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History When did flip front ends start becoming popular?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by II FUNNY, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,825

    II FUNNY
    Member

    I’ve been looking through vintage drag race pictures on George Klass remembers and here, and I’m not seeing as many flip front ends on full bodied drag cars as I figured there would be. When did they start showing up? Removable hoods seem pretty popular, but flip front ends not so much...
     
  2. I don't rightly know the answer. A flip front makes engine bay access much better. However a steel flip front weighs about as much as a stock one. some racers acid dipped the sheet metal to make it thinner & lighter. The fiberglass made a considerable weight saving. and that weight could them be shifted rearward where it helped traction.
     
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  3. IIRC, flip-fronts were fairly rare until the mid-late '60s when fiberglass parts became more readily available. Even then, it was the '70s before they became 'common'.
     
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  4. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 561

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    I remember them more in the late seventies and eighty's..
     
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  5. I recall them becoming popular on Willy gassers. n the late 50s thru the mid 60s, Willy gassers were the fastest, most popular door slammers on the strip. AI Fiberglass, Cal Automotive Fiberglass and a few others started making fiberglass front ends for them and they became the standard. It took off from there I think. The racers at the time went the lift-off route, it is only us modern gasser wannabes who do the tilt-up versions.

    Prock & Howell kinda took it to the limit!!
    Prock-Howell-595x397.jpg
    Boned Dubach & Pisano -66-Nats2Medium.jpg boss hydro 2.jpg Coonrod2.jpg hamberis & Mitchell 3.jpg Littlemans fury1.JPG Merkel tune.jpg ohio george 1.jpg
    Traveler tune.jpg Warren & Miller.jpg
    1-p1March_Meet_sunday_tim_166.jpg
     
  6. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 1,766

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    I bought one for about $100 for my 57 Chev in 68 so they had. Have been real com!on by then. ( This is central il !!!)
     
  7. fitznstartz
    Joined: Nov 28, 2012
    Posts: 16

    fitznstartz
    Member
    from mesa az

    It's not a drag car but I built a tilt front end for my F4. DSC_0014.JPG DSC_0011.JPG
     
  8. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,825

    II FUNNY
    Member

    Thanks for the replies...it seems like a completely removable front was way more common in the early to mid sixties.


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  9. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,498

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    Back in the late sixties, the was a guy in town that raced a 57 ford who built his own tilt front end. He would get the car running great in the pits and then close the hood and head for the strip only to have it die and not start up again. Up goes the tilt front end and he and his crew start checking everything out. They can't find anything wrong and it starts right up. The hood goes back down and again, it only runs for a few seconds and dies. This happens several more tines and finally they give up and are ready to pack up and head home. This young kid about 14-15 years old walks up and starts looking at the car and makes the comment. When you close the hood, doesn't it pinch the gas line off.
     
  10. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 9,841

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    For me personally the answer would be never. :D
     
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  11. The Shift Wizard
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 1,475

    The Shift Wizard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    They never became "popular" until the late 60's when a few fiberglass companies began to sell them ready to go and they were no longer a custom made item. (Naturally, there were always a few custom ones around that the big fiberglass stores didn't stock.) I knew a few hobby racers who bolted stock metal hoods and fenders together to emulate the look of the fiberglass just because they had the parts and didn't have to buy them. In many cases, they didn't even have to paint them. Yes, the "metal" guys got the convenience to repair and tune at the track, even pull engines, but I'm going to say that was secondary to getting the look.
     
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  12. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,825

    II FUNNY
    Member

    I’m not a big fan of how they look, but the ease of working on the car in the pits is definitely a bonus. I’m going for a built to run in 1963 look, so I wanted to make sure before I proceeded to go this route.


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  13. badvolvo
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 371

    badvolvo
    Member

    C5,6,7 fused together, 3 bulging discs, 1 cist in my lower back. I love my flip front end! It's the only way I can work on a fat fendered car.
     
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  14. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,825

    II FUNNY
    Member

    Something along these lines...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Kip, All these pictures are from 1965 to 1967. I cant find any pictures from earlier then that with tilt front ends. Do you have a project to start on now, or are you making plans first? FredHurstA-GasOct1967.jpg Quicksand Harder bros.jpg shake rattle & run @ the beech.jpg Studabaker.JPEG
     
  16. 0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Joined: Nov 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,006

    0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Member

    My uncle had one on his 55 in 1967. A book I have on the gasser wars Shows a lot of cars having them by 63 to 64. Larry
     
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  17. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,825

    II FUNNY
    Member

    I went to the dark side Eric...I picked up a real solid 48 Plymouth coupe...


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  18. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,825

    II FUNNY
    Member

    [​IMG]

    I’m hoping to end up with something along the lines of this one...but this one is powered by a 327 Chevy, and I went dark side completely...mines gonna be RB powered.


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  19. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,825

    II FUNNY
    Member

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    I’m trying my best to not have any parts that weren’t designed before 1963...I’m not going so far as to get date matched parts. I don’t have the time patience or money for that. I am trying to reuse as much of the car and other old parts I’ve gathered. like the rear diff. It’s a Dana 60. They came out in 55 in Ford trucks, but mine is newer...the motor is a 440 from a motorhome, but done correctly most people can’t tell a 440 from a 413. It will have steel wheels all around, and stiff wall rear slicks with bias ply Firestone’s up front. The ladder bars are long...way long like the GB performance 40 Chevy and the Colson and Wood Studebaker. It will also have a quarter elliptical rear suspension like those two cars had. It still has the stock master cylinder (new of course)and I’m running chevy drum brakes up front and stock rear drums too. I flipped the pitman arm to the back and moved the steering box ahead, and it seems like it will work perfectly, so I won’t need to go corvair or something else. It’s not going to be too radical to drive on the street though. I don’t have the money for two cars, so my hot rod will have to do both street and strip.
     
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  20. AH HA! Under cover MOPAR fan exposed!
    All kidding aside that's an awesome start! You have a great eye for what looks period correct and your attention to detail is second to none. I totally understand the street/strip dual purpose car. Both the Valiant and the coupe are street cars first. Keep up the good work and post some progress when you get a chance.
    Dad and I stumbled across this 50 Plymouth on the south side of Chicago a year after picking up the Dodge coupe or it would have been our next project. It was an old drag car that supposedly ran an early Hemi at some point. 1950 plymouth gasser.jpg
     
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  21. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,825

    II FUNNY
    Member

    I’ve always respected Chrysler’s drag race program through the 60’s and 70’s , so I guess I’m a closet mopar fan.lol


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  22. What plans do you have for induction? Any factory cross ram short or long would look the part, but no doubt be pricey. An in line dual quad intake could get the job done cheaper and still have the vibe your looking for. Are you going with a Torqueflite or manual? A push button shifter would be killer in there.
     
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  23. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,825

    II FUNNY
    Member

    I have an edelbrock in-line dual quad and a 727...eventually a manual trans would be nice, but I have the auto already...


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  24. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,825

    II FUNNY
    Member

    Going for this look...

    [​IMG]
     
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  25. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 5,924

    seb fontana
    Member
    from ct

    I made the fiberglass nose for my shoebox in 1976 because I didn't want to cut the steel fenders for it to tilt..Made a mold off the original nose and had a boat manufacturer lay up the mold..I did all the finish work; inner frame structure, etc..42 years old this month..To me a necessity when you set the engine back the allowable 10%
     

    Attached Files:

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  26. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,825

    II FUNNY
    Member

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I already made the parts to make mine tilt, and they’re installed. I figure on leaving it, and bolting the fenders on. That way if I need to do serious work a few bolts and I can get to everything easy. My engine is back 7%. That is a far as I could go and keep the stock pedal assembly and also abide by the maximum seat relocation of 4” as per the gas rules.
     
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  27. II FUNNY
    Joined: Jul 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,825

    II FUNNY
    Member

    [​IMG]

    Here’s the ladder bars. They’re non adjustable and 84” long. They are way wrong by today’s standards, but they are shorter than the ones on the Colson and Wood Studebaker that was built in 62.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  28. Exactly why I have 2 cars with tilts and one roadster with nothing but a radiator shell up front.
     

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