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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got back from my local barber shop, and the owner gave me a August 1965 copy of Car Craft magazine! I've spent the last couple hours reading every word of it, including the advertisements, which I rarely read back then!
There's a feature article on the first NHRA Spring Nationals at Bristol, Tn, which is very cool! Also a tech article on how to install an Ansen Drag Brake for cars with stick trans! And features about some custom car builds, and new drag cars.
Advertisements from Mercury about the new Comets, and how successful they are at the drags. Same thing from Plymouth, and their continued success with 426 hemi powered cars. Special note about Bill Jenkins and his hemi powered car winning Top Stock Eliminator! I almost forgot the Grump was a big time Mopar guy before his Chevy fame!
Cool to read the excitement about the brand new 396 porcupine head motor, and the disappointment they expressed about Chevy limiting production of the 425hp version to only 200 cars!
Just great to reminisce through the pages, and jog my memory about how it was back then! Having a lot of fun with this present!
 

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That's cool! Was that when the mags had classified ads in them? Somewhere in my garage I have a couple mags that had classifieds in them... pretty funny to see built Vettes going for ~$3500 and Nomads for around $2000!

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
And here's another I stumbled across on Ebay. A 1972 copy of Hot Rod, with a 1969 Falcon done up in early 70's gasser/street style! Someone doing a 3 year old car back then would have been a big hero to us, when we were young! Had to take some guts to do a '69 car in 1972, and I think it screams early 70's!
 

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I remember the Ansen drag brake. I didn't need it because my feet were big enough to do the heel/toe bit on the brake and gas pedal. My partner was a different story though. We weren't exactly bucks up and couldn't afford one; so we improvised. A buddy had recently replaced his three speed with a four gear and a Hurst Competition Plus shifter. Before he got the four gear he had converted the column shift three speed to a floor shifter using one of the budget priced Hurst 3 speed Mystery Shifter kits. The common joke was that Hurst had named it the Mystery Shifter because it was a mystery that it worked. For those of you who might not know what those were, they weren't the nicer conversion kits with the familiar Hurst handle shifter design. These were made of round stock, they were chromed though. The long and short of it is our buddy sold it us for $5 and with some modifications and some fabrication we used the handle and made our own drag brake. Again, for those not acquainted with what a drag brake was; it was way before the days of the electric line lock. As Vall said it was for stick shift cars only. It was a long handle with a pin through it connecting it to a bracket that bolted under your dash preferably directly above your brake pedal. The handle had another hole drilled it just below the hinge pin location for an adjustable rod to connect to. The opposite end of the rod went to your brake pedal lever where you drilled a hole (at the optimum position for the best leverage) where the other end of the rod connected. When you pressed down on the lever it applied your brakes. What you did was when you staged you had one foot on the clutch, the other was on the gas, your right had was on the shifter and with your left hand you pressed on the lever to apply your brakes to keep from rolling; as I said not everybody could do the heel/toe bit. Ideally the drag brake handle was in close proximity to your steering wheel because when you released that handle while simultaneously dumping the clutch you wanted to be able to grab that steering wheel real quick. Almost as much fun as riding a Harley with a suicide shift, mouse trap clutch and no front brake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pretty close, but you actually worked the Ansen Drag Brake with your right hand, as it mounted on the right side of the column, above the brake pedal. It was set up so you pushed downwards on the knob to hold the brakes. Once you launched, you moved to the shifter to start grabbing gears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's cool! Was that when the mags had classified ads in them? Somewhere in my garage I have a couple mags that had classifieds in them... pretty funny to see built Vettes going for ~$3500 and Nomads for around $2000!

Mike
No, there aren't any private ads in this one Mike. I do remember seeing old Hot Rod and Car Craft mags with the ads in the back though! Back then I remember thinking how I wished I had the funds for some cars offered in them. Now it would be fun to go back and buy them all up!
 

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I should have clarified, I was actually describing the one we built based on the Ansen. For ease of installation (and at 18 years old our fabrication skills weren't exactly honed yet) it was easier to mount ours where we did. It was really pretty much between our legs because it was literally mounted right above the brake pedal; hence the left hand on the lever and right hand on the shifter. But hey, when we saw the Ansen we thought we could build one, right; it wasn't pretty but it worked!! LOL. Back in 65,66,67... Irwindale tech inspections weren't real strict in the lower gas classes.
 

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Vall, that's not even the half of it. We were running a Pontiac rear end with 5:13 gears and the poor mans posi, welded spider gears. We had 10" JC Penny (yes, some of you may remember when Pennys sold speed equipment) wrinkle walls bolted to stock axles, granted; they were stout axles. We'd done the old trick of painting a stripe down the axle so we could check how much twist we were getting. We had a +.030 two bolt main 327 with 12:1(back when Chevron Custom Supreme was 110 octane) TRW forged pop ups on stock rods rotating on a cast crank with a stock cast iron flywheel encased in a two piece cast iron Ansen scatter shield; we did have a Hays clutch though. Now the good part. We were running a Racer Brown 67R roller with his high rev kit. We would launch and shift at 8,000 RPM. I also had filed every other tooth off the brass syncro blocker rings for a home grown crash box. I had left the syncro hub/sleeve springs and inserts (detents) installed though because we did drive the car on the street and didn't want to have to continually hold the shifter in gear. Anyway, lemme tell you, the least of the worries was that micro second when you launched and your hand was grabbing for the wheel; the real worry was what the hell would happen if that cast iron fly wheel let go at 8 grand. Would that Ansen scatter shield contain all the shrapnel or if one of those stock axles broke with those welded spider gears. I really miss the days when drag racing was fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The old "Lincoln Locker"! I've had a couple of those too! My old '55 gasser had the stock rear axle, with 3.90 gears, and welded gears to make it a locker. Worked great, but was a bit squirrelly on wet pavement!
 
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