The Rodder's Journal Cover Car, subscriber issue #55.
This is an obsession that began over 40 years ago. It started back in 1961 when Larry Teter of Elgin, Illinois won the C/G Nationals at Indianapolis with his beautiful Honduras maroon Vicky. I was eleven at the time but so smitten, the next year I bought a used Moon hand pump, the first of many parts that would become this car. Over the years many cars came and went but the plans for the Vicky build never faded. Parts were bought and stashed away in anticipation while every detail of this build was carefully considered and recorded as to how this car would come together when construction finally began. Three requirements defined the construction. First and foremost, Authenticity to the period would be maintained using original parts and construction techniques required by the NHRA in 1961 . Second, It would be Street legal like those original Gassers were required to be. Third, No posing, if it looked like a race car then it had to perform. This Vicky Gasser represents the early period of racing before Christmas trees, plexiglass and million dollar sponsors, when the car you raced on weekends was also the car that got you to school during the week. In that spirit, in addition to being able to actually do what she looks like she can do... Race,...this Vicky also has good street manners, runs cool in traffic and is a pleasure to cruise. Over 1600 hours of build fabrication by Jimmy White of Circle City Hot Rods in Orange California, plus hundreds of hours more for paint and upholstery, resulted in this perfect tribute to the first class of Gassers that raced in those early days. Starting with an all-original Steel Body, fenders and frame from a clean survivor, forty years of dreams started to become reality. Old boxes were opened and parts laid out. A 1937 Ford V8-60 axle, a '40 Ford steering box, '40 wishbones, '39 spindles, a '36 Ford dash, 1959 Volvo bucket seats, an NOS '59 Austin Healy hand brake, a '50's Moon tank, NOS Eelco tank brackets, NOS Ansen pedal and linkage, boxes of Stewart Warner NOS gauges, a Wedge bellhousing, a Jones cable tach, a Joe Hunt magneto. The list goes on and on.... and on.
Many of the rare parts incorporated here are simply no longer available anywhere thus contributing to making this truly a one of a kind car. A Chevy 409 was the engine of choice but after considering that motor wasn't released until late 1961 and would have been very difficult to obtain for a non factory race car in 1961, a 1960 348 was selected then bored and stroked to get those extra cubic inches. A Borg Warner T-10 4-speed sits behind the legendary "W" motor instead of a Muncie because the Muncie wasn't released until '64. A Ford 9" smooth case with a posi lays down the power through the Hurst cheater slicks protruding 2 inches out from the fenders. As it was then, the paint is Lacquer, PPG Honduras Maroon and the entire underside is painted white enamel, correct for the period to be able to quickly spot problems at the track. It took over three years for a professional shop to construct this and I can't describe it with justice here. The Rodder's Journal fourteen page feature delves in deeper yet still leaves a lot of the build details untold. It should be obvious though that this is not a Hot Rod that was built from a parts catalog nor one where details and decisions were made as the build was in progress. This is a labor of love, a 40 year planned passion. We knew what it would be before we started. This one was all about the build. It was always about the build. It's perfect and there is absolutely nothing like this out there anywhere. Offered to the person that appreciates her uniqueness. Completed in 2012 driven less than 200 miles since then.