GASSERS- Vintage Photos

29bowtie

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GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« on: July 16, 2016, 05:31:09 PM »
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2016, 08:00:23 PM »
GIANT KILLER.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2016, 08:02:49 PM »
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2016, 08:04:27 PM »
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2016, 08:05:18 PM »
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2016, 08:07:31 PM »
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2016, 08:09:33 PM »
A/G
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2016, 08:10:53 PM »
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2016, 08:32:12 PM »
It’s a matter of class!

By Byron Stack

One of the most commonly asked questions emailed to my website is something regarding the gasser classes.  It seems that many of the younger fans just don’t understand the classifications…and a lot of us older ones have forgotten a lot.  The letters I have trouble answering are those where the writer clearly doesn’t understand the concept of weight vs. engine size as the determining factor.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame them, it’s just that they’ve never seen anything but indexed or unlimited classes.  The concept of classifying a car without some sort of performance factor is completely alien to them.

Of course that’s about how I felt when attending a dragrace for the first time in 1997 after a 25-year absence…”What’s an index?”

When I decided to write this article, I wasn’t really sure how to go about it.  First of all, I needed real facts.  Heck, I didn’t remember what the class breaks were in 1965.  I didn’t remember which years the classifications changed from A/G to A/GS to AA/G to AA/GS.  Therefore I want to start by thanking Steve Gibbs at the NHRA Motorsports Museum for supplying me with Xeroxed copies of NHRA rule books from 1958 through 1972…although there were a couple of years missing, they gave me the kind of information I needed.

The second problem was just how to organize the information.  I didn’t want to just publish a table with all the numbers on it, I wanted to be able to relate it to something tangible and to provide some sort of continuity.  When Phil Morris suggested that I break the article into sections for publication over a few issues, I had what I needed.  I finally had the barest clue about how to write this thing.  Just a clue, mind you, but a clue, nonetheless.

Keep in mind that all the information here is based on NHRA rules.  While AHRA rules were similar, there were some differences (different weight breaks, etc).  Additionally, many tracks used their own sets of rules based on what was available to race in the local area.

 The Fifties

 First, let’s talk about gassers in the fifties.  Now, to be honest, these cars were a bit before my time.  I was around throughout the fifties, but didn’t “discover” dragracing until the early sixties, so what I do know about fifties gassers is pretty much culled from a 1958 NHRA rulebook (courtesy of Steve Gibbs), a conversation or two with Don Montgomery (author of “Supercharged Gas Coupes & Sedans”), conversations with other racers of the era, and photos and articles of the time. 

Having said that, let’s see what we can uncover about the early gassers.  In what is generally accepted as the first legal drag race ever, in 1949 at Goleta, CA, Tom Cobb’s blown flathead Model A roadster lost to Fran Hernandez’ nitro-burning flathead, fenderless 32 coupe.  Well, no gassers there…but at least the coupe won!  About a year later, on Sunday June 19, 1950, C.J. “Pappy” Hart opened the first legal dragstrip in the nation on an unused runway at Santa Ana, CA.

At first, there were no “classes”.  It was “run what ya brung” in the purest sense.  Interestingly enough, by the way, more often than not, it was a motorcycle winning the top eliminator.  By 1953, some general classes were introduced.  They were pretty loose and included classes like “Pre-War Roadster” and “Post-War Heavy Sedan” among others.  As time progressed, the classes became more formalized.  That was also the year that the NHRA held it’s first drag race at Pomona.  Two years later, in 1955, they held their first national event in Grand Bend, Kansas.

To be truthful, I don’t really have any information about class structures until 1958, so I’m going to have to start there with any kind of specifics.

In 1958, a gas class racer was basically a hot street coupe.  No engine setback was allowed, all gassers had to have working lights, wipers, starter, generator and all other street equipment.  Fans and belts were optional, but radiators were required.  The car even had to be currently licensed for the street.  Full exhaust systems, including mufflers, were required but could be unhooked for competition, although they had to remain on the car.  Those of you who (like me) are old enough will remember “cutouts” that were used back then up into the early to mid 60’s. 

What all this provided for was a class for guys to run a “hopped-up” street machine.  The cars were required to have full “factory-type” upholstery although two buckets could replace the standard bench seat as long as both were fully upholstered.  Customs were allowed as long as the car wasn’t chopped, channeled or sectioned a total of more than four inches.  “Four stock fenders” and a rear bumper were also required.

Full transmissions were required, as were “Quick-change rear-ends, locked differentials or ratchet-type rear-ends (high torque) are permissible with safety hubs.”  Four-wheel brakes were required as well.

There were only five gas classes, classified according to total car weight divided by total engine displacement cubic inches.  Designations were A/G, B/G, C/G, D/G or E/G preceded by car number.  Use of a supercharger moved you up one class.  The breakdowns were as follows:



Class A 0 to 8.99 pounds per cubic inch
Class B 9.00 to 10.99 pounds per cubic inch
Class C 
11.00 to 12.99 pounds per cubic inch
 
Class D 13.00 to 13.99 pounds per cubic inch
Class E 14.00 or more pounds per cubic inch

As you can see, this class was designed for what was basically a modified stocker…much like the later Modified Production classes.

By 1960, the rules had changed significantly.  By then, engine setback of up to 10% was permitted although most of the street equipment rules were still in force.  Since I don’t have access to a 1959 rulebook, I can only surmise that the setback rule took effect first in either 1959 or 1960.

Just by way of providing information for those who aren’t quite sure what “engine setback” means, a 10% setback would allow the engine to be moved back enough so that the forward most sparkplug in the engine could be no further than 10% of the wheelbase behind the front axle centerline.  In other words, if the car had a 100" wheelbase, the front sparkplug must be within 10" of the front axle centerline.

The reason that the setback rule was introduced is reasonably simple.  There was nothing in the rules that required the original engine in the car to be used.  When someone performed an engine swap in a Model A, for instance, chances were that they would have to cut the firewall anyway.  The question then becomes “what is the “stock location” for a flathead V-8 in a Model A?”.  Introducing an engine setback limitation merely provided a level playing field for all competitors.

Next we’ll talk about the “Golden Age” of the gassers, the 1960’s. 


The Sixties

The sixties was a weird decade.  Books ranged from “To Kill A Mockingbird” in 1960 through “Unsafe At Any Speed” in 1965 to “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” in 1967.  Movies were equally eclectic, from “The Sound of Music” and “My Fair Lady”, to “Dr. Strangelove or how I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb”, “The Graduate”, and “Midnight Cowboy”.  President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, TX.  We became mired in Vietnam.  The artificial heart was invented.  We put a man on the moon.  We started off the decade listening to Neil Sedaka, Bobby Darin and Paul Anka on our AM radios and as the decade progressed, we were listening to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones who were eventually joined by Hendrix, Janis, The Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane on FM.  And then there were Woodstock and Altamont, both in 1969.  As I said before, the sixties was a weird decade. 

1960-1963

 The sixties was also the decade that dragracing became the world’s most popular motorsport…and in my opinion, deservedly so.  As the sixties started, the drags were still generally more of a participant than a spectator sport, although that changed rapidly (and, like many other activities, it’s still more fun to take part than it is to watch).  Take a look at the Steve Gibbs photo of Junior Thompson’s Willys at San Gabriel in 1963, and the Doug Peterson photo of Lions in 1960 and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what I’m talking about when I say it wasn’t very spectator oriented.

 1960 was the very first year for the new Supercharged Gas classes.  I don’t have copies of the rulebooks for 1960 or 1961, but the basic rules were unchanged from the late 50’s.  The cars were still required to have full street equipment, including registration and plates.  A maximum engine height of 24” from the ground to the crankshaft centerline was established.  Minimum wheelbase was increased from 86” to 92”. Weight breaks were little changed from what I showed previously with the following exception.  For the 1961 season A/Gas and A/GS classes were changed to provide for a minimum weight of 4.00-lbs./cu. in. from the previous 0.00 minimums.

 1962 was a sort of “sea change” year for the gassers.  As Don Montgomery, in his book “Supercharged Gas Coupes & Sedans” states: “The NHRA rule changes for 1962 were evidence that drag racing had finally accepted the gas coupe/sedan competitors to be serious racers.”   The rules that required full street equipment including mufflers, wipers, horns, generators, emergency brakes, license plates and registration were now gone.  Roll-up side windows were no longer required and could be replaced by Plexiglas windows screwed to the window frame.  They were now real racecars.  The other change, affecting only the A/GS class was the decision to raise the minimum weight to 5.00-lbs./cu. in.  Performances of the blown cars were getting pretty quick.  I still remember reading in Hot Rod Magazine about Stone, Woods & Cook breaking the 10-second “barrier” with a 9.99 at Fremont.  The supercharged gassers were the quickest and fastest full-bodied cars in drag racing.

 There were only a couple of rule changes for 1963.  The first raised the minimum weight for A/GS cars to 6.00-lbs./cu. in. and the second allowed, even though they only had a 90.5” wheelbase, 48-53 Anglias to compete in the unblown classes with small block engines.

 1964 was the start of the “Gasser Wars”.  It was also the first year I ever attended a drag race…and it’s where we’ll start the next installment.


1964-1967

1964 was the first year that I ever attended a drag race, specifically, it was the “First Annual Hot Rod Magazine Drags” at Riverside, CA.  I remember when the meet was first announced in HRM.  I immediately sent in my $4.00 for a 3-day pass (yes, really, $4.00 for a 3-day pass!) and shortly received ticket # 000042.  At Riverside I watched a number of legends win their classes, “Big John” Mazmanian in A/GS, Hugh Tucker in AA/SR, one of my favorites, Les Barath in the “Freedom Fighter” Simca won A/MSP, Manuel Herrera won B/G, Gas Ronda took S/S.  One thing I remember well is that I was immediately hooked for life!

In 1964, the basic rules for Gassers were unchanged from 1963.  As mentioned in the previous segment of this series, many of the rules were changed in 1962 and the Gassers were now much less “dual-purpose” street & strip machines than had been required prior to 1962.  The bodies were required to be “a coupe or sedan body originally produced by an American automobile manufacturer”, with the following exception “There are at present a few foreign coupe and sedan bodied cars that, in general characteristics, better meet the requirements of Gas Coupes/Sedans class better than sports car class.  Provided these car bodies and cars do meet all other class requirements – wheelbase, etc. – these cars are classed according to cubic-inch displacement to weight under this section.” 

As in 62 and 63, the Anglia was restricted to small-block, unblown engines only.

Moderate customizing was permitted, but the total height of the body still couldn’t be reduced more than 4”.  Fiberglass fenders, hoods, doors, and trunk lids were allowed, but their use required the addition of a roll bar which was otherwise only required in the supercharged classes, A/G, and all convertibles or customized classes. Yes, convertibles were permitted in the Gasser classes, but had to run with the top up.

The rules also required the seats to be in the stock location, but they were permitted to be relocated no more that 4” rearward to allow additional legroom.  The other interior rules were subject to a lot of interpretation.  The rules for “Upholstery” read as follows: “Interiors may not be gutted.  Must run full upholstery, equivalent to factory specifications.  Floor mats optional.  Bucket seats may replace stock seats (two required), only if they are fully upholstered.  Rear seats are optional.  Factory type upholstery and/or paneling must be used in lieu of the above.”  So…basically, you could rip out the stock seats and carpeting, replace them with lightweight bucket seats and dump the rear seat.  Sounds like “full upholstery, equivalent to factory specifications” to me…yeah, right.

The class breakdowns were according to the following tables.

Supercharged classes:



A/GS
 
6.00 to 8.99 lbs. per cubic inch
 

B/GS
 
9.00 to 12.59 lbs. per cubic inch             
 

C/GS
 
12.60 or more lbs. per cubic inch
 

 Unsupercharged classes:



A/Gas
 
5.00 to 8.99 lbs. per cubic inch
 

B/Gas
 
9.00 to 10.49 lbs. per cubic inch
 

C/Gas
 
10.50 to 11.49 lbs. per cubic inch
 

D/Gas
 
11.50 to 12.99 lbs. per cubic inch
 

E/Gas
 
13.00 to 14.59 lbs. per cubic inch
 

F/Gas
 
14.60 or more lbs. per cubic inch
 

G/Gas
 
5.00 to 10.99 lbs. per cubic inch
 

H/Gas
 
11.00 or more lbs. per cubic inch
 

G/Gas and H/Gas were for non-supercharged pre-1960 flathead V-8’s, in-line six cylinder and straight eight engines with stock production-type heads and pre-1960 unblown 4-cylinders with any type head.
 

 For 1965, about the only noticeable change in the rules was the addition of a “Batteries” section which required all wet-cell batteries to be located outside the passenger and driver compartment.  The rules also specified that a maximum of 2 passenger car batteries may be used and they couldn’t weigh more than 150 pounds combined.   No more of those 400 pound truck batteries!

Although the rules for NHRA remained the same as far as the Anglia, etc. were concerned, NHRA was NOT the only game in town.  The AHRA had made terrific inroads and, particularly in Southern California, AHRA had no problems with blower motors in the small cars.  Shores & Hess put the first blown small-block Chevy in an Anglia, followed shortly by the Kohler Brothers.  Upping the ante a few weeks later, the Kohlers dropped in a blown big block and were followed a week or two later by Shores & Hess doing the same.  These cars were tremendously popular in Southern California, and the handwriting was on the wall.   Just as an aside, Skip Hess is generally given credit for coining the term “Rat Motor” for the big-block Chevy when he had Jack Burr add that lettering to the scoop on the Shores & Hess Anglia when the big motor was put in the car.

1966 saw a redistribution of the unblown classes as shown in the following table:

 



A/Gas
 
5.00 to 6.99 lbs. per cubic inch
 

B/Gas
 
7.00 to 8.99 lbs. per cubic inch
 

C/Gas
 
9.00 to 10.99 lbs. per cubic inch
 

D/Gas
 
11.00 to 12.99 lbs. per cubic inch
 

E/Gas
 
13.00 to 14.59 lbs. per cubic inch
 

F/Gas
 
 

Unchanged from 1965
 

G/Gas
 

H/Gas
 

 The other change for 1966 was some slight changes in the weight breaks for the supercharged cars, and a redefinition of the classes.  Instead of being known as “A/Gas Supercharged”, for instance, it would now be known as “AA/Gas”.  NHRA’s stated reason was to bring the class designations more in line with the rest of the classes where the double letter (AA, BB, CC) itself designated the class as a supercharged class.

 Though I suppose it seems silly in retrospect, I do recall that this change was NOT popular among the racers of these cars.



AA/G
 
6.00 to 8.99 lbs. per cubic inch
 

BB/G
 
9.00 to 11.99 lbs. per cubic inch
 

CC/G
 
12.00 or more lbs. per cubic inch
 

 The rules for 1967 were unchanged for unblown gassers running A/Gas through F/Gas.  The “flathead” classes G/Gas and H/Gas saw some major changes though.

G/Gas, at 5.00 or more lbs. per cubic inch, was now for “Non-supercharged flathead V-8’s, in-line six-cylinder, opposed six-cylinder and straight-eight engines with any type head.

H/Gas, 11.00 or more lbs. per cubic inch, was for the same engines but with stock production-type heads.

Noticeably absent from the “Wheelbase” section of the rules in 1967 was the passage specifying “small-block” only power for the Anglia.  The supercharger was still forbidden, however.

The blown gas classes were realigned somewhat as shown below.



AA/G
 
5.00 to 7.99 lbs. per cubic inch
 

BB/G
 
8.00 to 10.99 lbs. per cubic inch
 

CC/G
 
11.00 or more lbs. per cubic inch
 

 1967 was also the year when the newer body styles began showing up in the Gasser classes.  While many decry this as the “death of the Gassers”, keep in mind that the racers in the classes were there to WIN, not to keep things “nostalgic”.  They merely took advantage of the existing rules as written in order to try to win races.

Next time, we’ll tackle 1968 (and the return of the “S” to the supercharged class designations) and subsequent years.



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TS3X65MPH

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2016, 08:35:26 PM »
1968-1969
The world of drag racing wasn’t nearly as tumultuous.  While there were changes, there was nothing really earthshaking.  In the Supercharged Gas classes, the “S” was back!  I mentioned previously that while it may seem silly now, changing the class designations from A/GS to AA/G, B/GS to BB/G and C/GS to CC/G was not a popular change with the racers.  Well, they won…sort of.  As of 1968, the classes were designated AA/GS, BB/GS, and CC/GS.  I suppose that made everyone happy.

As far as other changes for the gas classes, there were some fairly big changes.  The biggest was probably in the frame section of the rules.  AA/GS through B/G and all cars with unibody construction would now be allowed to use rectangular or square steel tubing in frame construction.  The minimum was .120 wall thickness and 2x3 inch rectangular or the equivalent square tubing.  Prior to this, the rules called for a “stock automobile type frame”.

The weight breaks for the blown cars were unchanged from the prior year, but a little bit of “Tightening up” took place in the upper ranks of the unblown classes and the major shakeup was in the G/Gas  and lower classes.  The class designations were as follows:

A/Gas
5.00 to 6.49 lbs. per cu. in.
Was 5.00 to 6.99 lbs. per cu. in.
 
B/Gas
6.50  to 7.99 lbs. per cu. in.
Was 7.00 to 8.99 lbs. per cu. in.
 
C/Gas
8.00 to 9.49 lbs. per cu. in.
Was 9.00 to 10.99 lbs. per cu. in.
 
D/Gas
9.50 to 10.99 lbs. per cu. in.
Was 11.00 to 12.99 lbs. per cu. in.
 
E/Gas
11.00 to 12.49 lbs. per cu. in.
Was 13.00 to 14.59 lbs. per cu. in.
 
F/Gas
12.50 to 13.99 lbs. per cu. in.
Was 14.60 lbs. per cu. in. or more
 
G/Gas
14.0 lbs. per cu. in. or more.
Was flathead class
 
H/Gas
6.00 to 8.99 lbs. per cu. in.
 
I/Gas
9.00 to 11.99 lbs. per cu. in
 
J/Gas
12.00 lbs. per cu. in. or more.
 
K/Gas
10.00 lbs. per cu. in. or more.
 
A bit of explanation is probably in order regarding the H/Gas through K/Gas classes.  The H, I, and J classes were for “Non-supercharged flathead V-8s, in-line and opposed six-cylinder, straight-eights, and in-line and opposed four-cylinder engines with any type heads.”  K/Gas was for “Non-supercharged flathead V-8s, in-line fours or sixes and straight-eight engines of American manufacture with stock production type heads installed in American production bodies.”  Basically what was happening was that NHRA was making a place for the VWs and Fiats that were starting to appear in great numbers in the lower gas classes. 

In 1969, while AA/GS remained unchanged, BB/GS tightened up from requiring 8.00 to 10.99 lbs./cu. in. to 8.00 to 9.99 lbs/cu. in. and anything at 10.00 or more lbs/cu. in. was now in CC/GS.

A/Gas through E/Gas were also unchanged, but F/Gas was now 12.50 or more lbs./cu. in.  Another reshuffling took place below that, as G/Gas was back to a flathead class and K/Gas was dropped.  The breakdown is as follows:



G/Gas
6.00 to 7.99 lbs. per cu. in.
Was H/Gas
 

H/Gas
8.00 to 10.99 lbs. per cu. in.
Was I/Gas
 
I/Gas
11.00 lbs. per cu. in. or more.
Was J/Gas
 
J/Gas
10.00 lbs. per cu. in. or more.
Was K/Gas
 
K/Gas
Dropped

Other than that, the big news was that blown Anglias were now legal in NHRA.  Prior to 1969, Anglias, with their 90 inch wheelbase, were only legal for the unblown gasser classes.  As of 1969, NHRA lowered the minimum wheelbase from 92 inches to 90 inches.  Of course, that didn't matter too much, since the older bodied (Anglias, Willys, etc,) cars were rapidly becoming uncompetitive next to the more modern bodied cars.
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2016, 08:38:27 PM »
N/G
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29bowtie

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2016, 03:02:58 AM »
Opel Kadette.
Professionals built the Titanic, An Amateur built the Ark

29bowtie

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2016, 03:04:13 AM »
 :) :)Cayuga Dragway action.
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29bowtie

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2016, 03:14:04 AM »
Austin A40  A/G
Professionals built the Titanic, An Amateur built the Ark

29bowtie

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2016, 03:16:41 AM »
 ;D ;)
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29bowtie

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2016, 03:26:22 AM »
 ;) :o
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2016, 12:27:46 PM »
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2016, 12:55:46 PM »
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2016, 12:59:32 PM »
Glidden played in C/G.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2016, 01:05:08 PM »
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2016, 01:11:26 PM »
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2016, 07:57:52 PM »
C/G
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2016, 08:01:57 PM »
Gasser's
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2016, 08:04:49 PM »
AA/GS
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2016, 08:10:00 PM »
H/G
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2016, 08:41:15 PM »
Opel Kadette.
Another view of Rainbow TV.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2016, 12:18:59 PM »
AA/G .... Reply # 5
Photo From Edgewater Drag Strip, Cincinnati,(Cleaves)Ohio!!
Shown On Left Is... Push Start Hill, Which We Have Been Down Several Times...
In Our C & B Sling Shot Digger's Back In Th 60's & Early 70's....
Ohhhhhh Those Were The Days !!!!! :o :o :o  ::) 8)
Drop Da Hammer, Smook'n Da Hydes, Run Da Qtr., Drift Th.Turns, Pound Da Gears & Go'n To Cruise-Ins !

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2016, 02:18:00 PM »
AA/G .... Reply # 5
Photo From Edgewater Drag Strip, Cincinnati,(Cleaves)Ohio!!
Shown On Left Is... Push Start Hill, Which We Have Been Down Several Times...
In Our C & B Sling Shot Digger's Back In Th 60's & Early 70's....
Ohhhhhh Those Were The Days !!!!! :o :o :o  ::) 8)
Thanks John for the comment.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2016, 01:33:53 PM »
;D ;)
Reply # 14
With The.....  D J Corvette ( Sponsored By D&J Speed Shop)
Was At - Edgewater Drag Strip - Cincinnati, (Cleves) Ohio
Back in Th Late 60's Or Early 70's.
They Had Several ''Baad Asss Race Cars'' Over The Year's !!!!!  :o :o :o :o 8)
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2016, 12:42:43 PM »
A few Chevy's.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2016, 12:46:26 PM »
A few more.
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29bowtie

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #31 on: August 09, 2016, 07:00:21 PM »
 :) ;) ;)
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2016, 01:42:43 PM »
1964
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jnaki

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #33 on: October 02, 2016, 06:42:57 AM »
Hello,
     Here is a film clip from 1959-60 of one of the most underrated Gassers at the time.  Al Hirshfield.  He ran this old Studebaker sedan at Lions and Bakersfield where we were able to record some great races.  Sometimes he won and sometimes he did not.  But to us, his cars represented backyard hot rodding/drag racing at it roots. Fast, loud, no flashy paint, hard running was his Modus Operandi.  Check out the wheelie against Al Dal Porto at the Smokers meet in 1960.
Thanks,
Jnaki



 

jnaki

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #34 on: October 29, 2016, 07:18:59 AM »
Hello,
     Before all of the sponsor’s advertising on the sides of the race cars, the gasser class was just a class for modified street cars.  Ordinary guys could get their street cars to the strip to see how fast they could go and to race their friends.  At first, it was just a name of the car or driver.  Then a local speed shop or parts store, then the maker of the trick transmission, the list goes on… the more money they gave the racers, the larger the name on the car.  Sure, sponsors help pay for all of the go fast “stuff” on the car, but the stickers and logos kept getting bigger and bigger.  Soon, the image of the neighborhood drag racer was now a corporate display of…who has the most money and sponsors for advertisement. 

Some of the fun of making your own car go fast was lost, even though someone else would be paying for the speed parts.  Back then, it was fun to uncork the mufflers, put on some slicks if you had them, and just blast off down the strip.  It was fun putting on things like Moon Aluminum Discs to think you were streamlining your car for faster speeds.  The effect was negligible, but it just looked cool.
    In 1958-59, people just brought their daily hot rods to the dragstrip to race each other or just have a field day accelerating as fast as your car would go.   The little guy had loads of fun racing their friends or the next guy in the pits.   Here are a bunch of local street cars racing each other at the drags… gasser class/roadsters/stocks,sports cars…straight off of the street.



By 1964, the sponsorships took over and the little guy off the street started to fade away.  Now, the big name guys with all of the sponsors were getting paid to race at various strips.
Development or downfall?  You be the judge. What happened to the ever popular gasser classes?
Jnaki


jnaki

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #35 on: October 29, 2016, 07:29:43 AM »
Hello,
     By 1964, it was simply something that most everyone did... was to put on some type of name or what major parts you were running on your car.

Jnaki

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tkrl3RACa8&feature=youtu.be


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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2016, 12:37:46 AM »
A few more.
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jnaki

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2016, 08:17:58 AM »
Hello,
     Before the SWC fame, Doug Cook ran a beautiful 37 Chevy coupe painted a Tahitian Red in color.  He was so fast in the gasser classes that no one could touch that car in the eliminations.  Boy, could he shift…  He was running this Chevy Coupe in the gasser ranks, while we were racing our 58 Impala in the A/Stock class. But, in any class he was racing, he was virtually unstoppable.  There were other 37 Chevy coupes that went against his Chevy, but somehow, he usually prevailed. Did I say he was fast off of the line?   Add this technique and skill, later, no wonder SWC was so successful in the A/Gas Supercharged class with the blown Willys.
Jnaki


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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2016, 09:29:13 AM »
I love your videos jnaki!  They are a great window to the past.  Thanks for posting.

jaded iconoclast

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2017, 09:51:58 PM »
Wow! A gasser thread with actual gassers! ;) ;D some local stuff, Jack Williams Kanuck

jaded iconoclast

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2017, 09:55:04 PM »
Early Joint Venture, Jimmy "The Skate" Warter. The old Mission raceway again.

jaded iconoclast

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2017, 09:57:08 PM »
Carl Tijhorns "Black Bird" Van Isle Dragway on Vancouver island. This later became the Kremer Bros car, ran D/A with a pro stock style Cleveland.

jaded iconoclast

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2017, 10:01:47 PM »
Not really a local car per-se, but as a teen, I saw Steve Woods blown early hemi colt wagon at every Mission WDRS points meet in the '70s, man what a beast. Ralph Van Peapeghams Chevy II SSer staging in the background.

jaded iconoclast

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2017, 10:05:51 PM »
I was trying to chase down info on this car for years, then a couple months ago I bought some parts off a guy in Abbotsford, there were a bunch of pics of it on the wall. Turned out it had a small-block ford with webers that came from local Mustang road-race hero, John Hall, and was pretty fast. John Hall had some factory Ford support. Pic is taken at the east end of the staging lanes at the old Mission BC track.

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #45 on: January 20, 2017, 08:26:28 PM »
Wow! A gasser thread with actual gassers! ;) ;D some local stuff, Jack Williams Kanuck
Ya there's a few of us here that know what a real gasser is.
There's a few threads on here about different gasser's.
Ohio George.http://hotrodcraft.com/index.php?topic=657.msg16854#msg16854
Stone Woods & Cook.http://hotrodcraft.com/index.php?topic=982.msg27547#msg27547
Big John's Willy's.http://hotrodcraft.com/index.php?topic=347.0
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jnaki

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #46 on: January 21, 2017, 10:29:58 AM »
Hello,  (posted in BJM thread)
   
     This thread on Gassers would not be complete without some Mazmanian Willys action.  We have followed his exploits at Lions in various cars. But, this Willys is just powerful.  You will have to expand your mind to hear the powerful sounds as he accelerates past the Lion’s Tower and smokes the tires.   In 1964 he had a beautiful candy red (or Tahitian red) Willys gasser as pictured in this whole thread.  This is the only action video that I took back in 1964 at Lions Dragstrip during an All Gasser’s Meet with the top racers in the West in attendance.  In the elimination race against K.S Pittman’s red Willys,  Pittman had some difficulties and could not get too far down the strip. BJM made a single run to advance.  What a run it was...

Big John Mazmanian  pits plus smoking run at Lions 1964 in the All Gassers Meet.

Jnaki


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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #47 on: January 21, 2017, 03:53:21 PM »
K.S.Pittman
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #48 on: January 21, 2017, 03:59:49 PM »
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jaded iconoclast

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #49 on: January 21, 2017, 07:12:23 PM »
SWC used to lease their name out, 99% sure this was one of those deals.

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #50 on: January 25, 2017, 12:15:07 PM »
K.S. PITTMAN VS OHIO GEORGE AT INDY
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #51 on: January 25, 2017, 12:16:09 PM »
For Red.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #52 on: February 12, 2017, 07:06:23 PM »
Gasser's.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #53 on: February 14, 2017, 08:59:19 PM »
This Willys just came up for sale on Ebay.
"C C Rider" Willys Record Setting 5-time National Champion Gasser

Of all the great gassers, "C C Rider" was the dominant "CC gasser" of the late 60's, and thought by many to be the greatest double-C car of all time. The car began its life on a cabbage farm in Pennsylvania. When the farmer's pickup truck broke down, the trunk lid was removed, and the car was used to haul cabbages to market. Bill Lindner, from Webster, NY, bought the car in 1963, built his race car, beginning to race it in 1966. The car had a small block Chevy with Hilborn injection and ran a 4-speed M-22 until 1970.

"C C Rider" is a 1938 Coupe, sitting on a 1937 frame, with a 41-style fiberglass tilt front-end, made by Anderson, and dating from 1965. Lindner's car had a 1958 Olds rear with 5:57 gears. He estimated the supercharged small block Chevy motor, which ran at 9500 rpm, to make about 750 hp. It was bored 30 over 40, and ran a 10:1 compression.

Lindner and "C C Rider" won 5 NHRA championships: Indy Nationals in 67, 68 & 69 (photos 13-15), and the Spring Nationals in 68 & 69. One of the car's greatest victories came in the 1967 Gold Cup at Niagara, a race that featured the strongest competition in super eliminator. (see photo #20 & story) In addition, the car set and held the class speed record longer than any other car. (photo 19 )

Bill sold the car (without engine) to Rod Phelps in 1970, who also enjoyed tremendous success with it, winning many championships, and setting and holding speed records. Phelps retired the car from racing in 1975, and the car passed through several owners, each taking it farther from the top-notch race car that Lindner had built. Finally it had a "pro-street" setup, which is the way the car was when I purchased it 2006. (photo 12)

Almost immediately I started the process of restoring the car to it's 1969 look. All of current engine work was done by Bill Lindner. The block is a new 330 Dart short block, with an estimated 800 HP. The supercharger dates from the late 60s and was made by Ohio George Montgomery and Pete Robinson, and is a VERY RARE item, and Ohio George custom machined the intake especially for this engine. The Hilborn injection is a 4-port, and uses a Kinsler set-up as did the "old" car. The engine is set up so perfectly that it will fire on the first time.  In photos 4&5 you can see Bill doing the final check over of the engine.

The trans is also correct, with Lindner again doing all the work. A close-ratio M-22 and 4-speed are now in the car, along with a Hurst shift. The rear is a 57 Olds, although I'm not certain what the gear set up is. The chromed wheelie bars and chrome ladder bars were made by Lindner, as was virtually all "mechanical" aspects of the car.

The rear bumper is a notable feature of the car. It was recreated for me by a well-known drag racer, and his Lindner's 100% of approval. The brake lights are contained IN the bumper. The front grille is also unique to this car.

The front wheels are aluminum and the rear ones are magnesium. These rears are not perfect, and look like they belong on an old race car. However, they do have pitting and scars, and I would recommend replacing them with correct aluminums, as there are some very fine ones for sale. The slicks are new M&H Nostalgia 16x10.

The Willys front axle and front springs are all chromed. There is some rust on the springs. They could be cleaned up, or could be re-chromed if show car perfection is what you seek.

The interior is very close to the way it was. The seats come from a Triumph TR-4, and there is a Simpson racing harness. There is a roll bar only - as the car had in the 60s. The gas pedal is a Moon, and the beautiful custom dash is unique to this car. Lindner had only a tach, oil pressure and volt meter. When I bought the car, there was a complete set of classic Stewart-Warner gauges, and I have left these, althought neither the speedometer or fuel gauge are connected.

The paint is Sierra Gold Metallic. It is "light" on the metallic side, meaning it doesn't have a lot of "glitter" in it. It is absolutely correct according to Lindner, and this determined "how metallic" it should be. The paint also looks different in different lighting, as can be seen in the photos.  The effect in natural sunlight is bright and "copper-like" in appearance.

Along with the car comes an amazing amout of memorabilia and historical items.

Bill Lindner's original two scrapbooks are included, showing the car from the original build photos. All the articles written about the car and Bill are included, as well as numerous photos. (the originals and not copies) The speed record that the car set at Englishtown in May of 68 is there, as well as the original Winners Circle photos from the Indy Nationals in 67, 68, & 69. A third very interesting scrap book came with the car when I purchased it, as this is also seen in the photos and included with the sale.  There are way too many special items to mention.

In addition, ALL the trophies that Lindner won come with the car. These include the three Nationals (67, 68, 69), the Spring Nationals (68), the Valvoline Class Winner Bowl (67), the Niagara Gold Cup (67), fender banners, and numerous other "winner's" items. (see photos)

"C C Rider" should remain retired from racing. It really belongs in a museum, and I hope that the new owner will treat her with love and respect. This car and all that comes with it make for a distinguished and special part of drag racing history. I doubt that you will find ANY other car of the period with the pedigree and provenance of "C C Rider" .

I will promptly answer all questions, so do not hesitate to ask!

The car is located in northern New Jersey and can be seen by serious potential buyers through special arrangement.

"C C Rider" is also for sale privately and through several other sources.
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TS3X65MPH

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #54 on: February 14, 2017, 09:02:17 PM »
"C C Rider" Willys Record Setting 5-time National Champion Gasser
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #55 on: February 14, 2017, 09:03:13 PM »
"C C Rider" Willys Record Setting 5-time National Champion Gasser
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #56 on: February 23, 2017, 05:57:08 PM »
Gasser's.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #57 on: February 23, 2017, 05:59:47 PM »
Gasser's.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #58 on: February 28, 2017, 10:16:46 PM »
Half Moon Bay
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #59 on: February 28, 2017, 10:17:40 PM »
Anglia
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DavyJ

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #60 on: March 01, 2017, 09:00:06 PM »
a few from an old album of mine
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #61 on: March 04, 2017, 09:43:53 PM »
Bill Wendt’s ’32 Ford tudor sedan.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #62 on: March 12, 2017, 01:53:44 PM »
A few more.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #63 on: April 09, 2017, 07:34:42 PM »
A few more.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #64 on: April 18, 2017, 06:27:26 PM »
A few more.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #65 on: April 26, 2017, 11:45:38 AM »
“Shake, Rattle and Roll”
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #66 on: April 26, 2017, 11:53:26 AM »
A few Tri - Five's.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #67 on: April 26, 2017, 12:01:58 PM »
A few more.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #68 on: May 10, 2017, 10:13:15 PM »
Gasser's
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5windowjim

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #69 on: May 11, 2017, 09:49:42 AM »
 The Rydell Hope and Lang car was owned by Wes Rydell (Riddler AMBER Winner) I first met him in the early 60s as a drag racer. He was into inline six cyl. Chevys. He raced a 35 Chevy 3 window and then an Anglia with 6s in them called Mr. Crude. They also had an altered they won Indy. with. I think he and Ralph Hope (a Canadian from London Ont.) were the first to cut up two V8 heads, weld them together and make a cross flow head for a six. Wes still has the head in his shop.  Jim

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #70 on: May 15, 2017, 08:02:03 PM »
1963 "Psycho Too" Gasser Chevy II Nova
This Historic Nova needs no introduction.....as it has an extensive history. Perhaps the most historic Nova Gasser of all.

This 1963 Chevy II sold brand new at Nickey Chevrolet. The car was raced by a local Nickey mechanic, then it was purchased by Joe Szabo and Ralph Ritcher.  They took the car to Wisconsin to R&B and Lil' John Buttera did his magic on it. The engine is a crate L88 with 12.5 pistons. It has a Hilborne mechanical fuel injection system, the trans is a clutch flight Turbo 400, and a BOP rear end with a 5.13 and welded spider gears. The rear wheels are chrome reverse and the front are spindle mount Hildbrands (real magnesium). All of the parts on the car were restored. The 4 piston Hurst Airheart brakes are the originals to the car just rebuilt with new pads and seals.
Was for sale.


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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #71 on: May 15, 2017, 08:04:44 PM »
1963 "Psycho Too" Gasser Chevy II Nova
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #72 on: May 15, 2017, 08:07:27 PM »
1963 "Psycho Too" Gasser Chevy II Nova
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #73 on: June 03, 2017, 12:12:37 AM »
For you XKE fans.
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Tom

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #74 on: June 03, 2017, 07:45:31 AM »
For you XKE fans.

I bet that was a handful to drive!

jaded iconoclast

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #75 on: June 03, 2017, 02:45:25 PM »
For you XKE fans.

I bet that was a handful to drive!
Funny you should say that, not a gasser, but was an E-type, Snoopy funny car crashed and killed the driver.

TS3X65MPH

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #76 on: June 03, 2017, 03:43:52 PM »
For you XKE fans.

I bet that was a handful to drive!
Funny you should say that, not a gasser, but was an E-type, Snoopy funny car crashed and killed the driver.
Snoopy funny car
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29bowtie

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #77 on: June 18, 2017, 05:37:39 PM »
Pick ups made some great gassers. 8)
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #78 on: June 18, 2017, 05:50:27 PM »
Pick ups made some great gassers. 8)
The Willys is the Panella Brothers out of Stockton,Calif.at Half Moon Bay.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #79 on: June 24, 2017, 07:24:40 PM »
Gasser's
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #80 on: July 12, 2017, 10:33:31 AM »
Deuce
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #81 on: July 12, 2017, 10:35:33 AM »
Pit's
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #82 on: July 12, 2017, 10:37:11 AM »
Houchin Bros.
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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #83 on: July 12, 2017, 10:38:31 AM »
Gasser
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29bowtie

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #84 on: July 12, 2017, 07:35:31 PM »
 ;D ;D
Professionals built the Titanic, An Amateur built the Ark

jaded iconoclast

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #85 on: July 14, 2017, 07:13:19 PM »

DavyJ

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #86 on: July 15, 2017, 06:32:22 PM »
Gasser
Think that was Joe Amato.

more that likely,  Joe ran A & A speedshop from when he was 16 years old and his Dad took ill........

quote from Competition Plus Internet Magazine

Joe Amato is living an extraordinarily full life – with milestone moments not in the ordinary order.

In a whirlwind 13 days last month, the five-time NHRA Top Fuel champion from Eastern Pennsylvania turned 70 years old, married longtime girlfriend Andrea Donten, and was graduated from high school.

“I never graduated high school, because I quit school to work my father’s business when I was 16,” Amato said of his unconventional introduction to the working world. “I went to South Scranton Junior High School. I only went to the 10th grade.”

His father developed a debilitating heart condition and was unable to keep up with running A&A Auto Parts. The speed shop’s only two employees quit then to open a gas station. Amato and his dad asked, “What do we do now?”

The only logical solution was for young Joe to step in.

“I was running the place already. Sixteen years old, and I was the boss,” he said. “I learned everything about the business – small business, but . . . It all worked out, you know?”

By the time Amato turned 20, the business had five stores, eventually 24, and Amato was building Keystone Automotive Warehouse into a lucrative venture.

“As it turned out, it worked out pretty good. I built a large business and made a couple pennies . . . and life goes on,” he said.

That’s being modest for this man who operated the family store and saw it grow exponentially, then branched out to other enterprises beyond and unrelated to his successful drag-racing career. Amato has owned a bank and a golf course (which he designed because he didn’t want to mark time on a waiting list at the local country club). Today he owns several commercial/retail properties, including shopping centers, a bar-and-grill restaurant, two housing developments, and a remarkable reserve of collectible automobiles, muscle cars, and trucks.

He even was featured in a Forbes magazine article, no small accomplishment.

But Amato never received that high-school diploma. He never lamented about it publicly, but privately he said many times it was among his biggest regrets.

Then came his 70th birthday, and friend Carlyle Robinson was stumped regarding what gift to give him. After all, what can one lavish on a buddy who travels the world, has his own beautiful home in which he has entertained a former First Lady of the United States, owns commercial real estate, and has known the thrill of winning multiple sporting championships?

Robinson got on the phone and arranged for Amato to receive an honorary high-school diploma.

Amato grew up on the South Side of Scranton and throughout his racing career sometimes was listed as a resident of Exeter, Pa. But the home he adopted for three decades was Old Forge, a blue-collar, lunch-bucket Lackawanna County burg in Pennsylvania coal country that survived the pitfalls of anthracite coal mining and the exit of textile factories.

“It’s a little pizza town, Pizza Capital of the World, I call it, because there’s all these great Italian restaurants with pizza,” Amato proudly said.

Indeed, the town is chock-full of pizza joints with Italian names as delicious as the pies:  Revello's, Mancuso's, Salerno's, Ghigiarelli's, Mucciolo's, Lettieri's, Brutico's, Cusumano, Laurenzi's, Fortunato, Talarico, Elio G's.

But “Amato” often took center stage. Many say the Top Fuel great put the town on the map. So Old Forge High School jumped at the chance to embrace such a prominent member of the community. Current principal Christoper Thomas, incidentally, was Amato’s newspaper delivery boy in his youth. So the gesture was one of reaching out to a well-respected, well-known member of the community.

“It was nice. It was really nice,” Amato said of the evening with his fellow 2014 Old Forge High School graduates. “I made it about them. It was their thing. But they welcomed me with open arms.”

School Board President Deborah DeSando indicated she was proud to be part of the ceremony that helped Amato complete his goals. And she took pride in the diploma she handed him, saying, “This is no ordinary honorary diploma. There is no diploma like an Old Forge diploma. This symbolizes hard work, grit, and success.”

Amato said, “People want to know: Where did you put the diploma? Andrea says, ‘It’s right on his desk, next to the article in 1990 from Forbes magazine, calling him the Boy Wonder who turned the auto-parts world upside down.’ ”

He rushed to make the ceremony as he and Andrea returned from their honeymoon in Greece and Italy. They had married just 13 days earlier, a day after Amato celebrated his 70th birthday.

“My birthday was June 13,” Amato said. “I had a party at my house for 300 people, a giant party. We had a weekend party. We started Friday. Saturday we had a brunch. We got married at the brunch. We’ve been together 10 years. We didn’t tell anybody. We just brought a magistrate in and got married. We said, ‘We’re getting married now, guys! We did it like that. Nobody knew. Then we had another big party that night. The next day we got on a plane and went to Greece.”

So Amato officially is a septuagenarian, a husband, and an Old Forge Blue Devil alumnus. And he said Andrea has a full house: “three dogs, three kids, and me.”

He said age is just a number. “I don’t feel 70. I feel like I’m 50 or something,” he said. “I keep healthy, and I’m still very active and just do what I do. That’s the key, I think – just keep moving.”
Living life at a 100 smiles per hour!

Tom

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Re: GASSERS- Vintage Photos
« Reply #87 on: July 31, 2017, 08:28:31 AM »
1932 Chevy