The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by loudbang, Mar 3, 2016.
Burger & Kroeger
Burkholder Bros Fiat
Burkholder Bros Roadster
The proportions of the Boudakian Bros car always look "just right" to me. That and the quality of finish make it a long time favorite Fiat for me.
LBwayne is going to be running the Rouser at the Meltdown this weekend if you are able to attend.He’s a hell of a great guy.You should definitely say hello if you’re able to attend.
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Oh Shit! Goosebumps.
Yep! Nothing like an injected cammer.....
I love Altereds. There may be someone that loves Altereds more than I do, but don't bet on it.
I was always pissed off at NHRA for doing away with this class, but ya know what, I think that it was not just the NHRA that was responsible, it was also the Altered racers themselves.
Look at this fantastic Fiat Altered in the above photo the "Bad Habit". A totally awesome car. But as I study this photo, I begin to realize how the racers screwed up this class. In essence, this car is not much different from a flip-top, plastic bodied Funny Car, with a shorter wheelbase. I'm sure that I'm going to be brutalized for saying it, but look at this car. It's got a one piece plastic Fiat body and a tube frame instead, of a one piece plastic Mercury Comet body and a tube frame. Although I like the Altered better than the Comet, the newer model car body was destined to stick around and the older body was destined to disappear. It was in the cards, it was the '60's, and Super Stock and Factory Experimental classes were all the rage. It was the age of two out of three match races with "factory" type cars, and NHRA had to make a choice as to what to support at National Events. The factory type race cars could draw in sponsorship from the factories.
The Altereds coupes and sedans and roadsters that I grew up with in the late 1950's and early 1960's did not have tube frames or light weight body panels, let alone one-piece plastic bodies. They were built out of CARS, not custom parts.
Please understand, I'm not knocking the "Bad Habit", it's a magnificent race car, a culmination of the Altered Class, the zenith for the class actually. But in my opinion, it lost some appeal for me personally. And, other classes that NHRA killed off were in the same boat, too. The racers were responsible as much as NHRA was in ending classes like the Gasser Classes and the Street Roadster Classes. Tube frames and plastic bodies did those classes in too, in my opinion. NHRA was apparently okay with racers "high teching" their classes out of existence, they let it happen. In the case of the Altereds, NHRA COULD have said, "you can modify the hell out of the OEM body and OEM frame, but you still need to have them, no full tube frames and no one-piece plastic bodies."
In the beginning, the Altered Classes were OEM cars that had been ALTERED. And then, it turned into you didn't even need an OEM car to start with...
thank you for your opinion.
Interesting idea. Topolino chassis designed for 20 ft-lbs torque.....you could run some beam-bending calcs
but the required mods would leave the original essentially for looks. I miss the 50's 60's innovation where
cars were built at 100-110% of the rules
Hamber George...you been around this sport for quite some time...Evolution...Nothing in this Hobby hasn't evolved...there are certainly things that can be discussed as game changers.
I enjoy looking at all the Go Fast and Custom Movements all converging and influencing each other...It is a large chunk of time even if its cut off...and a Grand Time it was and still is...I will spend my life embracing it.
I really just want to thank you for your reflections and your site where so many visions I have found have led to.
When I raced my Altered, people started with steel bodies and worked with some old Ford or other frame. That was what I liked doing. The class moved away from that for good reasons. And I moved to LSR
George, your info is well founded. It could also be when altereds became so powerful the stock frames couldn't hold it. The same with gassers. Also, the steel bodies were getting scarce. Besides all that, everybody is looking for an edge. Lighter weight and all. I am an altered driver and using 'glass and tube frames is easier to build one in these days. GREAT THREAD
Ever seen a stock,unboxed ‘40 Willys frame?They’re possibly even worse!
We started with one when building my Dad’s coupe,and very quickly decided to just use it to make a pattern,and have the rails plasma cut out of better material at a local shop.
I think both the Willys and the Fiat were built incredibly flimsy both to save cost on materials,and to keep overall vehicle weight extremely low,as both were “economy” cars as sold new.
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they were also built "flimsy" because they did not have any power. The Willys had a flat head four and the Fiat was less than 600 cc's.
And despite George's comments it was not so much that the NHRA killed off the altered and gassers as the classes still existed (and do to this day) and ran in Super, Competition and Modified Eliminator. It was the fans who were responsible as he also noted.
I realize that I'm out of date, out of date with the realities of the times we live in. Last week when I went to Home Depot to pick up something (my flusher crapped out in my crapper), I realized that they sell Work Benches. I ask myself, "Why would anyone buy a work bench? They are easy to make yourself, a few 2x4's, some screws, some bolts, etc., and you have a sturdy work bench." Things I make myself (and I'm no artist, my stuff could rightly be called crude), brings me satisfaction. This is a word that is difficult to define, kind of like pornography. I can't define it but I know it when I see it.
Compare the photo of the "Bad Habit" Fiat Altered to Jazzy Nelson's Fiat Altered. Jazzy's car is an altered Fiat. The same cannot be said of the "Bad Habit". There is not a single part on Jazzy's car that did not come off some factory assembly line at one time or the other (engine parts not withstanding). As much as the "Bad Habit" is a much better car, better designed, better built, and much quicker and faster, I get more satisfaction looking at the photo of Jazzy'z Fiat (and I saw it run numerous times). Being "better" does not by definition mean it is more satisfying. Hiring a company to build a fence around my property may provide for a better fence than I could build myself, but it would be a lot less satisfying for me than building it myself out of used pallets or something....
I have already admitted that I'm out of date. I do have a cell phone but I only use it to talk to people. Texting is not talking in my opinion (it's reading), I don't deal with text messages. I have a computer at home on a desk, I don't think of my cell phone as a computer or as a link to the internet. I don't talk to my computer or compute anything on my cell phone. I find it satisfying to be able to talk to other people. Most of the young people I see in my life can do everything on their cell phones except frying bacon in the morning (maybe there should be an app for that). But the one thing they don't seem to do is to talk to someone else on their cell phone. Pity.
There are a lot of things in my life that are very satisfying, but looking at the new breed of professionally built (with all custom designed parts) race cars is not one of them. Give me a car (hot rod, race car, whatever) that was built by the car owner in their back yard out of cast off parts, that brings me satisfaction every time...
that's why they make Fords and Chevys, and Dodges, and all the others; everyone has a different opinion.
Actually George, Jazzy's Fiat is a comp coupe. But I get your point. What passes for a street roadster in NHRA today is a joke compared to the cars the class was created for. They are basically altered roadsters with less set back and the driver isn't in the center. I think I know what a street roadster is.
Metal body or glass body; stock based frame or tube, the altereds from the beginning up to the late sixties have always been my favorite drag cars. Love this thread and thank all of you who help keep it alive.
Just to be clear, this car is an A/Street Roadster, not an altered.
As you remember, Dean, in the 1950's, we actually had legitimate street roadsters with NO fenders, driving on the streets in California (there was a maximum weight requirement, not to exceed 1500 pounds if I recall). The Street Roadsters racing in NHRA had to be legal "streetable" vehicles. When the class began, all it said about fenders was that they "Must have four fenders, regardless of local requirements for on-the-street operation." I can't blame the racers for showing up with motorcycle fenders. The early rules required bodies be "produced by an automobile manufacturer." Frames were not even mentioned in the early rules. By 1960, the rules required "automobile type frames.", which was kind of vague In my opinion, it got out of hand when NHRA allowed plastic replacement bodies, and looked away when guys showed up with frames fabbed out of 2-inch by 3-inch square tubing. I guess that NHRA did not understand the difference between "automobile frames" and "automobile type frames".
A great class, ruined by the NHRA not putting their foot down and holding firm (or firmer) on the rules. Same issues (in my opinion) was going on in the Gasser section also. The racers pushed the envelope and NHRA looked the other way. I think that they only class in the Street Section that didn't get out of hand was the Modified Sports Car section, since they had almost no real body rules and no frame or chassis rules at all. I'm pretty sure that the Modified Sports Cars were permitted to use plastic bodies and tube frames from the inception of the class in 1960.
To put in their man cave.
When I ran, street roadsters had to have a working charging system, working head and tail lights, a full street legal exhaust system, and 4 wheel brakes. And at NHRA meets inspectors actually checked these things. Cycle fenders were OK, and that didn't matter as I beat plenty of cycle fendered roadsters with my stock Ford fenders. Two things took real roadsters like mine out of the game. The 1967 rules change that dropped the weight from 8 lbs per cu in to 7.5 lbs per cu in., and allowed round tube frames. The only way I could get my car's weight any lighter would have been to remove the exhaust system, charging system, pull out the full upolstery, and go to glass fenders, or cycle fenders. I didn't want to destroy the car as I had built it, so I parked it. A few guys built cars to fit these rules running Ford bodies, but the final blow to the class was the Warren Brogghe built glass bodied, tube framed cars. They were basically altered roadsters with 10% set back, and the driver on the left side. You are right George, basically the same things ruined the gas classes. The age of real street cars being competitive was gone.
In my opinion, drag racing was best when it was still a grass roots sport, when 90% of the racers in the show actually drove the cars to and from the track. There was a perception that went with that, a perception that a guy could drive to the track, enter it in a S/S or Gas Class and have a reasonable chance of going a few rounds, maybe even winning the class. My '62 409 Chevy was pretty good, for a street car, I could hold my own with other S/S street cars at the time. But if I went to The Pond on Sunday and Ronda was there or Proffitt or Dyno Don, well, I stuck my car in one of the Gasser Classes. I just wanted to go rounds. And like you say, after a few years, none of the street cars in the "street car classes" would be able to get through the first round. The "street car classes" were all controlled by out and out race cars that were either towed to the track or hauled back and forth on a trailer...
I get what you are saying George, but it is the American way--if some is good more is better and too much is just about right. Mankind has always been competitive --if one horse will pull my chariot it must be faster with two etc. All forms of auto racing have gone through the same deal. In the beginning NASCAR cars were driven to the track too and now they barely resemble the production cars that they are supposed to represent. I just looked at the offerings in the upcoming auction of a NASCAR team (one of the lesser ones) and the CNC machinery line up is astounding, to say nothing of the parts inventory.
No matter how much the rules makers try to restrict things there will always be someone who finds a way to push the envelope.
All true, Roo. I've never met a racer that did not want to push the rules and read between the lines. And like it or not, some racers just do a better job of it than others. The NHRA Rule Book used to say at one time (and I'm paraphrasing), "If the Rule Book does not specifically say that you can do a particular modification, you are not permitted to do it." If, for instance, in Dean's Street Roadster class, the Rule Book had stated that the car must use the unmodified OEM frame, body, hood, fenders, etc., as delived from the factory, things might have turned out differently. They could have permitted the frame to be strengthened or "boxed" (for safety) and permitted additional cross members to be added if needed. They could have "controlled" the class instead of turning control over to the individual racers.
There was a time when a kid's street driven car was also (or could be) competitive at the drag strip. Guys like Gene Adams and Doug Cook (and many others) raced their street driven cars on the drag strips with good success...
Not to be argumentative or disrespectful, but Rooman has a grasp on the issue.
Look at fuel pumps, the gallonage put out now was not even considered in the 60's.
Look at the tire progress. In the sixties you had retreads (Casler) being used.
As far as compound choices, nobody knew. You left the lights with your hand on the brake to control wheel speed so your didn't turn the tires to snot.
Roll bars are actually safe now, not utilizing exhaust tubing.
4-71, 6-71, 8-71, …. 14-71....
Old Vertex mags were good but mags now can power a small city!
The old days were fun but as we grew, the sport grew.
I'm glad that progress is made...my current house is a lot better than a mud hut.
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