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Technical Question for the elders, those who were there.

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by gimpyshotrods, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,138


    I have a terminology question.

    My elders passed on to me a term for an LSR car, built out of a military surplus drop fuel tank.

    What they imparted was: belly tank lakester, or belly tank.

    Lately, I have been seeing and hearing people call them "tankers".

    Is this a thing? Was this a thing?
  2. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 2,057


    Sounds doubtful to me, I don't recall that being used in my 60+ years of reading about hot rodding. I suspect the origin of that usage may stem from the same guys that will tag just about anything with the term "gasser".
    saltracer219 likes this.
  3. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,531

    jimmy six

    They will always be "tanks" and not "ers" to me and my first personal LSR experience was in 1974. Others here have where the "er" word was used in the 50's but I won't... It's just like the word "dizzy" for distributor. There were no Dizzys in America in the 40-50's except Dizzy Dean the baseball pitcher/announcer.
  4. 'Back in the day', I always saw them referred to as belly tanks or just plain lakesters...
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  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,172



  6. Not an elder .... 47 years old .... but people order "jaymo" instead of Jameson Irish whiskey, & "dos" instead of Dos Equis beer. Grates my nerves.

    Actually busted out a bartender book for the jaymo sh#t. Then asked "two of what?" for the clown that wanted "a dos".

    I can only imagine tanker being another revisionist, made up, crap, slang word ... force fed to us all.

    Friggin' punks.
  7. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 846


  8. 47streetrodder
    Joined: Oct 27, 2007
    Posts: 30


    My Hot Rod addiction started about 1965. Never heard the terms "tanker" or "dizzy" until recently.
    jimgoetz, Hnstray, loudbang and 2 others like this.
  9. andydodge
    Joined: Sep 28, 2008
    Posts: 879


    47......I agree about the "tanker" term, always been "tank" for me but here in Oz "dissy or dizzy" has been a slang term for distributor for as long as I've been playing with cars.........around, andyd
    Outback, 35desoto and X38 like this.
  10. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 846


    In 1969 when I was 19, I had a mentor in the ways of racin, drinkin and
    general hell raising! He was a Cherokee Indian from the South Eastern
    territories of the Carolinas, Alabama, Georgia and others. At the time Big Bill was 45 years of age. He shared with me tales of building, driving and racing"Tankers." In the South that referred to illegal liquor haulers! Of which he was quite familiar with. Ah the wonderful times I spend and lessons I absorbed from a mentor who was truly "there."
  11. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,718


    Like JD, I always heard them called "Tanks". But I have seen them called "Tankers" in some old books. They were called "Drop Tanks" "Belly Tanks" or "Tip Tanks" in the service. Not Tankers. Those were ships or trucks that were bulk haulers.
  12. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,064

    from Zoar, Ohio

    Millennial jargon.
    I believe the smartphone texting started it all.
    They are always looking for a quick way to convey their message.
    46international likes this.
  13. hdman6465
    Joined: Jul 5, 2009
    Posts: 641


    RichFox is correct in his interpretation. I am 71, and have been around this stuff AWHILE.
    i.rant and deucemac like this.
  14. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,498

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Willys..hmm, where I'm from (PNW) growing up, they were always pronounced Willeaze, not Willis.
    I guess it'll always be open for debate.
  15. cheap-n-dirty
    Joined: Jan 28, 2002
    Posts: 649


    my belly tank. my first time on the salt was in 1968 and at that time all the old guy from the first years called them belly tanks.
    belly tank-79.jpg AUG 66 (9).jpg scottys-muffler-service-tanker.jpg
    Rex_A_Lott, Outback, jimgoetz and 7 others like this.
  16. Nacifan
    Joined: May 19, 2011
    Posts: 32


  17. Nacifan
    Joined: May 19, 2011
    Posts: 32


    I found this picture here on the hamb. As I understand it's from 51' 52' or so. Some guys back in the day may have called them "Tankers" I like Belly Tanks They bw11large.jpg now run in the SCTA's "Lakster" classes
    loudbang likes this.
  18. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,037


    Only tankers I've heard of (in the automotive sense) referred to souped-up likker hauler of the day, or a 36ga. fuel tank Corvette.
    saltracer219 and loudbang like this.
  19. quick85
    Joined: Feb 23, 2014
    Posts: 1,598


    I'm a baby boomer. They were and will always be belly tanks to me.
  20. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,718


    Actually, if you go back to the really old days, Pretty much everybody ran roadsters. Roadsters that were cut down to be really low, were Modified roadsters. Modified Roadsters that were sectioned down the center to make a very narrow, low single seat car were called Streamliners. When real streamliners came along the narrow roadsters, champ cars and tanks became "Lakesters. Today. for some reason, you can't run a narrow roadster as a lakester. You can't run it at all. I don't know why.
  21. krusty40
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 817


    1) I've heard of WWII US Army armored crewmen called tankers (by other than other armored branch personnel. 2) I have heard bootlegger vehicles hauling bulk moonshine (as opposed to quart or gallon packaging) referred to as tankers.

    LSR vehicle are TANKS.

    loudbang likes this.
  22. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 25,772


    Until I read this thread "tankers" referred to Southern Moonshine haulers, hopped up Ford Flatheads that were the basic start of NASCAR. Dry Lakes and Bonneville race cars were drop tanks, or tanks.

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  23. My roddin days started in the '50's. Never heard of a tanker, a dizzy or a tranny. Them things you shifted were gearboxes, or just plain boxes. If it shifted itself, it was a slush box.
  24. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 2,205

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

    Sounds more like someone is trying to make a new name for something to make it cool to them.

    Sent from my SM-G930T using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  25. Same to me. I started following LSR when I was about 9, in 1964. I had read a book about the Arfons Green Monster, the school library also had one on Don Garlits.
    quick85 and loudbang like this.
  26. razoo lew
    Joined: Apr 11, 2017
    Posts: 272

    razoo lew
    from Calgary

    Not tankers. Ever.
    williebill and loudbang like this.
  27. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 4,060

    from Central IL

    My dad owns the Ardun from this car, He’s one of those “old guys”
    Outback, 31hotrodguy and loudbang like this.
  28. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,138


    I did ask the last guy who said it "how many gallons", even though I knew what he was getting at.
    loudbang likes this.
  29. Boodlum
    Joined: Dec 19, 2007
    Posts: 127


    "Tankers" were Corvettes. Usually referred to as 1963 and later C2 Z06 cars with 36.5 gallon fuel tank but there were earlier C1 cars with big tanks. In 1961 my friend Bill Fritts rented Augie Pabst's 1960 tanker, tuned it for speed on the straight highway between Midland and Lubbock TX, took it to Sebring and won the GT class. First time a Corvette won GT at Sebring. The River Rat Road Racers.

    ETA: After the "airbox" Corvettes came the "tankers". Both highly desirable.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
    wingnutz, Outback and loudbang like this.
  30. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 5,850

    seb fontana
    from ct

    So I guess "Tankster" was a never...
    Outback, 31hotrodguy and loudbang like this.

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