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GASSER MUST HAVES and cant haves?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by DirtyDave, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. ottos
    Joined: Jan 25, 2011
    Posts: 251

    ottos
    Member

    I run gum dipped firestones on the front of mine found real deal ones from a old VW dealer.. Think they are 160s
     
  2. Rusty
    Joined: Mar 4, 2004
    Posts: 9,448

    Rusty
    Member

    Three pedals!!
     
  3. Don't put ten spoke wheels in front on a big car, even if they are NOT spindle mounted they just don't seem right on a car bigger than an altered. Don't do a small moon tank in front, its overdone. Just my opinions.
     
  4. Well you will need the newer safety equipment if you want to run faster than 7.50 in the 1/8.
    Although 7.50 is pretty fun in an old style street car.
     
  5. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,827

    II FUNNY
    Member

    Here's another whitewall equipped Gasser.

    MELTDOWN DRAGS
    JULY 19, 20 2014
     

    Attached Files:

  6. I guess I should add a pic so we all know where I am starting from......
    and a pic of it assembled in 2007.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Killer Car, Great Job.
    Some inspiration in that for sure!
    How fast is it?
     
  8. As always there are differences in opinion etc. I would first pick an era, if you want to be somewhat period correct, and then look for every picture you can find from that era. Don Montgomery's book is a great pace to start.
    And though I would Never build a street driven "Gasser" without front brakes, for those that say no Gasser ever ran without, I have to respectfully disagree; as my car was an NHRA Certified Record Holder and Never had front brakes - still doesn't. If I weren't keeping it as built I would definitely add them, but it didn't have them then and is restored to as raced, so it doesn't have them now.

    Also plenty of Gassers had tinted plexi windows, one of the most famous being the Skippers Critter Anglia with Red windows.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  9. Didn't this car get cloned a few years back in one of the Buckaroo magazines?
     
  10. Tman, NO and Yes, yes it was a Buckaroo publication. I think it was Super Rod but it may have been Street Rod Builder, I have it somewhere but of course when I need something I can never find it. NO it was not a clone. The article was of the restoration of the actual car. I believe he even got the original last raced with engine from Mr. Don Nowell back for the car (Don may chime in here again to verify) with the Hilborn and that special Oil Pan (that Hot Rod Mag did an article on) back in the car. This '37 Chevy is one of my all time fav non '33 WILLYS GASSERS.
     
  11. Blownolds
    Joined: Mar 31, 2001
    Posts: 2,335

    Blownolds
    Member
    from So Cal

    Wow--- the OP's question. The answer might be all over the map.
    I haven't read through the whole thread... I'm sure there's a lot of thoughts already posted.

    But to the OP, I think the following questions need to be addressed first:

    --What era gasser? '59-61, the first ones? '62-5, the "golden era"? Later '60's, the continuation and evolution of the golden era?

    --Blown? Unblown? Carbureted or injection?

    --Stickshift? Auto? And WHICH tranny to use? Big question there...
    If stick, did you want something early? Or something modern a la Jerico? If auto, did you want an early hydro, or did you want something later like a TH400 or PG? Or something in-between like a Clutchflite? Or? The choices are all over the place on this one, but you need to find the one that's right for you.

    --And for that matter, which engine type? Or rearend type? Even more choices...

    --Do you want period correct????
    Or hidden or low-key "upgrades" or refinements (such as an electronic version of a Vertex magneto, for instance) ?

    --Show-only? Race-only? Street-driven only? Something that gets used for a combo of a couple of these choices?

    --Tame, absolutely wild, or somewhere in-between?

    --Safety or legality what kind of a priority on what components? (i.e.-- spindle mount fronts with no brakes? Parking brake or neutral safety switch, or sans all of that? How loud? Wipers?

    --high-dollar, or low-buck? And that goes for anything period-correct, too... as a lot of original early gassers were fairly low-buck and ratty. But there were super nice cars, too.

    Here's just one instance of why I'm asking these questions.
    Halibrand magnesium wheels are now thought of as a bit of a "must-have" gasser wheel... but those weren't on every gasser back in the day. Not only that, but you could theoretically start a fire and burn your car down the minute you scraped a curb with one while driving on the street. And the constant upkeep on the magnesium, oy... But they are bitchin'...

    And fenderwell headers.... bitchin' nasty stuff. But probably so loud you'll get nothing but tickets on the street (especially if blown). And they can affect the range of steering. And I bet not every gasser had fenderwells anyway. Some full-race floppers used zoomies.... but THAT ain't gonna be a great choice for a street-driven car...

    High stance/ solid front axle? Bitchin, and more true to the older gassers. But not necessarily all that stable...
    OTOH, I wouldn't think that IFS would be very "gasser" at all. Still, might be quite possible to build a gasser-influenced hot rod with IFS, you know?

    Yellow, blue, red colored plexi windows? Not street-legal in the least. But sometimes used on '60's race cars.

    So, I say--- look at tons of pictures of gassers from various years '59 through '70 or so, and see what lights your own fire. Then see how practical it would be to build a car that way, both from a cost standpoint as well as in keeping in mind how you wish to use the car. Bear in mind that gassers had a reputation, and it had nothing to do with practicality. They were kind of rock 'n roll, if you know what I mean.


    Some things you may run across time after time will be things like mag wheels,
    ...though MANY gassers actually had at least one pair of steel wheels. Many old gassers had mismatched wheels front-back, and it actually contributes to the look of the '60's race cars... yet, matching wheels can be equally as nice.

    A big tach in a chrome cup (more like Moon/Eelco, instead of Autometer) mounted on either the dash top or on the steering column...

    Either stack injectors or a blower, though plenty of gassers probably had 2x4 carbs

    '57-64 Olds/Pontiac rearends were extremely popular, however the Ford 9 is probably much easier to do. Most gassers have used these two rears, though other rears were also used.


    Some things can make this easy on you (it's cheaper to build a SBC engine than an early hemi, but nobody can deny how bitchin' an early hemi is)... and besides the cost, how about how easy it is to get your parts? Do you want to build an engine that is currently considered "oddball", though perhaps it was once very commonly used in gassers (Olds comes to mind here)? Do you want to spend years looking for the right parts, or do you want to just be able to 1-800-credit-card all the parts and be done in 2 years? Somewhere in-between?

    Some folk's would probably think that the quintessimal gasser would be a '33 or '40-2 Willys coupe with a blown early hemi, but that's just their point of view. There actually were all sorts of gassers. Lots of '55-7 Chevy's (especially '55) ran in things like C/G, D/G, etc.

    Then there are gassers like Coonrod's car, Blown Hell, Nunes' old car, etc. Crazy nuts-o race gassers. You ought to see the footage of some of that stuff. makes you sit on the edge of your seat.

    I'd suggest looking at a lot of this stuff before starting your gasser project in earnest.
     
  12. Blownolds
    Joined: Mar 31, 2001
    Posts: 2,335

    Blownolds
    Member
    from So Cal

    Oh yeah... and body type also has a lot to do with the "look" (as well as expense of doing a car).

    Popular was Willys, Anglia, henry J, Austin, '55-7 chevy.... in the late '60's there was the Opel GT... and so on.

    But '37-9 (even '40-1) Chevy coupes were also used, Studebaker coupes (check out the '39 Champion!), and so on. How about a '55-6 Olds with no front bumper? Sometimes a simple body mod like that can make a unique "gasser". I once saw a '59 Ford Ranchero gasser-style race car done just like that. Looked pretty cool that way. Wouldn't even be surprised if a Fiat Topolino hadn't been used as a gasser in the past (though many of those were less "gasser" and more A/SR or some other class since they often ran without fenders).

    I've seen early Hudson coupes in old pics. I've seen a '56 Chevy pickup done with the full-on gasser look in the early '90's. Looked great, blown SMB with fenderwell headers, steel wheels (actually a daily driver for a guy who was racing a contemporary gasser at the nostalgia drags). That one was really cool.

    Look at a bunch of different gassers and let your imagination run through the "gasser" filter. it's your car.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  13. Blownolds
    Joined: Mar 31, 2001
    Posts: 2,335

    Blownolds
    Member
    from So Cal

    double-post
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  14. Blownolds
    Joined: Mar 31, 2001
    Posts: 2,335

    Blownolds
    Member
    from So Cal

    How about the very earliest S-W-C car? Circa '58-9 or so? I seem to recall that one as having white tuck-n-roll seats and wide whites. Obviously it didn't stick and did not end up defining the gasser look. But, just saying...
     
  15. So many good points.....thanks
     
  16. amadeus
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 321

    amadeus
    Member

    Thats a beautiful car!!
     
  17. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,565

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    Don't let people confuse you with "traditional" vs. most common. There were dozens of Willys, Anglia, Tri 5 Chevy, etc. that ran in the Gas classes, but they are no more traditional than the Flintstone Flyer '59 Studebaker that won a lot of races. There were many oddball gassers that ran in the day, and some racers chose to be different back then and not run the typical commonplace bodies.
    There are a small percentage of gassers around today that are restored 100% to what they were in their heyday, but most have been done with modern safety features to meet current NHRA requirements. Unfortunately the guys who have loyally kept their restorations 100% original found there's very few venues that will allow those vehicles to make even an exhibition pass.
    Since your car is going to be mostly street driven, I would simply try to build it with a look that makes it fit the era you choose. Don't worry about things like having an old B&M Hydro, when a TH400 or 350 will work, and be better, easier, and cheaper to run. Same for an engine choice. Don't worry too much about which engine you choose, just try to keep the external look close, and make it drivable, so you can enjoy it. There weren't many gassers that used a tunnel ram, but that doesn't mean none had them, so if you're going for a late gasser look, then use it if you want to.
    Wheels and tires will always make or break any build, so if you're going to chose one area to not compromise, it would be wheels and tires. If you're lucky enough to find some nice old used wheels from the era, that's great. But there are some modern versions of popular old wheels that are still made, and not as spendy as finding originals, yet still fit the era. One of the most popular wheels around back in the 60's era were Cragar S/S and they are still not much different today.
    If you get so hung up on making it a perfect period clone, you'll probably get frustrated, or find some parts that are nearly impossible to find. Best to just get it as close as possible for the obvious stuff, and let the rest fall into whatever your budget and time allow.
    PS-Larry Davis' book Gasser Wars is indeed a fantastic reference, and getting both spendy and hard to find, since it's been out of production some time. If you keep an eye on Ebay or Amazon you can still occasionally find a nice used copy that's still not too crazy priced, as long as it's the soft bound version.
     
  18. Is this what they mean by 110%? :D
     
  19. raidmagic
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,436

    raidmagic
    Member

    Damn what's wrong with how it is/was? Beautiful car.
     
  20. Littleman
    Joined: Aug 25, 2004
    Posts: 2,614

    Littleman
    Alliance Member
    from OHIO, USA

    I say built more Altereds !!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    Roothawg likes this.
  21. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,827

    II FUNNY
    Member

    Here's a few more with colored windows.

    MELTDOWN DRAGS
    JULY 19, 20 2014
     

    Attached Files:

  22. CGkidd
    Joined: Mar 2, 2002
    Posts: 2,838

    CGkidd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Love the pics II Funny. I am building a 50 Stude with WW Pie crusts on the back a colored glass quarter windows. Very good thread so far. Let's not get any bashing in it and hopefully it will stay around.
     
  23. Thanks!
     
  24. This is a very confusing statement to me - There is nothing more "Traditional" for a gasser than a Willys, Anglia, or 55 Chevy, and most were built to a very similar style to each other, at least here on the West Coast where I was at the tracks watching them run. I'm really not sure what you meant there.
     
  25. man, there is NO WAY I would change that car into a Gasser style. I would leave it as a Custom and build something else. Just my opinion, but i think it will be a lesser car if you do this
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  26. CGkidd
    Joined: Mar 2, 2002
    Posts: 2,838

    CGkidd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Is there a reason you are building it as a gasser? The early pic looks like it was a pretty sweet looking car. Did you get it as just a roller or do you have all the parts to make it a driver? Looking at it to me it screams mild custom cruiser. But its your ride.
     
  27. Mazooma1
    Joined: Jun 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,599

    Mazooma1
    Member


    Don, we need to replace "traditional" with "common"....that would be easier on my brain.
    I think what he meant is that a Stude is just as much a gasser as a WIllys.
    While that is true, so would any car be that met the specifications of the rulebook....
     
  28. rotten johnny
    Joined: Mar 14, 2009
    Posts: 535

    rotten johnny
    Member
    from Mi

    My 2 cents........most all these post hold meritt.......Most....
    I mimicked mine from old pictures of the gassers and then basicly picked and chose the parts I liked the look of and did it. Some of the junk on my car may be in question of being authentic, mostly from fello hamb members............I dont care at all....its mine
    On a side note, EVERY time out with the car I get many complaments.......I dont ever recall getting any flack.
    Do what you want that looks rite in your eyes, dont try to please anyone cept the wife and yourself....its yours.


    [​IMG]
     
    stupesnova likes this.
  29. I don't think that is what he meant either, it you relace traditional with common, it still doesn't make sense;
    There were dozens of Willys, Anglia, Tri 5 Chevy, etc. that ran in the Gas classes, but they are no more "Common" than the Flintstone Flyer '59 Studebaker that won a lot of races.
    They were way more common ........;)
     
  30. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,827

    II FUNNY
    Member

    When were the mandatory front brake rules lifted?
    I've also seen were the drivers seat could not be relocated back more that 4" from original. Was this rule changed too?

    MELTDOWN DRAGS
    JULY 19, 20 2014
     

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