Before there were pony cars and muscle cars, there were greasers and gassers. These were the original hot rods, and old Chevy's are the iconic symbol of this bye-gone era that had so much influence on car culture. Today, the 55 Chevy is still one of the most popular models for gasser build projects. If you have a 55 Chevy shell that you want to make into something that is street-worthy, here are some of the essential features needed to build a nostalgic gasser that brings back the glory days of hot rodding:
1. Start Cutting Off the Weight and Making Room for Drag Slicks
Gassers are hot rods that are modified specifically for drag racing, which is why they are often stripped of any heavy parts that add too much extra weight. You will want to start by cutting out body parts that get in the way, such as the back-fender wells, which need to accommodate larger tires. In addition, remove bumpers, replace the hood and take weight off the body everywhere you possibly can.
2. Invest in A Purpose-Built Gasser Chassis to Sit Your 55 Shell On
The stance of the gasser is one of the most important features, which is why it is a good idea to start with a purpose-built chassis for your project. Most 55 Chevy parts dealers will have gasser chassis in stock, so you can start with a solid foundation to build off of. Gasser chassis have features like mounting points for suspension parts and straight-axles on the front end.
3. Getting the Gasser-Stance Right with Straight Axles and Leaf Springs
The stance of a gasser is a raised front end with skinny tires and wider racing tires in the rear. This is important to get the right look for a true gasser car. In the front, a straight-axle will create a true gasser appearance. In addition to the front-axle, adding front leaf springs and spacers to raise the frontend can help create the right stance for a true gasser look.
4. Stripping the Guts Out of The Interior and Installing a Custom Roll Cage
The interior is another area where there is a lot of extra weight that can be removed. Take out interior materials like carpet, rear seats and anything else that is not needed. This will also make room for installing a custom roll cage for drag racing. Seats can be replaced with stripped down racing bucket seats and five-point harnesses for racing safety.
5. Drop in The Sickest Drivetrain to Give Your Gasser Horses For 10s At the Drag Strip
One of the best parts about building an authentic gasser is that there are no limits when it comes to the drivetrain. Add an American made engine that has been custom built to maximize power output and a transmission to give you the torque you need to bring the tires off the ground and fly down the drag strip in 10 seconds or less.
These are some of the essential features that make up a true gasser. If you are ready to start your project and test it out on the drag strip, contact a 55 Chevy parts service like i5 CHEVY to get everything you need to complete your build.