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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my question from a guy that is new to the Gasser world.

So I just purchased a 1956 Ford Victoria and it is now stock but soon to be a Gasser. Straight axle, big motor, fenderwell exit headers,etc. SO,,,,

If I do the "normal stuff" to make my 56 Victoria into a Gasser and I also move the rearend forward to make it a tribute to the "original funny cars" then does it become an Altered?

Looking for definitions here. Thanks in advance!!

P.S. If you are looking for more about the beginnings of my project and my new interest into this form of Motorsports, you could go back and look back into the introductions to new members,,I posted some pictures and how I got hooked on Gasser Hot Rods in that section.

56 VIC
 

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The true gasser rules did not allow for the rearend to get moved forward. Actually it did not allow for any wheelbase change. But with the building of so many show/street/part time strip Gassers over the years many things that Gasser were not originally allowed to do are incorporated into the cars and we still call the Gassers. The only thing about moving the rearend forward is, it makes such a big visual impact that normally, as soon as you do that kind of modification, it is perceived as a altered. I know I have no problem (and probably several others here on this board) with making a gasser with the rearend moved forward but many out in the world will hit you up real quick to point out that it is an altered. Mark L
 

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Also Mark I noticed a lot of folks relate the gasser to the high in the front and straight axles. Which from what I remember really was a gasser was different classes like A/gas B/gas C/gas and so on. I think it's just what we perceived the gasser to be. Which isn't a bad thing, but if you take out the race gasser and just build a street gasser, no one would recognize it as a gasser if it didn't have atleast a nose lift,( which was for weight transfer ) and a Solid Axle. When you think about the term straight axle, some folks have used a drop axle installation, and achieved the lift with the spring, or springs. I haven't researched this to awful hard but I don't even remember there being a true straight axle tube until someone manufactured them for the aftermarket vendors like Speedway and such.
This may upset the thought of the term gasser, or may introduce more builds as Gassers rather then just another hot rod.... I stand in the Conner dodging flying objects :D :D
 

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Changing the wheelbase in any direction (front or rear) would put a gasser into the Altered classes back in the day. Many of the big guys did such changes and simply went match racing once their "gasser" no longer met class rules, regardless of the change. SOme even ran two cars that were at a glance identical, but one met the class rules, and one was a match racer.
If you look at the early rule books there are even rules not allowing the car's height to be changed to improve weight transfer, but it seems many racers ignored this rule, and NHRA seemed to look the other way also. The only height rule that was strictly enforced was the 24" crankshaft center rule.
If an altered gasser is what you like, then I'd say go ahead and build what makes you happy. Many of us have slightly changed the wheelbase on our "gassers" when we built them. Some are so subtle that it's not obvious, and others enough to spot immediately. My Austin has the front axle 1" forward, so it's not truly a gasser, but then an early Austin like mine wasn't even legal by NHRA rules to run in any class in stock wheelbase, as it was too short to meet NHRA minimum wheelbase length. So technically mine's not a gasser either, but I still call it a gasser.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
PERFECT! These are the kind of answers I was looking for,,,and thanks!

Any more input out there?

56 VIC
 

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PERFECT! These are the kind of answers I was looking for,,,and thanks!

Any more input out there?

56 VIC

Ive been reading all the responses to your question and i think the guys did a great job answering them. I kinda thought what they came out and wrote so I'm learning as well.
Like Vall said , build what you love and makes you happy. This way no regrets down the road.
mario
 

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I have "always" referred to our Opel as a "gasser".

When in reality (the way it was when I traded for in August 2011) it was built with a BIG engine setback (almost two feet) which is a LOT MORE than what was allowed in the gasser class rules. So actually it would have ran in the "altered class"

With my plan to switch over everything to a "tube chassis" (formerly used/built for a Vega SW) the engine placement will NOT be setback as far.

The tube chassis' front end is using tubular A-arms - Vega rack & pinion suspension that had coil over shocks. I would RATHER have a gasser-style straight front axle immediately but being this setup had been used for years with the Vega(a successful 10 second drag car) I will probably "wait & see" how things fall into place before making any changes to either the front or rear suspension, etc.

Over the Winter months I plan to work on getting the tube chassis all cleaned up, strip off all of the old paint & surface rust, get everything smoothed out & painted like brand new. Next will be finding the parts I need to complete the narrowed 9" Ford rear end housing that came with the tube chassis so I can have it as a rolling chassis in time for the warm weather. Then in the Spring I hope to get the Opel's body off its frame and on to the tube chassis.
 

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Vic. I too say build it with the gasser look, but if you like the altered wheelbase rearend, go for it and make it your own. I stand behind you all the way. I (and I think we all) here understand that we are not building period correct gassers. One of the very reasons the founders of this board broke away from a more traditional gasser board. To allow the freedom of some choice. I welcome your preferences and as long as it is not a Cobra kit car road racer, I feel it is welcome here. I built mine from a car that was never used as a Gasser platform. But that is because I love big full sized Pontiacs and always wanted to build a "GHOST" Pontiac Gasser. If I had been old enough to build a race car/Gasser back then, maybe I would have built a Pontiac Gasser and they would have been more accepted. So any traditonal Gasser forum would shun my car. Not that I have anythig against a true traditional Gasser. I respect and really love them. After all they are what made that class the success it was. I love all cars but I understand that we are a gasser style based forum. Your ideas are still well within our expectations. But everyone can learn from everyones elses ideas and accomplishments. Personally I can't wait to see what you do with that Ferd, heh. My only suggestion for you is---wait for it--- wait---wait---PUT A PONTIAC IN IT. HA!!!! Mark L
 

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Of course you know John that rules for the "Gas" classes required using a stock frame. Never said whether it had to be a stock frame for the particular car you ran, which explained why Ohio George's Mustang had his old Willys frame under it, as did many others when they changed to later bodies!
But we can still call it a gasser, regardless of what frame is under it. We're all having fun with our cars, so rules for old gassers aren't an issue!
 

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Of course you know John that rules for the "Gas" classes required using a stock frame. Never said whether it had to be a stock frame for the particular car you ran, which explained why Ohio George's Mustang had his old Willys frame under it, as did many others when they changed to later bodies!
But we can still call it a gasser, regardless of what frame is under it. We're all having fun with our cars, so rules for old gassers aren't an issue!
You are 100% right on that Vall..... now that you mentioned it I do recall that part of the rule and "Ohio George" - "Big John Mazmainian" and even the Stone-Woods & Cook guys switched over to new cars both by their desire to "go faster" but also by the constant rule changes that spelled "the end" of "gasser class racing" that today we so fondly try to duplicate with the cars we build today.

With the New Year upon us which each year at this time I always reflect on the past year and inevidably many other things of my life.

When thinking of "where I came from" and the many different things that have me where I am today as a hot rodder I find the "gasser style cars" have always been my first and still today "my favorite style of car".

As a kid the first model car I built was a Willys coupe (still have it somewhere around here)..... even after having many different types of cars I still keep coming back to "my first love".

About 12 years..... before the current popularity of building and/or restoring "gasser style cars" I started building a gasser style C10 short bed - stepside pickup truck (w/one piece fiberglass tilt front end - straight axle - 6" chopped top - 383 stroker - narrowed 9" Ford rearend - huge rear tires and so on) ..... then the El Camino replaced that idea came along and finally ended up with trading it for the Opel.



So as you can see I have had a lifetime of "gasser chasing"..... "still gasser-crazy after all these years" !!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
WOW you guys are full of great information.

Prostreet Steve, "I stand in the corner dodging flying objects, HAHAHAHAHAHA!

And the term Straight axle,,,had not thought of that one - but they were not straight for a long time, EH? good one Steve.

That reminds me of a different term that is used wrong often, people ask, "What is the VIN number?" , do they really mean " What is the Vehicle Identification Number number"?

Small, but it allways makes me grin when I hear it.

56 VIC - Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Opelgasser, Marks63pontiacgasser,

OPEL, Love that car, When I was in my teens I had a friend that went to my church, he had an Opel stationwagon that he was improving,, always thought it was cool. You have taken cool to a whole different level for me within that Opel idea of yours.

Are you keeping us posted with pictures somewhere else on the forum?,,I haven't got around to everything yet.

Mark, love that Pontiac too, The same guy I was talking about that had the Opel Stationwagon also had a 63 Pontiac Le Mans,,had it sitting a bit nose high (no straight axle though). That guy was a big influence on me,,now that I am thinking back on my yute,, And I always loved both of his cars,,I did think it was a bit of an unusual mix though - those two cars in the same garage and he seemed to like both of them with equal enthusiasum.

56 VIC - Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Mark,,,Fill me in plz,, What is a "GHOST" Pontiac Gasser? Is that similar to calling a car a "Tribute"?
 

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A tribute would be a recreation of an old car that did exist at one time. I used the word "Ghost" to describe a gasser/race car that never did exist. It only existed in my mind for 40 years. Until now. Stored away with all that other wierd stuff up there. LOL. All the real Pontiac gassers were made from the little Tempest cars. Arnie Bezwicks '63 Tiger stripe car and his '64 "White Tornado", were the smaller cars, which made sense for a light race car. The full sized cars were OK in Super Stock but not in anything that you could modify. Mark L
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
OK , I got that ghost thing now. Were there any GTO Gassers? Altereds?
 
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