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Old 06-02-2012, 03:44 AM
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a REAL 1951 chevy coupe gasser

Hey guys I have a 1951 chevy sport coupe that I would like to turn into a period correct gasser the engine I will be using is a 1966 327 an I beam axle out of a 60 ford f100 and I would like to build the sub frame firewall forward using 2x4 rectangular tubing what I need to know is will this set up be period correct as well as follow the proper guidelines for the nhra regulations?? I have been doing my research but I figured I would ask those of you who were there being that I wasn't even born until 1989 Haha any info pics and opinions would be greatly apreceated thanks again - Jr

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Old 06-02-2012, 05:39 AM
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Use the original frame: http://www.jwracing-fab.com/forum/vi...b7d35aeb473022

I don't see 2x4 being period correct.
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:33 AM
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If you want something "period correct" you need to study that period. This can take quite a while but now, with the net, it makes things a whole lot easier.

You can start with google image using the key words "Vintage gasser" without the quotes. Click here

That would be a start, go to the sites with the vintage photos. You will find all kinds of websites dedicated to these cars. There are lots of photos on the net of gassers with the front clips off showing the frame.

Here is an interesting site. http://drag.racersreunion.com/

But honestly, this is something you need to jump into head first and STUDY if you want to make an authentic period car. Look at those old photos and do NOTHING, put NOTHING on the car that isn't in those photos.

Brian
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:28 AM
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byrons Gasser Madness is a great site. Too bad we lost him earlier this year.

Couple notes: You may want to think hard about whether you are building this as a time capsule, or if you want to get your 'boogie down' on

A period correct roll cage and brake setup are not the best for a serious car. Going fast is the fun part, but if you can't get it stopped or you end up (god forbid) in a wreck...period correct should be one of the farthest things from your mind

I remember seeing a picture of a T bucket style car built in the 60s that was very short (more of a modified than a true bucket according to 30yr old traditionalists who were never there)...he had no gastank, the frame was made of round tube and thats where the fuel went. Period correct? Sure. Cool to look at? Absolutely. But utterly stupid.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:23 PM
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Thanks for the help guys Its good to hear both sides of the fence so to speak gives me alot to think about I defiantly agree it must be safe I guess where im finding myself is more of a middle approach I think my main concern tho is not so much only vintage parts or sacrificing safety for "correctness" mainly I just want to comply as much as safely possible with the nhra regulations for the time period im still having trouble finding good clear pictures of front ends sub frames and suspension setups from the era I see alot of what's been done now especially with the speedway straight axles but I don't wanna just bolt on parts I wanna do just as these old timers did and figure it out use skills that are all but gone from my generation and be able to say yes I made all of these parts come together how they should and professionaly anybody can pull out a credit card or tack weld some junk on there car
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:03 PM
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To do what you propose use mostly parts we would have used back in the day..like a /ford econoline front axle or perhaps a front axle from a chev pickup from about 1950 or so..Rear axle a ford 9 inch from a 57 ford or have one narrowed to that spec..Engine would be a 283/301 chev or possibly a 327..Olds and buick were used as well..trans most likely a manual but the B&M hydro stick came out in the early 60's..Modern scattershield and roll cage will be needed these days as well as upgraded brakes..

Good luck..

Sam
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:17 PM
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I have a 1960 ford f100 axle and a 66 chevy 327 the other parts are a little harder to come by at least on my budget lol
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:36 PM
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Being as I'm officially an old fart, and built my first gasser (1955 Chevy business coupe) when I was 20 in 1970, I can tell you that the plan you have could be very period correct.
I saw guys building lots of budget gassers using a truck straight axle, and stock frame. I also saw guys who had the skills and some money using 2"x3" or 2"x4" box tubing frame stubs and chrome aftermarket straight axles. And some using a bit of both. My '55 was a stock frame, but I got lucky and bought a chrome tube axle out of a friend's old race car.
The 327 is also very period correct, and even more so if you can find the old camel hump heads and upgrade them with SS valves and hardened seats. I just completed my 7th street gasser and I'm also running a 327 bored .040", and the old camel hump 2.02 heads.
I'm not a stickler about period correct, and safety is a bigger issue for me, so I'm running Chevy disc brakes up front, and a modern tube axle. I'm also not running an old stock master cylinder, as I wanted something that would pull me to a stop easily.
If you're going for correct era NHRA rules then you'll find they were much looser than present day rules, especially in the lower gas classes like a carbed 327 in a '51 Chevy. Your car would probably have run in E/Gas and they weren't as strict with the slower classes. Be sure to keep the engine low enough, or the frontend low enough to have a 24" centerline to the front of the crankshaft. That and stock wheelbase was one rule that NHRA held consistent throughout the Gas classes.
Here's a picture of my Austin gasser. (exactly 24" to the crank!) :
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:52 PM
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Wow 427 that's awesome!! Thanks for all that info like I said some stuff ain't just on google you gotta talk to the people who were there! The 327 I have has the old double humps or camel humps its a true survivor 140,000 original miles never been machined hell it still had the original head gaskets ran like a top instill I spun a rod bearing so out of the impala it came and into something a little wilder. Im not a stickler on compleatly period correct I just want to do you "old farts" proud show you that there are still some out here that learned and understand why you guys did things the way you did and not just jack the front up high and cut the pipes off
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:07 PM
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I'm sure you can get it to looking and running well, and keep traditional without getting too hung up on period correct. I love the look, but even bck in the 60's we'd have put disc brakes on if they were cheap and easy to install!
My Austin gasser was a real budget build. Two most expensive items were the car at $1900, and the paint at $2,000. Even with those two expenses I'm still well under $10k total.
I could have saved a lot on the front axle if I could have used a truck or van axle, but my whole car is only 52" wide outside the front fenders, so they weren't an option. I had to get a tube axle kit, and that set me back $800 alone.
Here's a link to another forum I browse that owned by the same people who own this one:
http://www.gasserhotrods.com/forum/forum.php

Good bunch of guys, and a lot of gasser knowledge to share when you get started on the Chevy!
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:13 PM
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Awesome thanks! Ya my wife and I just had our first a little future hotrodder himself Haha but money needless to say is tight I could definently use some tips to cut costs just trying to keep my passion alive and put food on the table
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