what the garage car is.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.

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