The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by fiftyv8, Jan 19, 2013.
Guess I had one all along just never realised it...
Just need to let that rear end down a little.
I think you need the hood too.
Well said, and they weren't all AA/GS Willys either...
are you kidding??? F$#%king Bad ASS ...need I say more
Gary, that's the car that inspired me to build a similar '55 Chevy gasser in 1971! Mine wasn't tilt frontend, but was a '55 150 business coupe, with chrome straight axle, built 283, M22 4 speed, and Olds rearend, with huge white ladder bars.
Thanks for the picture! Haven't seen the Parham and Doane '55 since the 60's! Wonder where it ended up?
The 40 Chevy in this group is Joe Amato. Top fuel champ in his later years! A&A became Keystone Automotive.
way cool pic's
My brother and I were lucky enough to have owned and raced a D/Gas car in the mid to late '60s. Low dollar, low tech affair, but wow! Two young guys (17 & 21) having the time of their lives. We ran a 301 ci SBC in a '55 Chevy 2dr sedan, stock a-frame suspension, home made flip front end setup, six 2bbls on a crossram manifold, ertex mag, Muncie, stock '55 rear with 5:13 gears and we welded the spiders with our dad's crackerbox welder on the farm. Yes, we did break an axle after going from 7" to 9" slicks. There were some nice gassers where we usually ran, including a couple of Anglias and one or two Willys. We drooled over those cars with their Hilborn setups and nice equipment. We usually ran low 13's and were reallytickled if we broke into the 12's.
Our car had stiff springs in the front to raise it, and we put the rearend on top of the rear leafs to raise it. The car had a nice stance to it, with the nose slightly down. One thing that irritates me about some of the "gasser" builds today is that a person probably could walk under them and do an oil change standing up. They are just stupid high, and look like they would be more at home mud boggin, with the right tires. Most of the faster cars began to drop the nose, as those sky-high front ends too often proved squirrely on the top end.
A side benefit of racing during that time period was that we got to see some real nice early Funny Cars run. Gene Snow brought Rambunctious down to race for the first time after he moved the rear axle up. Never ever will forget the sound of those hemis, and the nitro fumes made us cry like a baby sometimes. Kelly Chadwick ran at the same track, as well as CKC Racing out of San Antonio. CKC stood their Chevy II on the rear bumper twice in the same run one night in a match race. Sparks flew like crazy and it is still the most awesome display I have ever seen in person by a funny car. Oh! To go back and do it again!! But, we are blessed to have done it at all, during part of the gasser glory days.
Thanks for posting your story, it was sure worth the read.
Helps me better understand & feel the passion.
I'll probably regret saying this, but for me, the Gassers died in the same way that the early Funny Cars died...........when they adopted tube frame chassis and all plastic bodies.
I like the Gassers and Funny Cars that had doors and came off the assmebly line...
Jeezuz, I'm old fashioned.
In my opinion, and only speaking as an old fart that first went down a drag strip in 1955 at Santa Ana, this is a Gasser:
And this isn't:
This is a Funny Car in disguise.
This is a Gasser:
And this isn't...
Now, I understand why these guys went in this direction, I just didn't like it and I think it basically destroyed the class.
that is the difference--great examples---txcr13 thank you that is just how it was---you don't often find anyone who ran 13's though a lot of us did---it took me 4 years to go from 14's to 11's and i lost the fun on the way
You're showing examples of the same car re-bodied!
So what you're saying is that the "body style" determines whether or not a car is a "Gasser"???
I posted this before but I guess I can post it again...........
Something killed the gasser class...and it sure wasn't those earlier cars!!!
In the resurgence of the nostalgia gasser classes, you don't see many of the mustangs and other later cars.
Thanks for the kind words, gents. It truly was a blast.
Lots of folks like to brag about what they did, and some justifiably so. In our case, we were just a couple of guys saving our few extra dollars made working in the East Texas oilfields so we could throw them at our '55, which we drug out of the weeds with four flat tires and a tired 6 cyl dead engine. Our first sbc engine had a high tech set of hedders, which was flexible exhaust pipes bent to shape and welded on hedder flanges. The collector was a tall, 2 gallon Sinclair grease can with both ends cut out and brazed to the flex tubing as collectors. I think we paid $25 for them from Pete Porter out of Henderson, Tex who ran a very pretty red Willys B/G. Hey, we had our pride so we painted over "Dino" the Sinclair dinosaur so he couldnt be seen.
We were watching B/G run one night and Pete had his beautiful Willys staged behind another B/G car, which burned out past the tree, then cool guy driver backed up until he was staged. Do you see what's coming?? Tree went green, the car nailed it at about 5-6,000 rpm and shot backward into Pete's Willys, becasue he never tood it out of reverse when he backed into the staging lights!! Made us want to throw up because the Willys was such a pretty car. Just really lucky no one was standing between the cars. By a stroke of luck, I got to see the Willys last year, 42 years after I last saw it at the track! Wow, what a treat!!
Scatter shield?? Of course we had one. But in our case, it started out as a big piece of 1/2" flat metal plate, which we heated up with a rosebud and beat it until it roughly conformed to the shape of the transmission tunnel. We then bolted it in place with a couple of 1/2" bolts and off we went.
Our high dollar, stripped interior had one seat in it. It looked very, very much like the chairs you would see in a laundromat, except with the legs cut to fit the floor of the '55. Thats all I'm sayin' about that seat/chair!! No adjustment you say?? Well, you could scoot up or back in the chair a couple of inches.
We towed our little car about 25 miles to the track. Towed, as in home-made tow bar made from angle iron, flat plate, and a hitch liberated from a boat trailer. We towed it on the slicks, too.
The car was two tone Coral and Gray, if anyone remembers those colors. Faded as can be. We talked a buddy's brother in law into painting our car with single stage red industrial paint. He painted metal storage tanks for a living, but would shoot it for free for us, and we certainly couldn't afford to pay anyone to do it. So, we taped it off best we could and he shot it inside an open metal garage. You couldn't believe how proud we were to see it done. We were grinning like a mule eating briars. The old body was really straight, so it turned out pretty good. We didn't have money for mags, so we cleaned and painted the stock Chevy rims with Rustoleum spray paint. Remember the old Rustoleum that never quite dried? Well that was what we used. Front wheels solid black, rear wheels half black/half white. Looked pretty good (we thought) when we dumped the clutch.
Our dad was pretty good at lettering, and we talked him into lettering the doors for us. He actually got a five gallon bucket to sit on and a pint of black paint and did it under a big oak tree. Momma and Daddy were good about letting us try our wings, but I am still surprised they didn't quash the race car thing early on, especially since we were trying to scrape up enough money to go to college. But again, it was pretty low dollar, and we never asked them for anything for the car. So glad they let us go on with it. We won a few class champ trophies at the local tracks, and got beat by a fender a couple of time for the "money run" a few times.
Well, I think I have overstayed my welcome....better hang up the ink for now.
I don't believe that's what he's saying... I believe he's saying that the Willys he posted were build from cars that were sold off the dealers lot at one point in there life, and later converted into race cars... where as the Mustang's he posted were specially built cars intended for nothing but racing...
I think what Whatdayacare is saying is that the first Mustangs were on the same Willys framerails that the Willys' were on. Same chassis, different body. Because the sponsors were using the class to sell new cars, they wanted the racecars to look new. And I'll agree that that's what killed the class. When gassers started looking like slow funnycars, the class was done.
I'm with Whadayacare on this one. I remember how disappointed I was when those "new look" gasser bodies came out. It just was not the same again, and marked a turn in the gasser era.
Gasser were the best when they were mostly street cars. When you put a 327 in your 55 Chevy, you were no longer a Stock or Super Stocker. You became Gas or M/P. The rules were kind on minimal. When the purpose built cars like SWC came about, they required more rules, even more with fuel. They needed rules, the were fast and scary! It was growth in the sport. Then came those /FX cars which led to the funny cars.
TXCR13: Awesome stories,thanks;"mule eating briars" , cracked me up! As a kid, I couldn`t understand the differance between the gassers and the funny`s;when the transition ocurred (68/69?) What I remember most is what the original gassers sounded like... you just felt it in your bones.
IMO Ohio George ruined the whole thing when he buckled under the pressure of a ford executive who said "we build fords here don't we".
I'm betting it's in the rules.
Well, the frames could not be exactly as they were under the Willys body, unless the Willys had a 108" wheelbase. I do remember that the later model bodies were more in demand in the world of Match Racing than the older bodies.
These were also magnificent Gassers, but for me it was just more of the same "streamlined race car design". Beautiful machines never the less.
I'll add one more, even though it's hard to see, this is Jim Oddy's Opel.
I guess I mostly mean this type of Gasser (I already told you I was an old fuddy duddy).
I mean, when you come right down to it, how is this concept any different than this?
The gassers of the late sixties and early seventies had about as much in common with the gassers of the late fifties and early sixties as a Streetglide HD has with a Panhead HD.
And these new tribute gassers hold about as much interest for me as a V Rods!
I though we were discussing "gassers" in this thread?
Separate names with a comma.