The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by DirtyDave, Aug 4, 2013.
Actually, anything not of the period will 'taint' it. Don't do it 'dirty', Dave...
Are you planning on using a hood
scoop??? If so. you might want to find
a 'bolt on' hood scoop from a late-50's
through mid-60's vintage Ford "Super
Duty" heavy-duty truck. A lot of gassers
and mod/prod cars used these Ford
'big truck' hood scoops back in the
1960's. Around the same time that the
gas class racers started using them,
Pontiac - circa 1962 and '63 - even
started buying them new from
Ford, sticking a Pontiac part number
decal over top the original Ford truck
part number decal and installed them
on the Pontiac 'Super Duty' factory
It all boils down to what your intent is, as mentioned before. I had always wanted to build a true to life gasser since I was a teenager. I've mellowed a bit on the whole thing and want to build a street car that may be reminescent of a gasser or perhaps a 70's street freak ( my period of coming of age, so to speak).
Pick up Larry Davis' "Gasser Wars" and learn from his tome. It opened my eyes up on a few things. I am still learning things at my age and hope to incorporate them into a presentable car someday.
The one "Must Have" is to enjoy the journey and build a car that you will truly want to drive.
Good question! No trailer queen, street car that can be driven to the track. Not silly fast. Head turner.
Building a Gasser is the same as building a traditional hot rod. Do your home work and figure out what era and locality you are going after for the look...then mix in a nice combination of safety for the performance. Just remember that Gassers, like Hot Rods were built to perform, so stuff like air conditioning and fear of cutting something on the car does not apply!
Absolutely NO WAY on the spindle mounts - gassers had to run front brakes until 1969 when funny cars killed the Gasser classes. Gassers did not run spindle mounts - altereds did. This is the problem when you get people 'learning' from the internet/magazines without reading the rule book of the period. Just like guys who think 'period airbags' and 'period laying frame' are traditional.... If absolute period/rule book perfection is the question, yes on when and what is to run a spindle mount. Air bags? This is a 'drag/gasser question. PS My car is static dropped.
I didn't dig the idea at first because I don't remember any Hudson gassers. Then I got thinking, Hudsons were always light weight cars for their size. A Hudson 112 or small Hudson would be about the same weight as a 39 Studebaker Champion and could have made a good gasser.
Later on they got to using even lighter cars like Ford Anglia. So if you had to pick a year pick one early in the gasser era when they were going from Fords and Chevs to Studebaker and Willys bodies.
If you are building something to drive around and just have fun in, you shouldn't worry too much about what is correct. They guys at the local burger stand aren't going to have a rule book.
Do run front brakes. Not running front brakes is probably against the law and even if it isn't you're stopping a lot of weight, so having them is important
It's fine to look cool, but smashed up against a tree isn't the look you were hoping for.
Whitewalls? Depends on the car.
I put them on the back of my 46 ford and like them.....Will NOT change them and I have seen many Gassers with whitewalls on the rear.
I ran this 37' in B/Gas for 4 yrs from 64' - 68' and this is what a serious Gasser looked like back in the day when they were a big deal
Then the factory hot rods & funny cars kinda killed the gassers in the 70's
The Spirit of the class was to have your car look like a streeter
The good runners and record holders sat level NOT jacked way up in the front, because you could wind up wearing it!!!
Also clear plex windows not colored and no spindle mounts bolt on fronts
4 " by 15" flat spoke Americans and 10" by 16" with 10" M&H dragster slicks bought mine used from Ivo for 25 bucks each after 5 runs on his fueler
Cal Automotive Glass front end made off of my steel parts, saved over 100 lbs plus a dropped tube axle with 33' willys hubs etc
Glass buckets and alum firewall & floorboard to get the weight down 2300 lbs ready to run , then put in 700 lbs to make class at 3000 lbs
Pic below shows how a gasser should look not all messed up like a lot of them are today
Hope this help's , Dave
This is also a real gasser from the 60's notice piecrust on all four corners and 15x4 and 16x11 magnesium wheels. Also lights and trim which was needed to be legal. Also ALL gassers had front brakes and bolt on front wheels!
only caveat might be a car built early on, and continually raced for 10 or 15 years. it would have updates mandated by the rules but a lot of earlyer stuff, gauges front suspension, ect still on the car
Thanks for that - the internet/magazine reading 'history rewriters' who were not even born at the time in question and who are busy telling those who lived it 'how it really was' need to take note....
I shoulda bought that car from Jeff T when I had the chance
It's fine to look cool, but smashed up against a tree isn't the look you were hoping for.
THAT is the best advice right there, in addition to being F'n hilarious. It'll change meanings depending on your intentions... but that's rule #1 regardless of who you are or what you're building. (Well played, sir!)
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I don't know what Jeff was asking , a dude paid 69 thou for it can you believe that then it got sold again for 55 g's
Boy have times changed !!!!!!!!
Thanks for the pic and advice
It all helps, even the debates.
39 Hudson Coupe looks like that and has the straight axle already.
Mostly street, occasional strip.
Thanks to those who suggest this book.
Must be great 'cause it aint cheap!
Ditto on EVERYTHING you said Don.
I was around these cars 'back in the
day' and yours is one of the best, most
informative, simply said and "totally
lacking in B.S. and hyperbole" posts
on what truly constituted a "gasser"
that I've seen on the HAMB. Keep
on telling it like it is ..and most
importantly, 'telling it like it really
and actually was'!
Ok, for years now I have been a member here and not participated in the forum much. This topic sparks something for me. Usually I read stuff now that brings back memories, some all the way back to early childhood. There was an old saying, "you run what you brung" and you bring what you can. Very few gassers back then were hitting the streets. They were all trailered to the event. Every so often a dude in town would keep the lights front and rear, take a set of slicks that had been run at the track and cut a groove down the middle with a grooving iron making what we called "cheater" slicks, and ran that bad boy on the street at the cruise just to prove who had the biggest shlong.
There were cars that were a lot milder than a gasser that were on the street every night downtown. To me a "real" gasser is a car that is built to spec of the class it races in and hits the track to compete. Other wise it's a badass street rod.
Rules for gassers? HAMB certified? Hell I like you guys but my car is my car. No billet? I guess I can throw out that billet carrier bearing idea I was turned onto today here as a solution for my two piece driveline on poncho No tunnel rams? Really? wow. anyway, I understand the "period correctness" of it all and certainly prescribe to it. However, I am going to run some big wide Mickey Thompson 60 series on the front of my 58 pontiac with the front lifted up the way it is because, well, it trips my trigger! I say build what you like. I happen to like the nostalgia of it all but there were many many different ways to build a car and still be "period correct" for whatever part of the country you grew up in if you were there actually, or you see something from back then in a magazine. There might be a big difference from what made it to the mag and what was on the street in your hometown. Certainly was in my little oilfield redneck part of northern New Mexico I grew up in. Some had money from the oil patch and some just made do with what they could find and build, fabricate, imagination. That is the spirit of the hotrod if you ask me. Imagination, determination, making it work, driving the damn thing, and being proud you actually made it work somehow! Please don't think i'm poking at anyone. I just really like the "free spirit" of this site. The "renegade builder" of it all. It works for me and reminds me of the chopper builder days of my youth. Making it all work somehow and making that creation in my mind come to fruition.
Research, research, and then dream something in your head. Visualize that car in your head, daydream about it. Obsess about it. Make it happen. Build your dream bro.
See post #40, specifically the car on the far right. Shared by hundreds of Gassers all over the country for many years. Nose up, not sky high, but still up compared to the rear. Our '55 D/Gas had this stance all the way up to the time the Gas classes ended in the late '60s. The way our suspension was set up, it flat worked, and there was no immediate need to change it because of what everybody else was doing. Was it a record-holder? No. Was it competitive? Definitely. It was running consistent 11.80-11.90s when the E.T. record was hovering in the 11.60s.
I was born and raised in the time in question, and even though I was a young lad, I lived it. Don't be so quick to assume that I gleaned all my information from reading magazines.
People need to also remember that the East Coast guys and the West Coast guys had very different styles and theories. Look at the cars based out of the Ohio area in 1965 and compare them to the guys running out of Southern California.
The West was certainly different than the East and Midwest. Many of the best gassers from around Ohio never came out West until promoters agreed to pay guaranteed expenses. Ohio George set many National records, and refused to bother going out West for the few tracks that wouldn't add anything but expenses to his drag racing budget.
This huge distance barrier really did show in what racers were doing with their cars at both ends of the United States. Back in the 60's I never saw many of the East Coast cars in person. We only saw what Drag News reported on, unless they were enticed to come out West with money.
Notice that line on Ohio George's '33 Willys front fender? That was where he got caught cutting the front edge off to make it more "aerodynamic", but NHRA made him splice it back on when someone protested the modification.
I had some friends back home that built this style of gasser. It was pretty cool to sit in the shop and just be around that monster! Totally mesmerizing. He built a 57 Chevy with a big block for his son to drive in high school and a killer 70 1/2 Camaro for his daughter.
Even though i dont care for their looks, Firestone pie crusts with the weird edge tread were available in 64 for sure.
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I'm happy with the two that I have. Build what makes you happy with your ride.
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