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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Saw this Pontiac in the latest issue of Hot Rod magazine..... thought you'd like to see it.



:cool:
 

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Yeah I've been seeing this car in coverage of Drag Week. I didn't know it was Chebby Powered until the Hot Rod article. I think I watched it on U-tube one time. It does look awesome though. I love it. Even ratty looking it is cool--to me anywho. Thanks for thinking of me there.
I've been in love with the sound of this '59 for a long time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1MlNkv8qzE&feature=player_embedded


Mark L
 

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These are some awesome pictures. They bring back some very vivid memories of the early years in drag racing at local tracks across the country. The days of “run what you brung.” When you built a Saturday night hobby out of the old worn-out family car that was just sittin' in the weeds ‘cause it was what you had. Anyone notice the 2’ square traction bars? Some referred to them as transfer bars later on and then they became trailing arms and then ladder bars. They were originally to stop wheel hope, improving traction, and by lengthening them they were found to help transfer weight to the rear wheels. They were welded solid to the rear end housing. I’m sure you all already know all of this but I’m enjoying reminiscing. My Anglia was set-up this way. If you look at the first picture closely you can see the arch in the bar caused by the torque of the rear-end. I am planning to use this arrangement under the Morris but I’ll have to figure out how to reduce binding. I have some ideas floating around up there……Anyway, thanks for the pics. Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Mark ..... somehow I had the feeling you saw this Poncho already...... you don't miss much!!!!

CptBob..... I do remember those days..... the first organized drag strip opened in the Pittsburgh area in 1964. Most of the cars that raced back then were "driven" to the strip..... after all most were our "daily drivers". You never saw any of the "enclosed trailers" that are so commonplace today.

For some really cool pics & a "trip down memory lane"check out this website:
click here>>> http://www.pittsburghinternationaldragway.com/
 

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Great shot of the Pontiac! Looks pretty darn quick!

Cptnbob, for a smaller car like your Morris you might conider the Competition Engineering ladder bars like I used on my Austin. They're only about 3' long, but they work great on shorter wheelbases, and come complete with safety straps and mounting brackets for the rearend. I bought the generic Jegster brand made by Comp, and saved about $30, so they were $199.
 

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I appreciate that. I have been thinking about ladder bars, even four link but the long tubes just do something for me. I may be wise to go with the shorter ladders rather than fight the binding issue. I think by eliminating the leaf springs and using coil-overs and putting rubber bushings in the front of the tubes I can eliminate most of the binding. Whata you think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I appreciate that. I have been thinking about ladder bars, even four link but the long tubes just do something for me. I may be wise to go with the shorter ladders rather than fight the binding issue. I think by eliminating the leaf springs and using coil-overs and putting rubber bushings in the front of the tubes I can eliminate most of the binding. Whata you think?
I am using ladder bars with leaf springs (in the stock position with reinforced mounting brackets) that gets the job done with NO binding issues so far. Lots of noise coming "from back there" which I refer to as "sounds of a race car". :0]
VIDEO at Steel City Dragway: [video]http://s1206.photobucket.com/albums/bb443/OpelGasser/?action=view&current=opelsteelvalley13.mp4[/video]

Even though every thing seems to work OK for now I do have plans to make changes..... going to either move the leaf springs inward or go to coil overs. Either way I want to change how the shocks mount as they also mount in the stock location. :(

With the "mild 350" that's in the car now all is well..... but when the day comes to put the "stroker motor" in the rear suspension, rear end, etc. needs to be done.
 

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I'm running coil overs and a panhard bar in the back with my ladder bars, no leaf springs. You can run ladder bars with leaf springs if you mount the front of the ladder bar with a small shackle horizontally mounted. This will allow enough movement to not bind, but still work to control traction. You could also make the front solid, but use a U bbolt clamp to attach the rear axle end, so it can slip slightly if it needs to.
I prefer the way I did it, as I think the coli overs and ladder bars work best, and eliminate the wheel hop that leaf spring rears can have. I went to the wrecking yard and got a pair of QA1's off a Jaguar sedan for $50 a pair. Saved about $250 over what they cost new!
 

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John, Nice video. I'll be anxious to see your Opel when you drop that stroker in 'er and turn up the wick. She's gonna be a bad little Cadet. About all I know about the binding issue is what I have read in a few articles. Seems it becomes an issue when encountering uneven terrain and cornering. Also I think running the longer tube bars I'm considering only multiplies the situation. I believe you and Val are correct in that I could run the shorter bars and have minimal problems. I'd like to experiment with the tube bars a bit and see what they do. I'm hoping once I get the chassis built I can tie the frame to the jig, place a jack under the rear housing near the axle flange and see how much binding occurs. It'll be some extra work to cut it back out if it doesn't suit me but that may be the best way to decide. I'm am still very open to ideas and suggestions though.:confused: Robert
 

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Thanks, Val. You are my hero! I need to learn to save $$ like you. It seems all my life I had to buy high and sell low. :D Yea, I think I will go with the coil-overs. I was thinking of sticking with old school with the leafs but realize the coil-overs will probably be smarter.
 

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Mark ..... somehow I had the feeling you saw this Poncho already...... you don't miss much!!!!

CptBob..... I do remember those days..... the first organized drag strip opened in the Pittsburgh area in 1964. Most of the cars that raced back then were "driven" to the strip..... after all most were our "daily drivers". You never saw any of the "enclosed trailers" that are so commonplace today.
Weren't those the great days of drag racing? Everybody lined up to get in the gate, and hardly a trailer in sight, except for the really big dogs! Man we had a lot of fun racing then, and never really cared about whether we'd win anything or not!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Weren't those the great days of drag racing? Everybody lined up to get in the gate, and hardly a trailer in sight, except for the really big dogs! Man we had a lot of fun racing then, and never really cared about whether we'd win anything or not!
WoW Vall...... It is almost like we lived in the same place....... that was one "line" that was FUN to wait in.

The year before Pittsburgh International Dragway was built (opened for the 1964 season) we raced (NASCAR Sanctioned) on the straight away at Heidelburg Raceway (a DIRT circle track).

For more info go to> http://www.doyleperformance.com/dotnetnuke/WPSCC/HeidelbergRacewayThehalfmileofmyyouth/tabid/160/Default.aspx

In addition to "No Closed trailers" many of us had NO headers (too expensive & heavy) used exhaust cutout tubes that stuck out of the front fender well - No slicks (used over sized, under inflated, BALD, recapped snow tires - side windows filled with "class winner" stickers - rear wheel rims painted 1/2 black & 1/2 white - re-verb radio tuned to our fav "Doo ***" radio station with our current "sweetie" sitting right next to us (early cars did not have bucket seats)

Man..... "Those were the days my friend we thought they'd NEVER end" ..... but they did!!!!! :(
 

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Great picture, John. Beautiful country up there. Brings back a lot of fond memories.:)
 

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No headers! I remember when I didn't have headers just because they were too spendy! I was running 13's with my '55 Chevy gasser with stock ramshorn manifolds, and dual exhaust! It was fun to come to the line with a really quiet car, and then bounce the front tires off the ground. The carbs were louder than the exhaust! :)
 

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First car was a '55 Chevy with transplanted 348. Second was a '64 Catalina ex-police car that I eventually dropped a '65 GTO 389/4 speed and a 3:90 posi into. Next was a '64 GTO with a bad 389 that I dropped a '69 Pran Prix 428 into. My first new car was a '72 Trans Am 455 HO auto. None of those cars had headers. They were just too expensive at the time. The new Trans AM went to a friends fathers local garage where we cut out a section of the exhaust pipe right after the Ram Air exhaust manifold s(these were great manifolds for a stock part) and we put in a set of header collector adaptors for hooking the headers to the stock exhaust.They were 3 inch to 2 1/4 adaptors turned face to face and welded into the opening in the pipes. I would open the exhaust by dropping the exhaust pipe after the adaptors and us the bolts to hang it and keep it off the ground. Worked pretty well. I added headers later and only picked up a tenth. Since then headers have been on every car I've modified. Mark L
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
In the early to mid-60's most cars did not use headers..... they were expensive so the "cut-outs" were the average guys solution.

As time went (mid-late 60's & on) headers became commonplace. Then the STATE POLICE started cracking down on the muscle cars & hot rods that were everywhere back then. So even though headers were available at affordable prices the "Modified Exhaust System" tickets made them NOT worth having.

Same thing with any suspension modification or tires that were too wide. If you got stopped you had to pay.

Living not far from our local drag strip didn't help matters any. The State Police would hang around the highways leading to the drag strip just waiting to bust you for having a little air in your car's rear air shocks, L60's that stuck out past the fender wells, non-factory hood scoop or for an exhaust system that was not factory installed.

Thankfully it's not like that now! Not sure why ???? ..... but many of the cars found at local cruise nights today could all be busted for numerous equipment violations based on what we got tickets for "back in the day". With the cops ALL over us & the EPA killing off the production of muscle cars it's no wonder those "glory days" of hot rodding died. Thankfully they are back..... stronger than ever!!!!!
 

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Cops used to write a lot of tickets for BS stuff here too. They leave hotrods alone pretty much now as long as they're not doing something crazy. Small towns are still dicey, and you never know if they'll ignore you or hit you for something minor.
 

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Wow! You guys have got to be kiddin'. No offence, but you must be talking west coast. The only thing I remember having any legal issues with in "rural N.C." was loud exaust. Well.....I did grow up in what we called "the country" but others refered to it as "the sticks." We went to "town" on a fairly regular basis though and never had any of those problems. Remember scavenger pipes? I spent a whole Saturday putting a set on a '65 Mustang 2+2. Bought it from a GI at Fort Bragg. It already had headers and some more goodies in it. Hi Jackers on the rear to keep the fenders off the L-60's on 10" Raiders. Anyway, I had to have some scavengers. Went down to the parts store and bought some Thrush header mufflers. Then went to the machine shop and bought me two pieces of 4" drive shaft tubing ( same diameter as the muffler) about four feet long. Had the guy cut one end on a 45. Went home and welded the tubing to the end of the mufflers and commenced to rip out a perfictly good dual exaust system. Bolted those pipes under there and headed to town. That's right.....never quite made it to town. Had to get a buddy come give me a ride back home. The cop said he heard me when I left home. That would have been about ten miles so I think he might have streched it a little. But that ended my hankerin' for scavengers. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Wow! You guys have got to be kiddin'. No offence, but you must be talking west coast. The only thing I remember having any legal issues with in "rural N.C." was loud exaust. Well.....I did grow up in what we called "the country" but others refered to it as "the sticks." We went to "town" on a fairly regular basis though and never had any of those problems. Remember scavenger pipes? ........
No....NOT Kidding!!!! This was in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.

One Sunday afternoon..... on the way to the drag strip in my '67 Camaro I got stopped by a State Police officer..... after asking me if I was "trying to get away from him" ..... told me the raised rear (slightly - with springs over the shocks) L60's on 10" Keystone Classics with "short" Thrush mufflers and 3" homemade scavenger pipes running straight back from the mufflers to just under the rear end...... cost me $187.50 (which was a lot of money back then)...... had to pay the fine, remove everything and then take the car to the State Police Barracks and have it inspected.

Needless to say I never put the stuff back on again. This was in 1970 when "muscle car madness" was at its peak. The drag strip was less than 3 miles from my home, Yenko Chevrolet nearby & ALWAYS lots of cruisin' to the hamburger places happening. It was like a "moving" car show on Friday & Saturday nights and also late Sunday afternoon after the drag races were over.

Oh BTW....guess I should mention there was quite a bit of street racing in the area (Bridgeville, PA). It was a hot area for hot cars & for the cops to make extra $$$$.

CptBob.... I do remember those large scavenger pipes.

When I was stationed in West Germany in 1967-68 there was a gold GTO that had them (made from drive shafts). They sounded awesome. The large diameter tubing really added a very deep sound to the already LOUD exhaust note.
 

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Ouch! That kinda money would hurt even today. I guess we just had it better than we realized down here in the south. The street racing was a different story though. That brought on some serious repercussions. My dad tought me early there was a time and place for everything and the street was not the place for racing anytime. Probably a good lesson for me. I loved my cars and I knew if I got cought I would loose that car either to the state or to the "old man."

Oh BTW, John.........Thanks for your service to our great country. I appreciate you and all Veterans... everyday!
 
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