The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by DirtyDave, Aug 4, 2013.
Local car from 1964, earliest I've got.
Now we're coolin with GAS boys!
There was no "dual purpose street/strip era". Throughout the Gas class era there were always purpose built gassers and street driven gassers. It was rare to see gassers compete in the highest level of whatever gas class they ran in, and still be dual purpose cars, or do any street driving. When racers got serious about competing at the national level, they build dedicated cars, regardless of whether they ran A/G or H/G.
That said, almost all gassers running in the top supercharged classes were strip only cars, as the level of builds to go that fast just didn't make a streetable car, nor would they spend that much money to compete and think of driving on the street.
I ran a D/G '55 Chevy 150 business coupe in the late 60's, and drove it to the track, but I knew I would never be competitive with the best D/G cars using it for dual purpose. We did it for fun, like a lot of others back then. And it did have the Olds rear hung under the springs, with long box tubing white ladder bars. The front axle was a '58 Chevy truck axle with early 50's Chevy 5 lug drums on it. And it was a 4 speed car, but if I could have afforded a Hydromatic, I sure would have had one. Four speeds were just a lot cheaper on a working man's budget.
Still pretty damn cool, even if it ain't a A/G world record holder!
Yea and it won more than it's share of races. But it sat stock level and still had A arm suspension, so I don't guess it was THAT cool.
And I'll bet you were having the time of your life with it to. Your story just confirms my premise. Now don't you wish you had a picture of it! Or do you? Hell man, there is nothing wrong with a cool old field car!
Don, Do you have any pics of the "Blairs" sponsored '57 that Pete Balch ran ? Pete's is an example of a "High end" Gasser!
I bet if we could see the bottom side of it there would be a few cool little tricks under there.
Personally I find a car like that a lot more interesting than a Summit car.
What's the big deal about running blocks? I wanted my front end higher so I added blocks to get the height I wanted (cheaper than adding springs). On my other car, I wanted it lower so I took out some springs...
I just always remember reading 4X4 mags saying not to do it. I guess it's O.K. I have broken them in the back myself, on a low horsepower vehicle.
Here's a few lower class cars.
JULY 19, 20 2014
I know that a lot of guys view lift blocks as dangerous, and I think a lot of it comes from powered axles having lift or lowering blocks because this gives the axle more leverage to wrap and potentially spit the block out.
I have blocks on the front of my 31 chevy that are as safe as I could come up with.
The u bolts go through and so do the leaf spring center pins.
JULY 19, 20 2014
Well, there Kinda was. When the gas classes started back in 1956 (that's the year I believe NHRA first recognized the class) the car had to be street legal with full interior, mufflers, bumpers, lights, horn etc. And MOST (or at least Many) of those cars were street driven. As racers pushed the envelope, and the rules changed to satisfy them, the upper class cars in particular became dedicated race cars for the most part, but there were still many street driven lower class cars that were street driven. Some of the guys I knew did tow to the track, only because there was a good chance they would brake something, but they drove those cars during the week, or at least to the street races. As the 60's moved on, most cars, including lower class racers became dedicated race cars if they were serious enough to win ~ and of course there were plenty of exceptions......
I'M think the original poster has all the ideas he can use, and isn't even posting anymore!
I'm outta here!
where's the old hudson guy Flintstones flyer his gold hudson was street driven as i remember
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Why you leaving, hasn't even got 500 replies yet!
I read and enjoy every post!
Dave, if you're going to just drive it on the street for fun, not going to be in shows, do whatever you want, that's what I did.
I had a '49 front axle and springs laying around. Had an Olds v8 and a blower. Had a stick shift. Had a 55 4dr I got real cheap. So I got the bug and built a gasser style 55 just for me to drive every day. It's safe, real fun to drive, starts on the first click of the starter every time, and feels to me like a gasser ought to feel like out on the street. Flip front clip, all steel. Fenderwell headers. Ladder bars. Full cage (got it spec'd at our local NHRA track, it's cert'd to 8.50). Reading the gasser rules from back in the day, I find I'm not that far off really. A/GS would have been my category. I run real tires, good ones, on all four wheels, and I quite often drive the snot off of 'em on the windy back roads around here. What's not "real gasser"? Well, disk brakes up front, which have come in real handy more than once. Elec. fans, keeps it cool in heavy traffic on hot days. MSD ignition, tucked away, but provides good advance for cruising, and pulls the timing back as I go into boost, keeps from detonating the motor on today's crappy gas. Coil-overs front and rear, but with leafs also up front. Mini tubbed it, stock frame, but can run 12" wides in back without cutting the sheetmetal. That's my preference. Did raise and widen the stock 55 rear wheel lips to get tires in and out easier, but again, that's my preference! Was going to convert it to a 2dr, but have gotten to like the 4dr as is, so just leaving it that way. It's popular with the guys (and gals) around here, they all like it. Have skinnies I can put on the front, if I just want to cruise with more of "the look"! When I run it at the track (pump gas, mild cam, drive it to the track and drive it back home) it does 11.7's at 117, and I get a lot of "hoo-rah's" and thumbs up from the crowd when I come back down the return lane. Added electric cut-outs, really fun to get out on the back roads, open the cutouts, drop it down a gear or two, and watch the boost gage climb up into the 7's....
Now to me that's how a "nostalgia STYLE" street gasser today should be built, and I built it all, took me two years, but then I'm now 71 and retired, so had time to do it. Building it was actually more fun than driving it, but not by very much! Yeah, I sometimes catch a little flak from "no-it-all's" about "that ain't quite right....", but I got one that I built and drive, and I always notice that they don't!
"Patches", On Main Street, Makawao, Maui
Do it the way you want, but keep it safe and sane. Nothing wrong with using some of the modern safe stuff available today, if done wisely.
And start a build thread, let us know how it is coming together.
Here's mine: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=419442
Aloha from Hawaii,
What in the hell is wrong with axle blocks, my 37' had a bent frame in the front end from a street car crash when it was a stock daily driver
The car weighed 3000 lbs and would drift off to one side, checked the front tires to the ground and one was highed than the other
So I made two blocks one thicker to get the tires the same distance off of the ground, [ like 3" on each side ] used a floor jack with a upside down angle right in the middle of the front axle to jack up the car so the axle had no preload from the jack
After installing the blocks the car went straight, in those day there were no 4 wheel weight checking scales so you just improvise and check it the best way you can
That is one of the best thing's about the racing game back then, as you learned a ton just by figuring things out as there twern't no how to racing book's either
#1: As far as I can tell, the original reason for raising the nose of a gasser was weight transfer. Tire traction technology was in it's infancy, and raising the nose put more weight to the back tires. The guys who have them sky high all the way around Don't get it. #2: Use the smaller, lighter cars. I once saw a 64 Impala "gasser". The guys who raced Impalas already HAD enough weight over the back tires. #3: Straight axles do more than get the nose high. They usually weigh less than stock suspension. Also, when they leave the ground and come back down, the steering geometry stays the same. As opposed to an IFS where the toe and camber change radically, making for less than sure footed landings. #4: radiused rear wheel wells. They make tire changes easier, and let you run ANY wheel and tire you want to. Plus it looks bad ass. These are my main issues with modern gasser builders. It's probably been said in this thread somewhere, but I didn't want to read the whole thing to find out.
Lest we forget the High & Mighty gasser'49 Plymouth (although it was really C/A class) in '59. Not too shabby for a bunch of Chrysler engineers with time on their hands that went on to become The Ramchargers.
Except it's not a gasser. Never was, never will be.
I really like the setup on the Maz car because the housing is able to rotate with the semi elliptic spring pivoting in the axle housing mount much like a housing floater on a conventional leaf spring setup, or a watts link/coil spring setup. I am going to replace my conventional 32" ladder bars with old school type 48"ers, and I'm very tempted to shelve the coil overs for the semi elipse set up. The only real draw back is I'd be adding weight when I'm currently try to take weight off the car.
Most of the guys me included wanted their cars to set level, when you look at the size difference from the front tires to the 10 hundred's M&H slicks we all ran you can see a need for the front axle blocks
With out them the front would set too low, since my 37' had a glass front end and alum firewall and Crosley radiator I took out some of the front leaf springs to let it raise up off the line and set back down the rest of the way
Moon Dude, for what its worth, I like your 56 a bunch, ('56 210 tudor sedans are in my top 3)and I'm also a fan of "steelies & poverty caps", you just need to lighten up a little brother.
That rear spring deal was from Bob & Don Spar who owned B & M hydro's and they called them Quarter Eliptics , and they had the traction bars go uo to the bell housing to help lift up the front and let the two soft rear springs sag
When you look at SWC & Maz's cars there is a lot of room above the rear tire for tire travel when first hitting the loud petal, with all that they still hazed those rears pretty good and put on a great show
I was at old San Gabe one nite and Cookie was in the first car Olds powered, he got her in a drift coming off of the line and was in trouble starting to get into some Tank Slappers
He had a brodie knob on the steering wheel and he was working out big time, swinging that wheel back and forth but he saved her
The old man walked by and he was so shook up he could barley talk, Cook earned his pay that day for sure
The Gassers were really neat and just very glad I was able to be a part of it
I like your stuff to, but that ain't goin to keep me from busting your chops a little!
And you'll find my shell is pretty thick to.
Our '56 when owned by Dennis Coker, was driven to the track and took D/G against the Marrs Boys trailered '55 Chevy at the first Winternatkonals @Pomona in 1961. It had a new '61 305HP 283 fuelie long block with the 270/283 2 4bbl setup. During some "tune up" passes the week before the Winters, Dennis blew the guts out of his 3 speed. A friend of a friend offered to loan his new T10 & shifter. Dennis accepted, they towed his car to the guy garage near by, spent the week doing the four speed conversion and Dennis won class (D/G) the next weekend and re-set the ET record at 13.09. At that time the '56 was still his daily driver.
"That rear spring deal was from Bob & Don Spar who owned B & M hydro's and they called them Quarter Eliptics , and they had the traction bars go uo to the bell housing to help lift up the front and let the two soft rear springs sag"
Looks to me, course I'm no engineer, with the shackle between the ladder bar and axel, axel rape could actually be different or un-equal from side to side dependent on traction.
Might have even contributed to some of the control issues on launch you describe.
Correction, actually on closer inspection I see shackle is between the spring and the axel! Much better!
The ladder bars were mounted solidly to the axle. The shackle was used to float between the axle and the spring. It kept the arc of the spring mount and the arc of the ladderbar mount from binding everything up.
Skip Hess' "Skipper's Critter" ran the same set up. I assume a lot of the pro built cars at the time ran the setup. It was high tech.
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