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Projects My '55 gasser build

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by johnk320, May 27, 2013.

  1. johnk320
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 329

    johnk320
    Member
    from Erie PA

    This thread is where I'll document my 55 Chevy gasser build.

    I've had a dream of building a gasser since I was a kid in the mid-60's. Coming from that era, though, I liked 'em all: The Willys, Henry-Js, tri-fives, 39/40 Fords, etc. While I was never sure what kind I wanted to build, I've had many, many years to figure it out. All I knew was I wanted something that was different from the "run of the mill" gasser.

    A few years back, I was paging through "50 years of Rod and Custom" and was stopped dead in my tracks when I saw "my" 55. It was just what I wanted to make mine "different." A '55 with a Model A front axel!

    Long story short.... I met the guy who owned the "Flash Gasser" and took a few of his styling cues for my own.

    My theme is to build a gasser like a 20 year old kid would have done in the mid-60s. A car he would have driven around town during the week and raced at the local strip on the weekends.

    I started with the engine: a buddy was selling a bare 327 block along with a complete Hilborn MFI system for a small block Chevy. I had the block bored 0.030" over and decked. I wanted an Isky 505 cam and ended up getting a Comp cam with 502 lift - close enough.

    I've watched ebay and craig's list for years waiting for just the right vehicle to purchase. I just found it recently on ebay. Now I'm just waiting for the shipper to pick it up. I'm attaching a pic from ebay and will post more once I take delivery.

    Stick with me over the next couple years while I document my build.....
     

    Attached Files:

  2. USA Tires Sign Joe
    Joined: Aug 13, 2006
    Posts: 1,072

    USA Tires Sign Joe
    Member
    from Western NJ

    Look forward to seeing the transformation, maybe a transverse front spring is in order?
     
  3. Jay Tyrrell
    Joined: Dec 9, 2007
    Posts: 1,631

    Jay Tyrrell
    Member

    Will be interesting to follow your thread!
    Jay
     
  4. Butch M
    Joined: Oct 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,523

    Butch M
    Member

    Can't wait sounds like it's going be cool
     
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  5. Fogger
    Joined: Aug 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,483

    Fogger
    Member

    50 years ago I built my '55 Chevy Gasser, search White Lightnin' for details. Olds/Pontiac rear axle, 5.56 gears with the small block, Muncie 4-speed, 327 with a Chet Herbert #70 roller, Mondello heads and a Edelbrock ram log and a straight axle with Willy's spindles. I learned more on that build than any car since, seemed to do everything 3 times. But it was lots of fun and wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
     
  6. 55 gasser pickup
    Joined: Dec 17, 2010
    Posts: 479

    55 gasser pickup
    Member
    from utah

    Subscribed.I am very intrested in the transverse spring front end.my dad had one in his 57 150 before I was born.if I do a strait axle that's how my 56 will be done.
     
  7. dblgun
    Joined: Oct 24, 2009
    Posts: 348

    dblgun
    Member

    I'm watching
     
  8. lawman
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,666

    lawman
    Member

    Nice start !!! Please keep posting.
     
  9. Ga55er
    Joined: Aug 6, 2010
    Posts: 73

    Ga55er
    Member
    from Texas

    Did you get this car from Texas? Cause I swear I saw it a Pate swap meet. Almost called on it until I saw the radii. I'm a square fender well man. Damn nice car though. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1369778217.733605.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1369778382.998913.jpg
     
  10. truckjunky24
    Joined: Jan 18, 2008
    Posts: 176

    truckjunky24
    Member

    Watching!!! pictures,pictures!!!
     
  11. johnk320
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 329

    johnk320
    Member
    from Erie PA

    You got it, Joe! Stay tuned...
     
  12. johnk320
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 329

    johnk320
    Member
    from Erie PA

    Texas indeed! Coming to me from Ft Worth! Was put on the truck today. Should have it Thursday!
     
  13. johnk320
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 329

    johnk320
    Member
    from Erie PA

    Fogger,

    Olds/Ponch rear is on the list but I am thinking 4.88s so I can drive it on the street.
     
  14. Ga55er
    Joined: Aug 6, 2010
    Posts: 73

    Ga55er
    Member
    from Texas

    That's the one! Crazy. Well, buying sight unseen is always scary. At least you know someone else put eyes on it and would have bought it. AND I can tell you that it made it out under it's own power 'cause it was in the parking lot where I saw it.

    Watching for updates!!
     
  15. johnk320
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 329

    johnk320
    Member
    from Erie PA

    Wow! That's one for the small world department, huh? We both have good taste in cars! I'll post more when I have a chance to go over it stem to stern.
     
  16. jophus
    Joined: Jan 3, 2012
    Posts: 101

    jophus
    Member

    Waiting for pics.
     
  17. johnk320
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 329

    johnk320
    Member
    from Erie PA

    Thanks for your interest in my thread! I haven't abandoned this thread! Been real busy with work and life!

    When I have had time to play with it, I'm thinking this car was a former show car. The reason is that underneath the red oxide primer exterior and in the trunk there is blue metalflake paint. Also, the diamond tufted upholstery also appears in the trunk. There is chrome - LOTS of chrome - in the passenger compartment (door/window trim, glove box, kick panel vents), and under the hood (A-arms, rad support, inner fenders, hood hinges). I'll be starting another thread on the HAMB to see if I can find history on this car.

    I actually have some time off this week so after I finish my chores I'll post some pics.

    The one thing I have decided is to use the 700R4 tranny I have in my garage with a '57 Poncho rear end with 4.33s. The gearing in the 700R4 will get me out of the hole quickly but the OD gear will tame it a bit on the highway.

    Stay tuned.....
     
  18. SuRfAcE_RuSt
    Joined: Sep 22, 2010
    Posts: 594

    SuRfAcE_RuSt
    Member

    Looky here, I'll definitely be watching this build. Former show car? Nah, more like a disaster from the 1980's.. The flames looked like they were taped off by a 5 year old. Sanded that shit off in a heart beat.. Car really needed some slots and white wall cheaters on the rear.. would of really made it come alive. Good luck with the build
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
  19. johnk320
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 329

    johnk320
    Member
    from Erie PA

    HOLY CRAP!!!!

    That's it!!!!!

    Was this your car? Your avatar is in the rear window!!!! Do you have more pics? What else can you tell me about it?

    No slots but Torq Thrust and yea, it will have ww cheaters!
     
  20. johnk320
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 329

    johnk320
    Member
    from Erie PA

    BTW... I'm going to leave your sticker in the back window.
     
  21. SuRfAcE_RuSt
    Joined: Sep 22, 2010
    Posts: 594

    SuRfAcE_RuSt
    Member

    You bought it off my dad. Basically the only thing we did to it was get rid of the old paint job and doll it up a bit. We had other projects going on and didnt have time to dive into it deeper. It was a good car.. underneath the blue paint was a pink and purple paint job with yellow pinstripes! HA! Who ever owned this car way back when had some bad taste in paint :rolleyes:
     
  22. SuRfAcE_RuSt
    Joined: Sep 22, 2010
    Posts: 594

    SuRfAcE_RuSt
    Member

    Had this going on when we put the 55 up for sale. A little 60's style street freak we did. Not sure if you saw it or not. Had a gold flake roof and dash..

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  23. johnk320
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 329

    johnk320
    Member
    from Erie PA

    Nope! Sure didn't see that one! So is your dad Jerry L.?

    When I first got it I was going to replace the buckets with a bench but then I figured out those buckets are like '65 Impala SS buckets and they would fit my theme just fine so I'm going to keep them. Just trying to figure out what I want to do with the interior.
     
  24. johnk320
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 329

    johnk320
    Member
    from Erie PA

    The first car I remember my parents having was a shadow gray/ivory white '55 so that's how I'm going to paint mine. There are just too many primer gray and flat black '55s around. Not that those aren't cool. I just want to do mine like my parent's car.

    I already have a set of hand made ladder bars from a car back in the day that I'm going to use. The wheel well lips will go and the radius increased up to the bottom of the side trim. I'll take off most of the chrome, shine it up and sell it. the battery will be relocated to its original position under the hood. I also am debating on removing the stock grill and using a '54 'vette grill. Besides the ww cheaters, I'll be putting wws up front. Over the winter i'll be laying out the model a front end. So those are some of my plans so far.

    Better get back to work now....
     
  25. maddog1949
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 50

    maddog1949
    Member

  26. Christom
    Joined: Nov 3, 2011
    Posts: 217

    Christom
    Member

    I love these things! Subscribed!
     
  27. johnk320
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 329

    johnk320
    Member
    from Erie PA

    Thanks to all who have subscribed so far! I just finally got the title and registration completed and have put about 12 miles on it!

    I'm in the process of making room in the garage so I can work on it this winter.

    Currently looking for a complete Model A front end (anyone know of any???) that I can lay out underneath the car to line everything up. Will be tackling the interior, side glass and rewire first. Have contacted Bob MacKray to set up my Hilborn mfi for the street and will be sending out the magneto for freshening up.

    Unfortunately, that nasty thing called WORK gets in the way from time to time! :) Stay tuned for more updates!
     
  28. johnk320
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 329

    johnk320
    Member
    from Erie PA

    OK.... I promised pictures and pictures we got!
    This is the starting point. As I make changes in these areas, I'll post the contrasting pictures. I guess I should take some under-the-hood pics, too. Well, stick with me through the process..... It's going to be slow but worth your patience, I promise!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  29. johnk320
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 329

    johnk320
    Member
    from Erie PA

    and a few more pics....
     

    Attached Files:

  30. johnk320
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 329

    johnk320
    Member
    from Erie PA

    I also picked up my Model A axle, wishbone and spring at an estate sale for $70! It needs some cleaning up but is really solid. Pictures to follow.
     

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