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Old 03-06-2007, 04:29 PM
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What Is A Gasser?

I have heard this word when some one is talking about a car and im not sure exactly what this means.Forgive me im new,and im just curious what makes a gasser a gasser.

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Old 03-06-2007, 04:38 PM
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a gasser is from the 50, 60 days, it is a drag car with blower or fuel injector, first all out race cars, some home made, look up stone,wood and cook Willis
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Old 03-06-2007, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BURNOUT!
I have heard this word when some one is talking about a car and im not sure exactly what this means.Forgive me im new,and im just curious what makes a gasser a gasser.
Sorry,i probably put this under the wrong topic.
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Old 03-06-2007, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BURNOUT!
I have heard this word when some one is talking about a car and im not sure exactly what this means.Forgive me im new,and im just curious what makes a gasser a gasser.
No problem

Jump on Google and put in "gasser cars". There is an abundance to read.

Gasser is a term from the late 50s and early 60s denoting a type of drag car usually visually characterized by an extremely high front end for weight transfer

and often the front suspension is the old parallel leaf spring and staight axle from a pickup, which allows that extremely high stance.
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Old 03-06-2007, 04:46 PM
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i bet those cars were a hand full sitting high like that, sure look cool
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Old 03-06-2007, 10:00 PM
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Great pics Xntrik, I love Gassers, still remember the gasser wars at Lions Drag strip in the early 60's. Stone,Woods & Cook...Engle Cams. Big John Mazmanian...Isky Cams. Before that Doug Cook had a '37 chevy coupe with a 4-71 blown 301 chevy. You talk about RPMS !!!!!!!!!! and you know those guys flat towed those cars to the strip, if a guy had a trailer it was some old P.O.S. single axle boat trailer that they converted to a flat bed....
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Old 03-06-2007, 10:13 PM
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They still had to have a full interior and look somewhat streetable. Once you gutted the interior, the car was an Altered.
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Old 03-07-2007, 01:57 AM
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Most ****** cars ever.
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Old 03-07-2007, 03:52 AM
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Gasser classes were for the modified cars that typically looked streetable..your deuce coupe with a SBC would have fallen into a gas class..or putting dual 4's and a cam in your tri-5 chev would have made it a gas class car..I think they call them modified classes now..lot of the modern bracket cars would have run in the old gas classifications..

Rules as I recall from back in the day required no more than a 10% engine setback and one had to be nominally streetable with lights and such..Classes were on a weight break with so many cubic inches per lb of car weight..Had to have a roll cage and race belts..Just some of what made a gasser..

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Old 03-07-2007, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techinspector1
They still had to have a full interior and look somewhat streetable. Once you gutted the interior, the car was an Altered.
Gassers did not have to have a full (stock) interiors as such and could be quite spartan. However, the seats, steering etc. had to be in a relatively stock position. Also, as I recall, the frame had to match the body (year & make) but could be reinforced (boxed, roll cage etc.)

The major differences between a gasser and an altered was the allowable engine set-back (10% max for a gasser, 25% max for an altered). The other major difference was that altereds were allowed ANY chassis or chassis modification and seats/steering could be center mounted if desired.
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:56 AM
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"What is a gasser?"

The guy who always sits next to you on a long airplane trip.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:34 PM
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What's sad to me is that Burnout even had to ask this question. (Not a put down of Burnout at all, just troubling that he had to ask.) I guess it just shows how the early era or drag racing is passing into oblivion.

Gassers and Altereds were THE reason many of of us went to the drags when we were growing up. They weren't the fastest vehicles out there, obviously the dragster classes took those honors. But they were the most intriguing for many red blooded young men.

These were fairly stock appearing cars from the outside, with the exception of their tires and ride heights. But from the inside...well from the inside it was all about pure speed and power. And back then you could easily identify a Ford or a Willys or a Thames or a Fiat or even the occasional Dodge or Plymouth that ran in the G or A class. Each car was unique, both inside and out.

Many of these monsters were Shadetree Specials. Guys just took whatever lightweight car they could find, swapped in some big power, put on some slicks, and jacked around endlessly with the suspension. To my way of thinking Gassers and Altereds were the real "Hot Rods" of drag racing. Unlike the dragsters which were obviously "race only", Gassers and Altereds appeared to be cars you might see tooling down the local boulevard on Saturday night. And a few did I suppose.

It's just sad when one is suddenly made aware once again that these cars have been relegated to the dust heap of history and a few Nostalgia Runs here and there. To me they were the heart and soul of drag racing.

And here's one I built and ran in the early-mid 70's. A C/Altered running SBC, dual quads on a tunnel ram, clutch turbo 3-spd, Chapman Chassis (funny car style), Olds rear - solid mounted. Handful.

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Old 03-07-2007, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cboy
Gassers did not have to have a full (stock) interiors as such and could be quite spartan. However, the seats, steering etc. had to be in a relatively stock position. Also, as I recall, the frame had to match the body (year & make) but could be reinforced (boxed, roll cage etc.)

The major differences between a gasser and an altered was the allowable engine set-back (10% max for a gasser, 25% max for an altered). The other major difference was that altereds were allowed ANY chassis or chassis modification and seats/steering could be center mounted if desired.
With all due respect to you, I guess it would depend on the time frame we're talking about. I began teching cars at Dahio Drag Strip in 1958. Here is an excerpt of the rules of the day taken from Gasser Madness:

"In 1958, a gas class racer was basically a hot street coupe. No engine setback was allowed, all gassers had to have working lights, wipers, starter, generator and all other street equipment. Fans and belts were optional, but radiators were required. The car even had to be currently licensed for the street. Full exhaust systems, including mufflers, were required but could be unhooked for competition, although they had to remain on the car. Those of you old enough will remember “cutouts” that were used back then up into the early 60’s."

"What all this provided for was a class for guys to run a “hopped-up” street machine. The cars were required to have full “factory-type” upholstery although two buckets could replace the standard bench seat as long as both were fully upholstered. Customs were allowed as long as the car wasn’t chopped, channeled or sectioned a total of more than four inches. “Four stock fenders” and a rear bumper were also required."

Everything changed in '62......read on.....

"1962 was a sort of “sea change” year for the gassers. As Don Montgomery, in his book “Supercharged Gas Coupes” states: “The NHRA rule changes for 1962 were evidence that drag racing had finally accepted the gas coupe/sedan competitors to be serious racers.” The rules that required full street equipment including mufflers, wipers, horns, generators, emergency brakes, license plates and registration were now gone. Roll-up side windows were no longer required and could be replaced by Plexiglas windows screwed to the window frame. They were now real racecars. The other change, affecting only the A/GS class was the decision to raise the minimum weight to 5.00-lbs./cu. in. Performances of the blown cars was getting pretty quick. I still remember reading in Hot Rod Magazine about Stone, Woods & Cook breaking the 10-second “barrier” with a 9.99 at San Gabriel. The supercharged gassers were the quickest and fastest full-bodied cars in drag racing."

And then in '64.......

"The rules also required the seats to be in the stock location, but they were permitted to be relocated no more that 4” rearward to allow additional legroom. The other interior rules were subject to a lot of interpretation. The rules for “Upholstery” read as follows: “Interiors may not be gutted. Must run full upholstery, equivalent to factory specifications. Floor mats optional. Bucket seats may replace stock seats (two required), only if they are fully upholstered. Rear seats are optional. Factory type upholstery and/or paneling must be used in lieu of the above.” So…basically, you could rip out the stock seats and carpeting, replace them with lightweight bucket seats and dump the rear seat. Sounds like “full upholstery, equivalent to factory specifications” to me…yeah, right."

Last edited by techinspector1; 03-07-2007 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:28 PM
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For some great vintage photos and excerpts from the NHRA rule books of the day check out Byron's www.gassermadness.com.

The Gasser classes still live. Current cars run under rules set by Vintage Racing Association, a spin off from Goodguys.

Current nostalgia gassers and the like can be seen at www.anra.com, American Nostalgia Racing Association.

Take a look at my photos and you'll see the nostalgia '39 Studebaker Coupe we WERE building. The coupe is now deceased and we have moved to a '68 Ford Falcon platform. The goal is to still run D/GAS which is no longer a cubic inch to weight ratio but is an index class set at 10.60 by VRA. C/G is 9.60, B/G is 8.60 and A/G is 7.60. There are NE classes (Nostalgia Eliminator) for faster cars and those that don't fit the gasser classification such as altereds, funny cars and front engine diggers.

Hope this helps a little.

Murff
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techinspector1
...I guess it would depend on the time frame we're talking about. "
You are quite right that the rules did evolve between the late 50's and early 60's as guys were bringing more and more radical stuff to the track that pushed the envelope (and the rule book). My post was only to point out that the difference between the Altered class and the Gasser class was far more than simply gutting the interior...which was true both before and after rule changes.
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