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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. Gene Schwartz’s E/Gas cars
    2A35BE3C-DFB8-4CD9-98FC-2B1EFA436898.jpeg D473C048-6B49-4AD9-ABE4-396078F7BBFA.jpeg
    The second one was built because of a towing accident that wrecked the first.

    and now:
    505F5DA0-260F-46F0-ACBC-C05E8A3E2EE0.jpeg A4C44C7A-1F7F-4898-9237-3F89F13CFA31.jpeg
    Tman, Baumi, chryslerfan55 and 6 others like this.
  2. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,147

    ramblin dan

    This one was for sale in Mich. $T2eC16dHJF0E9nmFS0!CBRT2nWpooQ~~60_3.jpg $T2eC16dHJHgE9n0yHBqpBRT2muFBMw~~60_3.jpg a while back which peaked my interest.
  3. Yep, 70s saw a rapid technology improvement w/ rear engine chassis, really good slicks, major clutch improvements. But early in that decade, 6.70 times were kind of the benchmark. Rick Ramsey won the 1970 NHRA Supernationals with a 6.70. 6.93 was the cut for the 64 car field. Jerry Ruth held the record in '69 @ 6.68. I still like front engine rails better than the rear engine rockets.
  4. pirate
    Joined: Jun 29, 2006
    Posts: 523

    from Alabama

    Gas Classes were started to fill the gap between totally stock classes and all out race cars. It allowed the the folks that wanted to “hop up” their cars for more performance a class to race in. The formula was simple, car weight divided by cubic inches. This allowed a lot of different variations as to what could be done on both engine and chassis. There were not a lot of rules. Originally the cars had to be street legal and a lot of the early cars were just that, drive it during the week and race it on weekends. Especially the lower gas classes from say C Gas down.

    Of course like all racing the cars evolved and became less streetable and more all out race car. The rules changes then followed allowing less and less parts that made the car street legal. Eventually just about all gas class cars ended up being trailer or brought to strip with a tow bar. In my opinion the Gas Classes were the most entertaining classes ever devised. Early gas classes certainly had the most variety of cars and engines and were somewhat affordable.
  5. Dago 88
    Joined: Mar 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,930

    Dago 88

    My straight axle Nomad I built in 2001, got over it real quick. It is back on a standard frame now & will be a street car :) '56 Nomad #1.jpg 099.JPG
    Tman, Gasser 57, Baumi and 7 others like this.
  6. 31hotrodguy
    Joined: Oct 29, 2013
    Posts: 1,966


    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  7. sidewayzz69
    Joined: Aug 9, 2020
    Posts: 28

    from Western,ky

    Here is mine. Gonna be a 427 tunnel ram,4sp. 20200813_193800.jpg
    Gasser 57, KiWinUS, Butch M and 9 others like this.
  8. Chavezk21
    Joined: Jan 3, 2013
    Posts: 624


    I love that color, what is it?
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,510


    The younger guys don't seem to understand that originally Gas class meant that you had an engine swap using and engine that didn't come in that year of car. Or in the case of Chrysler, Buick, Olds engines swapped into a lighter body.
    In the 50's my stepfather traded a 53 Merc hardtop with a tired flathead for a 52 Ford Victoria with a 56 Thunderbird 312 in it. The car was lowered to the nuts but had held the C gas record at the Ellensburg WA drag strip in the mid 50's.
    In the early 60's an older friend in town stuck a 401 Buick in a 55 Chevy 2 door post and when he took it to the drags at either Ellensburg or Madras got placed in a seriously competitive gas class with his stock bodied stock suspension outside of slapper bars car. Engine was bone stock inside too. Things had changed quite a bit between 57 and 64.

    Watching some of the seriously jacked in the air cars at the Billetproof eruption drags last year I'd say those guys had to be glad that they only had an eight mile to fight the car down the strip rather than a quarter. They were obviously put together for bubba effect and not competitive use.
  10. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,859

    from Oregon

    Ohio George only ran the Willys chassis under the Mustang for less than one season while they built a completely new chassis. Rules changed just as George was switching to the Ford, and the old rule of having to run any stock frame under a Gas Class car changed to allow tube chassis. So George built a new tube chassis and at the end of the season swapped everything over to it.
    He stated in an interview that both the Willys and the Mustang using the Willys frame were the scariest cars he'd ever driven, but he didn't realize how bad they were until he drove the new tube chassis! He promised to never make another pass with the Willys frame after it was returned to the Willys, and he never did.
    The new chassis handled so well they quickly tuned the Ford motor to make as much HP as the track and tires could handle. The late 60's and early 70's saw huge changes in Gas class cars, as they evolved into Exhibition racers, and Funny Cars. Which as we know killed the Gas Class completely in NHRA.
  11. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,261


    Hey KID!!!!!!!!!
    They make more power now than in the 60's fer sure BUT..........the times are hard to compare because "back-in-the-day" all the strips were 1/4 mile and now....most are 1/8th mile.(So one would hafta do-da-math to really compare)

    So why was it soooo much more fun back then than now?!
    For one thing....we could hang on the chain link fence,or single steel cable and almost touch'em as they screamed by (sometimes on two wheels)
    Maybe because it was a little bit more affordable. You and a couple guys put your $$$ together and play with the other cars (to a degree)
    Nobody said we wuz real smart "back-in-the-day!" More than once I have seen a clutch explode and it sounded like "metal rain"/Purple Rain coming down! Gett'in all side ways and outta shape and bunch of cigarette smoking teenagers and older guys running for cover.( back before smoking would kill you)
    I think after Richard Petty 'plowed-up' a grandstand during the boycott.....strips tried to make it a little safer (or went outta business).
    As a car guy you should set a goal to do at least 2 things in life....1 Go and enjoy Cruis'in-the-Coast
    2 Go to a South Eastern Gassers Assoc. event.
    6sally6 427 cammer.jpg
  12. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 18,699

    from Michigan

    ...and the driver thinks he's cool...:rolleyes:
  13. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,761

    from oregon

    I bet he puckers up pretty good when going around a curve!
  14. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 1,051

    427 sleeper

    OOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!! My eye's!!!!! :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
  15. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 1,219

    41 GMC K-18

  16. Would you just look at that front end, but they didn't sit that high back then was said


    And there's those pesky white wall tires they didn't use, the nerve of those guys

    gm2_00038.jpg Screenshot_20200821-014919_Google.jpg
  17. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,306


    This was Pittsburgh street racing back in 1964. This is Sears lot, in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh (10th ward lol)... I heard the red 64 Galaxie had a 427 SOHC..

    Sears Lot 1964 2.jpg Sears lot 1964.jpg
  18. Lloyd's paint & glass
    Joined: Nov 16, 2019
    Posts: 2,676

    Lloyd's paint & glass

    Awwww that's sweet that I'm a kid! 4 years from retirement, 3 wives, 4 kids, enough hair on my nuts to weave a rug, seen 2 worlds fairs, and one goat raped! And that's just so far lmao! I refuse to be old :D
  19. I'd love to build one to race.. might be incentive to get off my ass and move to SEGA country.
    31hotrodguy likes this.
  20. 4tford
    Joined: Aug 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,673


    I never quite understood the classes at the track. My car was 55 ford that ran stock class and my buddies car ran F/HR 54 ford 312 engine only non stock on the car and my other buddy ran D/Gas with 55 chevy 283 fuelie. This was all back in 1962 Detroit dragway.
  21. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,143

    Marty Strode

    Gas class cars in the 60's ran the gamut as far body styles and build quality, from Dave Koffel's Packard to John Mazmanian's Willys. Here in Oregon, a couple of my favorite C/G cars were Jim Hoxit's 34 coupe, and Gary Parham and Steve Doane's 55. Gary and Steve built 3 cars, the last one had a stretched Willys chassis under it. At the Winternationals one year, Steve laid on his back with a tape measure, pad and pencil, under the Stone-Woods-Cook Willys taking down dimensions. He simply added some length to the middle. When the Gasser craze heated up some time back, a friend of mine wanted to build one, as he was inspired by Gary and Steve's "Undertaker" in the 60's, he had me do the chassis. As everything he does, it had the fit and finish of something "Big John" would have built. goofin noff 6.jpg Gary and Steve 1.jpg Parham and Doane.jpg CG2.jpg
    Tman, KiWinUS, 4tford and 9 others like this.
  22. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,479


    I grew up at Lion's in the sixties watching SWC, Mazmanian, C&O, Jr Thompson and the rest. C&O Hydro was just a short bike ride away so I lurked there every chance I got. I have always had a love of gas coupes and sedans and preferred the gassers as they were when street equipment was required. I finally got a chance to build one, a '40 Willys pickup, but before I could complete it an authentic mid-'60s Austin gasser became available nearby. It needs some updates to be raced safely but it's a perfect example of what I loved about gassers when I was a kid. (and yep, there's a 6-71 under the scoop it's just missing the Hilborns)
    Nebraska(?) 1964:
    1 Austin.jpg
    Northern California: 2020:
    RJshots (7).JPG
    Tman, Gasser 57, KiWinUS and 11 others like this.
  23. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,261


    Yeah well...............
    You ain't lived until you've seen Gene Cromer's 41 Willys stood-up on the rear bumper! AND an altered wheel based 427 Falcon with his on the bumper TOO! All of this on a little narrow-ass drag strip that the finish line was UP at the top of the hill. ....
    Sometimes he was classified as A/G if there weren't enough other cars there.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2020
    Elcohaulic, Deuces and chryslerfan55 like this.
  24. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,479


    ^^^^ You're right^^^^
    I wish Quain would bring a bunch of them out to the CHRR in Bakersfield some time, I'm sure folks there would love to see some of that wheel standing, gear jamming action. The East Coast Gassers or whoever they were came out a few years ago and put on a helluva show.
    chryslerfan55 and 41 GMC K-18 like this.
  25. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,761

    from oregon

    Bob, could you repeat that IN CAPITAL LETTERS!
    They havent been hearing me.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  26. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,479


    LOL. It's a tough sell.... it's a long way to tow just to get caught up in the NHRA race process.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  27. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,143

    Marty Strode

    Bob, That was 2016, I had a little reunion with my favorite Gasser. They did put on a GREAT show. Bizio @ Bakersfield 2016 #2.jpg
  28. Those are real 'gasser' front wheels.;)
    1933_willys_77 likes this.
  29. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,962

    from Ks

    Who is that guy?:D
  30. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,873


    upload_2020-8-22_4-16-38.png Looks Can Be Deceiving…


    There was always a conflict with the “up in the air” gas coupes,sedans, and trucks. The top Gas Coupe and Sedan racers were all filmed with the nose in the air due to the fact that the engine power sent tons of horsepower back to the rear wheels. Most of the top gas coupes and sedans were built level and the power in acceleration raised the front ends. Someone got the idea that if the nose were raised, more power would go to the rear. It was never proven that it worked, as the nay sayers laughed and told of… “ the nose in the air to come on down to the ground for a party given by the front wheels.” Ha!
    upload_2020-8-22_4-17-14.png upload_2020-8-22_4-17-26.png
    As unusual and odd nose in the air seem to cause more air under the car and by definition, more restrictions in air flow. It had nothing to do with power. A lot of racers added weight over the rear axles to give better traction. But, it came down to pure power to raise the front end during acceleration. So, the photo looks good, but the results speak for themselves.
    upload_2020-8-22_4-17-59.png upload_2020-8-22_4-18-40.png B/GS winner
    There is no doubt that "up in the air" was a fad that made no difference at the drag strip. other than causing wheel stands that automatically loses the elimination round. The look for the street of "up in the air" just made those with no knowledge of drag race cars, look in wonder at the creation cruising down the street.


    We wonder why the funny cars and top fuelers of today did not adhere to the “up in the air” fad… Back in those early days the Gas Coupe competition was phased out leading to the mixture of classes and finally disappearing all together. Time marches backwards…


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