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Hot Rods Heritage Gas: Traditional Gasser Classes and Racing

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Don Moyer, Jul 18, 2017.


do you have any interest in Heritage Gas

Poll closed Aug 17, 2017.
  1. yes

    54 vote(s)
  2. no

    43 vote(s)
  1. For those that don't know Don Moyer, I am the race director for Gasser Magazine and now the Webmaster for Gasser Madness. We are about to embark on a project that is intended to bring the Gasser world together and make a sanctioning body for racers and fans alike. Our first step is to develop a true period correct class that will take the fans back in time. Heritage Gas.

    Heritage Gas will be based on the 1965 NHRA rule book. All gas class rules will be followed from that year. For the purity of this class, all cars and parts involved must be manufactured before 1965! The reason for this goes to the depth of our definition of a gasser. Tires were not up to the task back then and racers tried to figure out combinations that worked. The most commonly associated modification with Gassers was raising the front end for weight transfer for more bite on the drive wheels. Tires have always been the limiting factor when it comes to racing. In the middle of 1965 the wrinkle wall slick was introduced changing everything. It would be impossible to try to re-create the Gasser Wars on modern slicks. That is the number one reason why we chose 1964 as our cut off year. The 1965 rule book was chosen because racers would build their cars for the next season, ensuring that they would conform to the rules and could run the class they wanted! Many other reasons were also taken into consideration and the early to mid-1960’s seemed to be the most popular era. With “era correct” being the new catch phrase, we wanted to get it right!

    We will begin with some basic rules here, and will update continuously on the Gasser Madness web site. All rules are as stated in the 1965 NHRA rule book unless noted amendments here:

    Engine: Must be OEM dated coded 1964 or earlier (All engine components)! Internal modifications can only be that of what was available in 1964 or earlier. Proof of era correct modification is required and the responsibility of the owner/operator.

    Suspension: The use of heim ends prohibited. Strict adherence to “full production-type suspension” and must be from US production vehicles. NO exotic sports car type suspension allowed.

    Rear Axle: Must be era correct and not modified in width. Aftermarket axles, gears, spools/posi units, universal joints and yoks are permitted.

    Transmission: Must be OEM date coded 1964 or earlier. Internals must also conform to the 1964 rule and either be original or exact copies of such. Automatic transmissions may only be modified per 1964 technology.

    Wheels & Tires: No wheels can be wider than 10 inch. No diameter greater than 16 inch. Tires must be of Pie Crust design and have a hard compound. Front runners must also be of reproduction style conformant of 1964.

    Vehicle Appearance: All vehicles must look like they came from a time capsule from 1964. Lettering must be hand painted. No vinyl graphics. No Stickers. No Corporate Sponsor’s name on vehicle. Hood scoops must be from 1964 or reproduction of such.

    Safety Equipment: All vehicles must conform to current NHRA safety equipment required for drag racing. Roll bars, Helmets, wheel studs, blow proof bell housings etc. must meet current Safety Standards. NO Exceptions! SAFETY FIRST! Engine diaper is highly recommended.

    Fuel: Gasoline only! Must be pump gas or racing gas from drag strip. NO Additives.

    Heritage Gas is one third of our focus. Over the next couple of months we will write a complete rule book that will cover all three classes of Gassers. The other 2 being Nostalgia Gas and Competition Gas. The Gasser Madness site is now under construction, and will be instrumental in all things Gasser upon completion. Thanks for taking the time to look this over and I encourage your input!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  2. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 5,487


    This is going to be awesome! If I had the money, I'd build a second car that would fit.
    I understand this is early, but wondering how strict the date is. Examples: gauges, shifters, seats, braided steel lines/fittings, aluminum radiators.
    The date thing on blocks, heads and trannys will be hurdle. Only the earliest Muncie 4 speeds would fit, '63-64, so 90% of those produced, and no M22s could be used. No big block Chevies, 426 Hemis, Double Pumper Holleys Cal Custom anything,.... Wow!
    NOT bitching!! Much respect to you, Don, as well as those who will be able to build to the class. It's going to be like time travel.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  3. Your correct, this won't be for everyone, and it will take some time to build. Reproduction SW gauges are readily available. Same with shifters and seats. Metal lines and hose clamps are easy. Correct, no aluminum radiators, M22's, Big Block Chevies, 426 Hemi,s, Double Pumpers etc....
    els, neighborkidswillys and loudbang like this.
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  5. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 2,955


    Date coded engine, transmissions, and rears? Vintage type only internals? That is going to get expensive real quick.
  6. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 3,679


    Copy cat is the greatest form of flattery . Trying to one up the Southeast Gassers by going back a few years in the rule book?
    Look's like a small block Chevy ,Ford toploader combo. In the higher class a 427 FE with a top loader should be a good choice.
    It leaves me out because if I didn't narrow the rear end for my Morris Minor the tires would be a foot outside of the fenderwells even if I could find one of the earliest rear ends.
    My 302 Ford is too new and I am not changing, because of the bellhousing bolt pattern on the older blocks.
    Good luck with your deal. Not for me at this point in my build.
    Does this mean 4 wheel drum brakes ?
  7. Ford Freak
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 826

    Ford Freak

    I like this !
    els, loudbang and Don Moyer like this.
  8. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,895


    Don I am a fan of both you and your idea. Will be interesting to see where it goes. Are you a fan of headaches? Whatever I would pay to watch the cars run. Some of the parts on some of our shelves that we discarded for newer stuff may live another day. Good luck.
    RICH B, els, Doctorterry and 2 others like this.
  9. mohead1
    Joined: Jan 18, 2013
    Posts: 557


    Good luck.....unless u have a lot of money......

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    els, papadaddio and loudbang like this.
  10. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 5,487


    Southerncross - Morris minor allowable by '65? U.S manufactured only until a certain date, unsure...
    els and loudbang like this.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,008


    Without a full tear down how will we know that H-beam rods aren't used? Modern roller cams? What's to stop all this old shit from grenading at 1/2 track and shutting down the show, or worse yet the racer's future? Please don't think I'm just taking a dickhead approach here, just playing devil's advocate. From the pits, racer to racer, I could care less if my competitor has a 78 block in his car so he can have nickel iron and 4 bolt mains for security. Heads? Well I guess I can get my arms around a few weeks of porting to make an old head work. The ironic element is all the modern safety equipment required to muller up the looks to those who really know the old stuff. Fans don't know if it's an old HEMI trans or Doug Nash from the grandstands, right? I can see not having a Lenco or modern Liberty in there but there's enough compromise to keep it real and help it grow. As a lifetime restoration shop owner I get it. I know what the general idea is but maybe some of this date-coded thing has to be tempered. I'm sure some involved in this have had the thoughts meander through their minds, maybe yours too, just tossing it out there. Last summer I installed a set of Carillo rods in a Duesenberg. From the driver's seat to the concours show field, NOBODY can tell that's been done and now the worry of a broken rod and windowed unobtainium block is gone. Yet here we want to purposely abuse some old parts to put on a show and risk the same. I could see tossing a 55 Chevy together with a small block and period stuff throughout, hitting the lower classes with it, keeping the roll bar simple. But a full zoot Willys with a blown Olds or HEMI that's full of old metalurgy and decades old stresses? Hmm, sounds like a short line to be in, not to mention the cost of some things as mentioned above. Not for everyone is right, but how bad is it to catch up just a little bit? For safety's sake? For longevity of the program? To get more racers involved? All good things I think, and agian, in many instances only the most hardcore would know and I think few if any would give a rip.
  12. Don't @Dog_Patch me :p my stuff is still blowing up with modern internals - a 392 stock push rods and springs will drop a valve about 6000 rpm, which is where I drop the clutch, so this sounds like a TROG type deal - looks cool if you take B/W photos, not doing too many wheelies on a stock 1965 clutch and rear.
    dirty old man, clem, els and 4 others like this.
  13. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 45,813


    It's a neat idea. Of course it will escalate because many guys are competitive.

    I don't see how you can bring the gasser world together by starting a series that no one has a car that will fit into it.

    I built a car that is off in it's own little world....a mostly period correct 1966 AWB match race type, only streetable. And I have a lot of fun with it.
  14. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,146


    Great deal. Looks like I could run my 63 Impala. Nostalgia is where its at. Look how successful the NHRA Hot Rod Reunions have been.

    els, loudbang and Don Moyer like this.
  15. carryallman
    Joined: Jan 5, 2009
    Posts: 399


    the problem i see is dated blocks ?? also the wheel deal is getting expensive ! wish they would allow super tricks in ! the pie crusts ???? i love gassers BUT i tend to think "scotts rods " type of racer is neater ! i raced in the late gasser days -with the super trick wheels -aftermarket -beefed -modified 4& 5 speeds speeds! the straight/dropped axles is neat ! anyways just my 2 cents -lets get more gasser races going
    els, loudbang and Don Moyer like this.
  16. The 65 Rule Book Allowed for Big Block Chevy and the 426 HEMI, but your date code doesn't. Why not just make it 64 across the board then to end confusion?
    And doesn't it just serve to make things more expensive if say I want to run a 327 Chevy but can only use a 62-64 block even tough they made them until 68? Easier to find a later block than an early only and truthfully why not allow a 350 block (same bore) as long as it uses a 3.25" stroke? There's no real performance advantage, but it would save money.
    As for the internals, it's easy to check cubic inches without a tear down, but do you really want to HAVE to do tear downs to find out if a guy is running modern rods, a billet cam, etc.?
    I like where you are going (even though my old Anglia wouldn't fit in as it was built to 68 rules) but I think you need to consider using a "Spirit of the Rules" clause and allow updating where there is no realistic performance advantage (I mean a 64 Top Loader is no different 1975 Top Loader for instance). Are you going to tear down my Top Loader to see that I have a 2.90 first gear instead of the early 2.78?

    I think the rear axle deal should be re thought as well. Trying to find a 57 Ford 9" for the narrowest available has become tough but narrowing a later 4-6" wider one is easy and cheaper in the long run. Why not just set a Minimum width rule instead - then you don't have something looking Non Period correct with the wheels hanging out further than they did back then and still fitting the "Spirit of the Rules"?

    Just some stuff to think about that might make the series easier to police and more fun for everyone involved.
  17. 32viper
    Joined: Jun 3, 2004
    Posts: 277


    Why don't you guys just run with the Quain Scott group and make the whole gasser group bigger?
  18. 37gas
    Joined: May 25, 2013
    Posts: 50


    How about invention only cars, send in picture of your car and you say who's in or not. I don't care what date code your engine or trans is I just want the cars to look like it did back in the day. That will stop all of the mustangs and station wagons that think they have a gasser just because they a tube front axle, and really for true gassers there shouldn't be anything newer than a 57 chevy. 30's 40's 50's coupe and sedans should be the only cars in gas class,I don't care about the stuff I can't see under the car. I'am over seventy and I saw these cars run the first time around. PS no nova's or falcons in gas class they were FX cars back in the day
    gas pumper, II FUNNY, els and 2 others like this.
  19. Copy Cat. Na, the South East Gassers have a good thing going in their area. Many of their cars look the part and have modern parts in them to keep the show moving, great group with some real racing. I would say that the HAMB and The Race of Gentlemen had more influence than anything. Hurst Airheart had disc brakes in 1964 I believe. Remember your car is still able to run at any of our events, probably in Nostalgia Gas.

    Rules state the car must have a minimum stock 92 inch wheel base.
    els and loudbang like this.
  20. I always like and respect your point of view and I am happy that you have chimed in on this! H Beam Rods for example, will not offer much of a performance gain, and will not be delectable in a visual inspection. So as long as they are the correct length, not that big of an issue. The roller camshaft is more of a problem. Performance gains can be great. A radical camshaft will sound just that, and lift can be checked while doing the P & G if suspect. Cast Iron heads only have so much that can be done to them based on 1964 technology.

    Stuff breaks at all levels of racing, this will be no different. New parts can be used but must be identical to what was available in 1964. Safety is paramount. We definitely do not want folks to get hurt. We also want the flexibility to run at any track. As far as the transmissions, the fastest of these normally aspirated cars ran in the high 10's in 1964, so we feel that the lower hp output with old speed equipment technology coupled with old tire technology and suspension technology, they will hold their own. Chrysler came out with the A-833 in the fall of 1963 so there are options. A Dough Nash however would be a performance advantage, and if you give the manual guys an advantage, you also would have to allow a similar advantage to anybody running an automatic. This whole deal is to give the fans a glimpse of what the past was like. Coast should not be too bad because alot of these parts are not in that high demand. Also, the cars by definition must be able to be driven legally on the street, so you are building a dual purpose vehicle. Some folks will go all crazy but in the end it is just a trophy.
    els and loudbang like this.
  21. This is just one class, our events will also have Nostalgia Gas and Competition Gas so most every car that falls into the Gasser category should have a place to compete. We are putting all this together as a sanctioning body with universal rules. You can build your car how you want and use the rules as guidelines as to how you want to use your car. All the different groups have different rules and guys put a ton of money into their car and can't run at some events!
    els and loudbang like this.
  22. smaller date coded blocks will not be hard to find nor expensive. It is always how fast do you want to go! As far as wheels being expensive, run steel wheels! Remember, this is just one class, we cater to all Gassers!
    els and loudbang like this.
  23. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 5,487


    Daydreaming here - Hit Lotto. Buy a '57 150 that's been restored to bone stock, dual quads on the 283. Then start with the tricks. Take the rule book and do everything allowable to the car. Less steps backwards that way.
    Or buy Gman's Impala and go to it!
  24. The date coded thing is gonna kill ya. How are you gonna police a modern cam grind with an old Sig Erson grind number on the end. How you gonna police a Mickey Thompson aluminum rod, from a modern GRP. If you can find an original set of Forged True Pistons, how do you police them from a set of Modern versions. NHRA allows moder piston versions of factory pistons from modern manufactures, after a sample is submitted, and accepted for "Stock Eliminator". This is an arduous task, and your gonna need some man power. It's tough enough to run a Muncie, or T10, but it has to be date coded too! Certain date transmissions that are sought by restorers bring big money. To verify old school engine parts, especially internals, your gonna need some sharp tech guys schooled in the old ways, and you'll have to do major test downs to get it proven. I understand what your trying to do, and it's a nice dream but I don't see ya getting a big turnout any time soon, unless you ease up, and I'd drop the date code think first. Do you know how rare and expensive a set of '64 426 Hemi heads are? It's trouble enough to find good, un-cracked camel back SBC head cores today (461-462-291) but 1964 and earlier just made it even more difficult. Good luck.
  25. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 45,813


    I'm running a pair of 1970 074 heads on my 427....most guys are blown away when the see a snowflake on a head on a car that is actually being run on the dragstrip. I don't recall seeing any others in my travels.

    I like what you're trying to do, but I don't see many takers.
  26. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,185


    Good Luck
    els, loudbang and Don Moyer like this.
  27. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 9,995

    from Missouri

    Just thinking out loud......but after just coming back from the meltdown drags the lanes where packed with Gassers.
    I had plans to build one but now think I will go F/X instead.
    els, Dog_Patch and loudbang like this.
  28. rustednutz
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 1,574

    from tulsa, ok

    First off, I have always been a Gasser fan. I bought an all steel 1941 Willys coupe ex-gasser in 1971 for $100 less engine and trans. I bought a spare 392 stroker Hemi from the guy running the Arby's A/Fuel dragster when he went the 426 Hemi route. Sold the car in 1977 and regretted it immediately. Wanted to build another Gasser and several years ago found a '39 Olds coupe. I have checked various Gasser groups to see what their rule requirements were and no one can agree on anything really. Each bunch has their own ideas as to what a Gasser should be or has to have or not have. They all pick a year to follow to suit their needs, which, I guess, is understandable, however, to please the crowds, most fans don't really know what makes a Gasser. To say that you have to run date coded parts, or you have to run a manual tranny is not realistic to the Gasser spirit. You ran what you could, the best you could afford at the time, the latest "technology" available. Quain's bunch has a good thing, don't get me wrong, but, not every Gasser ran a manual tranny, and certainly not a Hightower or Jerico that most of them are running. My Olds is just sitting now partially finished because there is not a unifying set of rules like NHRA had. I agree that towards the end of the Gas class, the cars were not what I had fallen in love with. So, why not pick a year to go by when the cars still had the look but were allowed the latest safety, brake, and trans technology. My 2 1/2 cents worth.
  29. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 45,813


    pick a year, build it to suit the NHRA rules for that year, and have fun with it.

    You have figured out what's really going on. Don't let it get you with it.
  30. While I really like this idea my 65 casting 283 and 69 casting T10 won't cut it. Pretty sure guy's didn't stick a stock width Olds rear axle under an Anglia. Wish you well Don.

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