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Art & Inspiration Gassers, a can of worms?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by F-ONE, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,767

    from Alabama

    Who does not like an honest to goodness gasser? The gas class, it's iconic. A gasser project done right is a sight to behold.
    I love a gasser and it's place in history. With that said....

    Has "gasser" became the new rat-rod?:oops:
    chryslerfan55, hrm2k, Petejoe and 4 others like this.
  2. In a lot of ways yes.
    Surfrider, Gizzy, bobss396 and 7 others like this.
  3. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,733

    anthony myrick

    a well built/engineered rat is fine with me
    I support whatever build style you like.
    Just build.
    I built a down hill cart out of an ironing board when I was 10. I liked it

    but I understand the point you are trying to make.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
    cktasto, scott27, Cosmo49 and 14 others like this.
  4. tractorguy
    Joined: Jan 5, 2008
    Posts: 693


    Yeah.......kinda seems like it. I was around in the 1960's for the real gasser era and it was all about performance and beating the other guy.......period.
    Gizzy, Mr48chev, 210superair and 6 others like this.

  5. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 9,073

    jimmy six

    ^^^And there was nothing else like it then and now.^^^
  6. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,858

    from oregon

    Sometimes it's only one or two components that keep the car from hitting the mark.
    But, it's the ones that look like they came from the Cars movie that just nauseate me.
    Jacked up higher in the front than they ever were in the 60's or a completely misinterpreted version that is a combination of "street freak" styling and "wannabe" gasser, then add wide white wall tires and I'm looking for the exit door.
  7. Creative expression.

    the term Gasser is used to describe any “go fast “ car that’s built “ kinda traditional” and not lowered down in the weeds.

    what got me hooked on older cars was the gasser willys in the movie “hot rod” bare bones and made to go fast!

    I see a lot of cars that look like 4X4’s and claim to be a gasser with a target master 350 and some Chrome. I just shake my head.

    Kinda like and old car from the 40’s and older that does not have shiny paint is automatically labeled a rat rod.

    it’s folks who watch tv and have never lived the car lifestyle.

    I’ve said this before, when the rr scene first came around I think it was a big nod to everyone being sick of high dollar big name builds.
    At first I liked them, then they went down hill into cobbledtogether art cars.

    I see the same thing with gassers, easy to Jack the nose up, put some plexi glass windows in strip the car down and point the nose to the sky and call it a gasser.
    brEad, TheSteamDoc, weps and 10 others like this.
  8. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,060

    from California

    no. a gasser can be built to any level of perfection while a RAT TURD can only be a RAT TURD.

    the gasser issues come from people who do not think the meaning of words can change over time and get out an old NHRA rule book like morons every time the subject comes up.
  9. Yes.
    A recent poll showed that more than 9 out of 10 'gasser' likers had no idea where the name came from.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
  10. hemihotrod66
    Joined: May 5, 2019
    Posts: 370


    Gassers were just that Competition cars that ran gasolene...They were allowed a 10% engine setback and the different classes were determined by engine cubic inch to weight...In the beginning they were required to be street legal,,,Lights and mufflers...But as NHRA does they became race only cars before the class went away...Like Fuel Altereds the centerline of the crankshaft could be no higher than 24 inches from the ground...
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2020
  11. Did you know that 9 out of 10 “polls” get more ass holes spouting than a batch of bad chili? ;)
    Not directed at anyone, just an observation concerning polls.
  12. I grew up in the 50s, high school in the 60s. I fell in love with real gassers and got qa chance to buy a '36 Willys stocker. Collected a 331 hemi, '54 Hydramatic, (hemi/Hydro adaptor was my HS graduation present!), Corvair gear, Olds rear end, all the good stuff. Finally got my cartoon gasser on the road in '95. Took my queue from the big guys and did best paint/chrome finish I could.
  13. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,858

    from oregon

    I'm lucky enough to have seen your Willis a number of times, I made a dozen trips to Famoso and I can say one thing, that is no "cartoon gasser"!
  14. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 5,530

    Staff Member

    In the old days of Drag Racing the thought was get the front higher and the back lower to get better rear wheel traction / thus the terminology weight transfer.

    The thought was if you were lifting the front from a stock height - it was wasted motion lifting the front end.
    Set up the front high already , tail low and the rear would grip quicker with out wasted motion.

    The side affect was it made damn near every Willy’s, Tri 5's, Fairlanes, late50's - early 60’s Corvettes, Novas / Falcon’s look bad ass.
  15. Butch M
    Joined: Oct 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,580

    Butch M

    to be on the safe side i just call mine a straight axle car IMG_0067.JPG
    brEad, Gasser 57, OLSKOOL57 and 32 others like this.
  16. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 21,421


    I love real traditional race cars. I remember seeing a 41 Willys as a kid, at one of the early 80's NSRA shows, that was blown with one bucket seat, an old school roll bar, fenderwell headers and a straight axle. Polished Halibrands and cheater slicks. Ruined me forever.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
    Tman, elgringo71, rbrewer and 11 others like this.
  17. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414


    A lot of the lower class gassers did not have a straight axle . Nor did they get the front end jacked way up in the air.
    There was a lot of home built rat rod quality cars guys brought out to the drag strips on weekends and the tech guys had no choice but put them in the gas classes because they wouldn't fit in any other class.
    I have seen some really scketchy looking shit that were classified as gassers. Modified Production was the same way. Altereds were about the worst as far as the tech man just shaking his head and putting a class on a car.
    Most of the poser gassers today are not half as bad as some of the poor boy gassers of the 60's.
    NHRA was pretty good at making sure they at least had the minimum safety stuff. AHRA local tracks just looked the other way and your entry fee was your tech inspection.
  18. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,858

    from oregon

    From George Klass

    1952 Chevy 2-door Sedan. Full size Gassers like this were not particularly light weight cars but when you raced in some of the lower classes, it probably didn't matter that much. The engine in this car is said to have 292 cubic inches (or at least, that's what is painted on the front fender). It could be a Small Block Chevy. But I don't think a V8 engine of that displacement would be able to get into the H/Gas class. So, maybe it's a 292 cubic inch GMC straight-six engine...


    Pretty comprehensive coverage of the gas class cars of the 60's.
  19. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,783

    from Oregon

    I was around in the 60's also, and gas class cars were the top of the heap, and my favorite cars. But even back in the 60's there were plenty of cars around town that never saw the strip, but had the gasser look. Huge number of guys I hung around with built "gassers" that saw lots of street racing, but never saw the drag strip.
    My first gasser was a 1940 Chev coupe, with a 413 Chrysler, torqueflite, and Chrysler rear axle. It originally had the old knee action A arm front suspension, but I swapped in a late 40's Ford transverse spring axle. Never ran it at the drag strip either, but did a lot of street racing with it.
    Replaced it in 1970 with a '55 Chevy 150 business coupe, with 283, 4 speed, and a chromed tube axle. Another gasser, even ass Gas Classes were dying in NHRA. We didn't care then, we still loved them!
    Have two gasser type builds now. My Austin I built 10 years ago, and my '39 Chev coupe has only paint left to do. Built a '63 Falcon gasser about 5 yrs. ago with a BBC in it, just for fun.
    I don't much care if Gassers are the current fad, or where the trend takes them. I'll stay with them because I've always loved them more than any other type of build.
  20. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,807

    Marty Strode

    It was a six, with a McGurk manifold with 5 carbs. The last time I saw it was at Gales Creek Auto Wrecking, getting parted out.
    Tman, Mark Yac, Atwater Mike and 8 others like this.
  21. Lloyd's paint & glass
    Joined: Nov 16, 2019
    Posts: 4,521

    Lloyd's paint & glass

    Nothing catches my attention like a badass straight axle car, but that's what's great about this hobby, we don't all have to like the same thing. Doesn't mean any of us are wrong. How boring would it be if we all had the same damn car.
  22. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 6,836


    Even in Milwaukee Wi. we had gasser style street cars in the 60's, I don't remember any real race cars (probably was) on the street but some went for the "Look" My 57 Chevy, 1964, took front bumper off, twist in spacers in front to get it up, street slicks, tach on dash, Hurst floor shifter, obnoxious loud exhaust, I did street race this car some. I did take it to Union Grove 1X, put me D Gas , because of bumper off and engine (348 tri carb) not original to car. So what are we bitching about today, Gassers are period correct for the HAMB, I see new built old style gassers, restored old gassers, occasionally a survivor drug out of a barn at shows, I like them and I like all hot rodding/cars, everyone likes different styles.
  23. Baron
    Joined: Aug 13, 2004
    Posts: 3,557


    TomT, Gasser 57, Tim and 22 others like this.
  24. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,022


    This is how I remember them.. Maybe a pair of extended shackles..

    Last edited: Aug 19, 2020
    OLSKOOL57, Deuces, Butch M and 8 others like this.
  25. 1pickup
    Joined: Feb 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,043


    Terms get bastardized over time, & more people use them without knowing the origins. This is nothing new. My son (30yo) calls anything with a straight axle & nose up attitude a gasser. He's been exposed to hot rods his whole life. A rat rod was an unfinished, or low-buck hot rod. Now it's a caricature of that with barbed wire grilles, welded chain bumpers, & street sign floors. Country music used to be 3 chords & the truth. Now it's hip hop with a fiddle added. When I was a teenager, a redneck was somebody that didn't get high. It's now a 4X4 driving, rebel flag waving racist. Whatever. Get out in your garage & don't worry about it.
    brEad, dudley32, quick85 and 9 others like this.
  26. badvolvo
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 472


    It depends on who I'm talking to. If I think they know the vintage gasser rules, I call it a street freak. If I am talking with the general public, I'll call it a gasser. Makes no difference to me, but it has and will continue racing as a gasser. IMG_3059.jpg
    Texas57, brEad, Gasser 57 and 13 others like this.
  27. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,777


    98% of folks today think this is a Gasser. Sigh.

    Tman, Nostrebor, J.Ukrop and 17 others like this.
  28. @1pickup, redneck has always been a derogatory term depending on who was using it. Two camps for the origin. A person who worked outside doing manual labor(farmer, construction, etc.) thus the red neck. Others believe it was started during the early mining strikes in WV. The miners wore red scarves to show their solidarity. At the battle of Blair Mt. it was said that someone from the company side proclaimed kill all the rednecks. It became a badge of honor to some who struggled their whole life. To the people who look down upon them it will always be derogatory.
    Sorry for the distraction let’s get back to hot rods.
    Edit: All the cars pictured are cool as hell, no matter what you call them.:)
    weps, tractorguy, b-body-bob and 5 others like this.
  29. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 9,073

    jimmy six

    Unfortunate Jim, especially with an altered wheelbase..
    Tman, F-ONE, chryslerfan55 and 2 others like this.
  30. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,165


    Just my opinion - gasser / straight axle cars. They gotta be mean and nasty. They were built as competition track cars with one purpose.

    Building one for the street to drive around with a mild engine is silly. It was a trend that caught on, the trend has run its course..... Like von dutch t shirts, trucker hats etc.

    A nose up car with the horsepower and time slip to back up the look is a beautiful thing. Altered wheel base, even better, banging gears, even better.

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