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Hot Rods When did Tunnel Rams first come about?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flatheadpete, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,110

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    I'd like to run a tunnel ram on a small block Chevy and this got me to thinking when they first came to be used. Any ideas?
     
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,913

    squirrel
    Member

  3. bowie
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 2,602

    bowie
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've always heard Ralph Ridgeway pioneered the first box type tunnel ram; the "Ridgerunner" intake. The Ramcharger High& mighty was also similar to a tunnel ram. Not quite sure on the dates, would have to dig into the old mags to pin it down
     
  4. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,935

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    1959

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    volvobrynk and bowie like this.

  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,913

    squirrel
    Member

    If you're going to make your own, you can do whatever you want....but if you're going to buy one and call it traditional, you might think twice.
     
  6. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,156

    sunbeam
    Member

    The first one I saw was a 63 up Corvette fuele manifold with the top plate replaced with one for carbs.
     
    pitman likes this.
  7. elba
    Joined: Feb 9, 2013
    Posts: 623

    elba
    Member

    The slant six is a factory horizontal tunnel ram !
     
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  8. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,028

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    they actually did make a sideways "tunnel ram" for the slant six. I think it was called Hyperpack.. ?? the carb was 2 feet away from the head
     
    Maverick Daddy likes this.
  9. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,110

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    Totally forgot about the High n Mighty car!! As far as making one....no. I'll probably buy one. If I even get to do this. Anyways, thanks for the quick history lesson.
     
  10. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,661

    Larry T
    Member

    If you want to know the history of tunnel rams, you might Google Carroll Caudle too. He was working on them around the same time as Ridgeway.
    And there was a pretty good discussion about them here a few years ago.
     
  11. Andy
    Joined: Nov 17, 2002
    Posts: 4,692

    Andy
    Member

    The ridge runner ram was being used in 64. I made a dual AFB tunnel ram using a 64 FI manifold in 64. I orderd the parts from Chevy. I used it on my 64 Chevy 11 with 327. I don't think anything else was being used. Eldebrock came out with the TR1 about 65 or 66. BIll Thomas had been using dual air horns on FI units used in road racing. That is what got me to try it with the AFB's.
     
  12. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,661

    Larry T
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  13. draggin'GTO
    Joined: Jul 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,760

    draggin'GTO
    Member

    Pontiac would be the first to make a true 'tunnel ram' intake. It appeared on the 1963 13:1 compression 410-HP 421 SD engines, ready to do battle in the 'Stocker Wars'.

    The setup pictured below has the center one-barrel side draft idling carb intact, very rare to see this. The factory soon found it really wasn't needed and blocked off the opening for the center carb with a plate.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. draggin'GTO
    Joined: Jul 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,760

    draggin'GTO
    Member

    In all of its naked glory here's a rare reproduction of the 9772128 'bathtub' tunnel ram intake. Later versions of the factory intakes completely eliminated the holes and mounting pad for the center idling carb.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  15. 36 sled
    Joined: Mar 2, 2015
    Posts: 23

    36 sled
    Member
    from colorado

    does a flathead sling shot manifold count ? I think that would be among the first
     
  16. As much as I don't particularly care for tunnel rams (reminds me of the '70s) I would totally ruin one of those. In fact I am going to have to keep this thread just so I can come back for a reminder incase I decide to build one. ;)

    Most people consider the intake on the old Ram Chargers coupe to be a tunnel ram but it is actually credited with being the forerunner of the long ram intakes from the early '60s.

    I am not absolutely sure but I think that the Edelbrock bread basket was the first commercially marketed tunnel ram.

    So hypothetical question, suppose that you built a tunnel ram but with two separate plenums say one for the front 4 and one for the rear 4 cylinders, would it still be a tunnel ram?
     
  17. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,110

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    This is what I love about the HAMB....Simple question gets you a whole friggin history lesson. Thanks guys.
     
  18. draggin'GTO
    Joined: Jul 7, 2003
    Posts: 1,760

    draggin'GTO
    Member

    Factory installation, 1963 421 Super-Duty Tempest.

    Six Tempest coupes and six Tempest wagons were built with the 421 SD that year, very rare factory race cars.

    Perched on top of the 'Bathtub' tunnel ram were a pair of NASCAR 750 cfm AFB carbs.

    A thing of beauty.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. wheeldog57
    Joined: Dec 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,955

    wheeldog57
    Member

    phil miller from haverhill, ma sold his design for his breadbox tunnel ram to weiand. i dont know the details or dates but there are a couple examples still in the area and they are primitive looking. i believe the first one has to be the one made for the high and mighty though
     
  20. Randy Routt
    Joined: Jan 13, 2013
    Posts: 614

    Randy Routt
    Member

    The Hyper pack was a sideways tuned length runner tunnel ram. Clifford had been making them again a few years ago, using Doug Dutra's molds, I shoulda bought one then.
     
  21. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,961

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    I can't tell you exactly when they came to be, but I can tell you that they are a race designed manifold and operate very poorly on the street.
    Lots of guys will tell you that they work fine, but it just isn't true.
    They do not work well in the idle to mid range where you do most of your street driving.
    Choose a different manifold, you will be much happier.
    And yes, I do speak from practical experience both on the street and from some dyno experiments.
     
  22. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,594

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    55 Chevy hardtop correct, have not heard that name in yeeers, IIRC from Texas.
     
  23. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,661

    Larry T
    Member

    Yes, Blue and white 55 hardtop that ran Modified Production out of Amarillo.
     
  24. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    The early style Crossrams are pretty much that way, m/t put a crossover on his tho. The later crossrams with the removable tops were more of a short version of a crossram
     

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