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Does it need a straight axle to be a Gasser?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 1927 Death Trap, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. 1927 Death Trap
    Joined: Jan 19, 2008
    Posts: 355

    1927 Death Trap
    from CT

    I've been shopping around the past month or so, toying between a gasser or a full kustom. Some of the "gassers" I've seen have independent front ends with bigger springs or spacers. Whenever I think gasser, I think custom frame firewall forward, straight axle, leaf springs, a little high in the ass, nose high. Some I have looked at really aren't even jacked up in the front, basically a stocker with a decent motor. What are your thoughts. Is it fair to call something a gasser just because it's a tri five Chev or a 40 ford with a good mill and some "speed shop" painted on the door?
  2. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,154

    Atwater Mike

    "Gasser" or a "Full Kustom"??? One or the other, eh? Worlds apart....
  3. redlinetoys
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,302

    from Midwest

    Kind of a hokey question.

    Do a search and find 20 pages and thousands of posts using the word "gasser". Do another search and find 20 pages and thousands of posts using the word "custom". Spend some significant time reading.

    Come to your own conclusion.
  4. it's not a gasser unless it has a moon tank in the Honestly...I don't think it needs to have a straight axle to call it a gasser...but it seems like some people get pissed when you call a straight axle car a gasser just call it whatever you want.
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  5. 1927 Death Trap
    Joined: Jan 19, 2008
    Posts: 355

    1927 Death Trap
    from CT

    I've been searching on the clasifeds here with adds for a "gasser" and they have stock front ends. Does it really mater I like both style cars. Why should I change my opinion to make you guys happy. So I ask again, does it need a straight axle to be called a "gasser"?
  6. redlinetoys
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 4,302

    from Midwest

    No. Plenty of cars just sat a little high in the front on extended springs, ball joint spacers or other means of getting the car up in the air. But the term "gasser" becomes way more complicated when you actually look at the rules and classes for the real gasser drag cars (in other words, NOT street freaks, super stocks, modifieds or other cars that many people mistakenly call gassers...) I still think they basically fit the definition, but you could argue it all day...
  7. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,071


  8. More REAL gasser's from that class of racing, back when they were actual gas class racers, had stock front ends with spacers then straight axles.

    Unfortunately today, any P.O.S. with a straight axle that sits up in the air is incorrectly called a "Gasser". The name comes from a real class of race car and a fairly short time period. If you build a car that fits that criteria, then you should call it a gasser.
    For the people that say it doesn't matter whether it really fits what a gasser was or not, I'm sure they would get plenty pissed if people called their Custom a Low Rider or their Hot Rod a Dune Buggy.
    The whole reason that things have names is so that reasonable communication can occur. If you call something by the wrong name, then the person you are trying to communicate with will have the wrong idea of what you are trying to say - so YES it does matter.
  9. brad2v
    Joined: Jun 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,648


    Exactly!!! I cringe awaiting the ill-informed response when I tell people (even car-guys) that I'm putting a straight axle under my Valiant. No it wasn't, isn't, and won't be a gasser.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  10. thunderplex
    Joined: Nov 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,180



    Most gassers DID NOT have a straight axle.
  11. No. Rick's 55's as tough as it gets, and it's still an a-arm car. Runs low 12's with an old hydro and small inch small block

  12. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,778

    from California

    gassers need to have all of the following items:

    straight axle
    moon tank
    fenderwell headers
    roll bar
    ladder bars
    tach on the dash
    gauges underneath
    deep oil pan
    4 speed
    no back seat
    spindle mount torque thrusts
    tunnel ram

    those are the new rules I just made up. follow them or face the consequences.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  13. torino_Joe
    Joined: Mar 11, 2011
    Posts: 103


    hey in your rules you forgot spindle mount torq thrusts and a tunnel ram!!!!!! hahahaha
  14. primed34
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 1,056


    True gas class cars and trucks had FENDERS.
  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,142


    The 52 Ford that had held a couple of PNW track C/G records in the mid 50's running a 56 T bird special engine was actually lowered at both ends.

    The jacked up in the air thing got started after the Ramchargers ran the 49 Mopar coupe that was sky high. Before that Gas class car usually meant that it was a street car with a modified engine or an engine swap. That is what a gasser was and not some jacked sky high 55 Chebby that had never seen a drag strip.
  16. No. They dont HAVE to have straight axles. Mine < didnt have one when it raced in the early 60's. But when redone in the mid 2000's, it got one just because they are cool. And i prefer them to big springs and ball joint spacers, not that there is anything wrong with them either.
  17. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,086


    GL: you mean that slow old yellow car of yours was a former race car? Well that makes it worth more in my book. so how come it is so slow today?
  18. Its a driver today. It was meant to be that and it is in fact that. DRIVEN. Not to say I wouldnt like to have a race car. I enjoy driving it, and all my cars.

  19. Damn, my car fails..

    Now for the original question, no.

    For your other question, Gasser= race or street strip
    Custom= street
  20. If you like picking up women get a custom;)
  21. texoutsider
    Joined: Jul 6, 2005
    Posts: 826

    from Frisco, Tx

    We ran C, D, E and F gas...none had a straight fact the entire car sat very low in the front...almost like today's supergas cars.........that stance got us an extra mile an hour or so.........yes, one was a 55 chevy...another was an anglia...

    I just can't understand the "gasser" someone said..they don't have to be a 55 chevy, straight axle car to be a gasser.......

    "gonna build me a gasser...using a 62 Buick....holy chit....a real gasser would roll over in it's grave.

  22. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,038

    from Hawaii

    This might make a real Gasser roll over in its grave; I think I talked a friend of mine out of putting a straight axle under his '71 Charger. Geez I hope so! :eek:
    I remember some of the cars in the early '60s had taller springs and/or spacers to get the front ends up in the air. A couple of these guys would drive by the house and show off for my older sister. Fun to watch thats for sure!
  23. havi
    Joined: Dec 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,876


    Gasser has become a generic term, IMO. No you don't need a straight axle.

    A/gas, B/gas, D/gas, etc... A/FX, B/FX, Altered, etc... It all went with the flow each year, and basically renamed itself each time. It would be neat if someone could post an accurate timeline to all of this, though.

    My '62 Fairlane will have a straight axle, only to make room for the engine. I'm not sure what class it will even qualify for yet. I didn't grow up back then, though I wish I did.
    Here's a car with elongated arms.

    The other pic is from Jim Sibley here on the hamb: There's a straight axle under there, but you can't see it.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  24. spuds
    Joined: Dec 30, 2008
    Posts: 403

    from Idaho

    What he said.....
  25. Perfect answer
  26. So I guess when the "New Rules" come into play the cars Stone Woods & Cook, Big John Mazmanian, Ohio George Montgomery, the Kohler Bros King Kong Anglia et al will no longer be Gasser's as none of them had Tunnel Ram - they were blown. Oh man, even my own former national record holder will no longer be a gasser - it's never had a tach on the dash ~ Crap :eek:
  27. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,574

    from PNW

    if you want to fit in here, you better consider a four door, station wagon, orphan body or truck. Then add that straight axle, jack it up at least three feet in the front, about eight inches in the rear. Oh, and it can have a mild motor, because after all, you'll be driving it like you stole it, so you will be concerned with handling.
  28. American Pie
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 23

    American Pie
    from Lemont IL

    The simple answer is NO! Todays Poser (street only) "Gassers" all seem to have the nose way too high, and are mere charactures of the real deal.

    The Gas class evolved from the street classes back in the 30's and 40's. They ran on gasoline and thus the name. They had to have operational doors, full interiors, full fenders, head lights, and an OEM frame until the late `60s. Check out this link and click history:

    There was no requirement that they have straight axels or moon tanks. Early cars already had straight axels. Later model 50's and 60's cars that ran the class installed straight axels to save weight on the front end. These things were part of the natural evolution from street cars to full out racing door slamers that we all relate to. Many `55 Chevy Gas class cars continued to use A-Arm front ends as did many other later model Gas class cars such as 64- 65 Novas.

    In any case, front ends were jacked up to gain weight transfer to enhance traction. This was neccessary due to poor tire compounds. By the late `60's NHRA changed the rules to drop front ends (for safety) to be no higher than the rear of the car, and I believe the crank center line could be no higher than `24 inches.

    Purists will argue that it has to have an axel to be considered a Gasser. I say no way, and I'll put my car up against the 1969 NHRA rule book to prove it. I have independent front suspension on my `37 Chevy Gasser.

    Bottom line is you have to decide what look you want. If you want to be accepted by the masses as a Gasser then put an axel under it. I think they're very cool on the street, even under late 60's cars such as `69 Novas, Valients, Mustangs, Cudas, whatever. And if someone says it's a what! It's your creation.


    BTW, my steel bodied `37 runs the 1/4 in the 8's at over 150 mph, so please excuse my refrence to Posers. I don't mean to offend anyone, just wish folks that build cars that look like race cars would take them out and run them now and then.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  29. usmc50lx
    Joined: Oct 3, 2006
    Posts: 711

    from St.Louis

    EXACTLY!!!! as for the OP any suspension will work just remember 24" crankshaft centerline max height,10% of wheelbase max engine setback, and actual fenders and unchopped top!
    <<<< Is an altered and yes I know dumb spindle mount look alikes and a tunnelram but.... the hilborn and breadsticks will be on soon enough!!!
    Either way Goodluck!
  30. usmc50lx
    Joined: Oct 3, 2006
    Posts: 711

    from St.Louis

    Don yet again you crack me up....:D:D

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