Tell Some of Our All-Time Favorite Gassers
By Chuck Vranas – Photography by the Author
Nothing gets your adrenalin pumping faster than the sound of the announcer at the local drag strip calling a pair of Gassers to the line while the scent of burnt rubber and nitro hangs heavy in the air. The stance, attitude and overall aggressiveness of the cars bring with them a level of excitement that transcends to all street-driven versions as well. Take a look at just what makes the cars featured in our Gasser Triple-Play so cool and know that we’ll have more to follow as this trio is just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned as we bring you our all-time favorite Gassers, roadsters, coupes, and all sorts of hot rods.
Chassis: Solid Axle Chevy Rearend
Matt Bakas of Georgetown, Massachusetts is always at the ready with his 1955 Chevy Gasser. Stock frame; boxed with custom front clip. Out back a Currie Enterprises 9-inch rear packs a Strange S-Trac with matching 35-spline axles and 4.71 gears. It’s suspended in place by parallel leaf springs from Danchuk, CalTracs bars and Lakewood 70/30 tube shocks relocated behind the axle housing. In front a 1956 Chevy ½-ton truck axle with matching spindles is combined with parallel leaf springs from Summit Racing and Lakewood 50/50- tube shocks. For the right look American Racing Torq-Thrust D wheels sized 15×6 front and 15×10 rear wear Firestone/Coker rubber.
Engine & Trans: 400-inch Chevy & Twin Holley Carbs
Boucher’s Automotive Machine Shop 400ci block with an Eagle 4340 forged steel crank linked to matching H-beam rods topped with SRP forged aluminum pistons and a Crower stick. Dart Pro 1 aluminum heads are matched to an Edelbrock Pro Ram II tunnel ram intake with twin Holley 750cfm carbs and velocity stacks. A TREMEC TKO-600 from Liberty Gears links to a Strange Engineering chromoly driveshaft.
Body & Interior: Diamont Wilderness Green & Mooneyes Gauges
Matt handled all metalwork including panel repair, radius the rear wheel openings and hood access for the carbs. Paint by owner is Diamont Wilderness Green. The factory dash features original gauges accented by dials from Mooneyes. A stock steering wheel mounts to an ididit column matched to a Pro-5.0 shifter with a Hurst handle. Mitch’s Kustoms added black vinyl rolls and pleats for the stock seats along with black loop carpeting.
Chassis: Solid Axle Ford Rearend
Hal Marshman goes traditional Gasser style with his 1941 Willys from Hanson, Massachusetts. American Gasser frame with custom driveline mounts by Tube Chassis Designz. Out back a Ford 9-inch rear packs a Strange S-Trac differential with 4.30 gears linked to matching 35-spline axles. It’s suspended by 42-inch chrome ladder bars, Panhard bar and QA1 coilover shocks. Up front, a Speedway Motors chrome straight front axle kit meets Chevy spindles and semi-elliptical leaf springs. For a nostalgic look 15×12-inch E-T Fueler wheels with Mickey Thompson rubber out back and 15×6-inch E-T Gasser wheels with Cooper rubber in front.
Engine & Trans: 496-inch Chevy & Twin Quick Fuel Technology Carbs
Reid’s Automotive machined a Dart Big M Sportsman block to 496ci. Hal added a Lunati Signature Series blower crank linked to matching forged 4340 H-beam rods topped by Diamond forged aluminum pistons and a COMP Cam. Brodix BB-2 X aluminum heads are matched to a BDS intake, Weiand 8-71 blower and a pair of Quick Fuel Technology 750cfm carbs with Hilborn-style scoop. An FB Performance Pro-Street 4STB (AOD) trans links to a Strange 3 ½-inch chromoly driveshaft.
Body & Interior: Martin Senour Elephant Grey & Auto Meter Gauges
An American Gasser fiberglass body features a tilt nose. Mike Rowell massaged the panels and added a coating of Martin Senour Elephant Grey with lettering by Paul Grassi. Inside, its bare-bones, race car style with the stock dash filled with Auto Meter gauges, a Grant wheel on an ididit column and shifts through a unit by Precision Performance Products. Chevy S10 bucket seats get the job done.
Chassis: Solid Axle Ford Rearend
Jamie Underwood brings out his not often seen 1964 Ford Falcon from north of the boarder and that would be London, Ontario, Canada. Being a unibody car, Underwood fabricated a new Thunderbolt-style rear crossmember, subframe connectors and rear mini-tubs. A Ford 8-inch rear spins 31-spline axles matched with 4.10:1 ring and pinion. It’s suspended in place by custom Thunderbolt-style traction bars, leaf springs and KYB adjustable drag shocks. Up front, a Speedway Motors Gasser kit features a straight axle, Chevy-style spindles, semi-elliptical springs, and chrome tube shocks. Linking it to the street are 15×8-inch rear steelies and 15×4-inch American Racing Torq-Thrust front wheels wearing blackwall rubber.
Engine & Trans: 302-inch Ford & Holley Carb
Quest Machine prepped the 1996 Ford 302ci H.O. V-8 block. Jamie filled it with a stock crank and rods linked to hypereutectic pistons and an Isky hydraulic roller cam. Reworked 1965 Ford 289ci small-chamber heads with oversized valves meet a Parker Funnel Web intake and a Holley 650cfm carb with a Crites Performance Parts aluminum air bonnet. A Ford M5R2 5-speed trans links to a driveshaft from London Drive Systems.
Body & Interior: PPG Oxford White & Sunpro Gauges
Much of the factory sheetmetal was replaced by Jamie and his son Brayden, accented by fresh fiberglass doors, fenders, trunk lid and teardrop hood Crites Performance. Gloss by owner is PPG Oxford White with graphics by Auto Trim Design. The original dash wears factory gauges accented by dash Sunpro dials. The stock steering wheel meets a factory column while a custom shifter pulls gears. Black buckets, aluminum side panels and a six-point rollcage complete it. MR