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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


I found this picture on the HAMB of my Henry J at the Car Craft Street Machine Nationals in 1982 and thought I would share it here. I know it;s the same car by the custom rear wheel openings it still has.
 

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The photo is great! I like the wheel openings they blend better with the fronts almost look factory. Is it running a straight axle in that photo?
 

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That's great! Nice to find an old pic of your ride!
I have talked to the person who sold the Opel to the guy I got it from. They BOTH KNOW the guy who started the project back in the '70's ..... then like so many "drag cars" being built and not finished and others that were put away due to drag racers moving on to later model cars due to rule changes, etc, etc. So it sat in a barn for 30 years untouched. The last two owners finally got it "strip-worthy".

Hopefully one day I will be able to meet this guy started converting the family economy grocery getter (a completely stock '69 Opel Kadett Station Wagon) to a drag car.


From what I have been told, like many other drag car builders of the time, the original owner chose the Opel for its light weight (the body's sheet metal is very thin) over the more popular Anglias, Austins, Henry J's and other similar small body/short wheelbase cars previously used to build the popular "mini-gassers that had been so "in vogue" during the late '60's & early '70's.

Finding any pictures of it would be really be nice. Especially ones during the early days of the build & especially when it was "stored in the barn" prior to it finally being completed and raced at drag strips in West Virginia & Ohio.


 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Some information I got with the car said it was pulled from a junkyard around '79 or '80 and was built into a hotrod then with a tunnel rammed 283. The car has changed hands several times since then, I'm told. I have heard from a guy from Pennsylvania that his dad owned it briefly in the late 80's when they lived in the Rockford, IL area. It doesn't have a straight axle in this picture. One of the later owners cut out the stock crossmember and tack welded the brackets for the axle in, as well as cutting the whole floor and firewall out. I plan on cutting the electrical conduit wheel openings out, filling in the sheet metal as needed and cutting traditional radiused wheel openings into the quarters.
 

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.......... I plan on cutting the electrical conduit wheel openings out, filling in the sheet metal as needed and cutting traditional radiused wheel openings into the quarters.
I also prefer the "traditional radiused wheel well openings. As nice as the flares were installed and all of the time/work it took whoever to install them I didn't hesitate to get out the sawzall and cut them off.

Surprisingly, underneath there were "radiused wheel openings. They appear to have never been finished. The openings were cut and then whoever welded a bead around the opening.... the radius is off a little & the surrounding panels are nowhere straight (warped from the welding or ????). Plus my plan to go to a bigger rear tire & wheel combination on the rear makes the tire to wheel opening clearance minimal. So looks like I will also have to redo them to fit the wheels/tires.

 

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That's awesome you found that picture of your car! Iv'e been looking for my 70 Charger in 1983 street machine nationals in Illinois. No luck so far and only one 70 Charger R/T found and it was black and not green.
 

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Ooooh what a difference 30 years can make........:D That's some really cool and valuable history......congratulations!
 
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