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Gassers Galore! A Southern California Rev Fest

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 9/12/2018 Hot Rod Network Staff

Pie crust slicks, sky high straight axles, roots blowers with mechanical injection, fenderwell headers, tilt front ends, and hand-lettered graphics: these are a few of the marks of any period correct gasser and on August 25th at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, California the parking lot was filled with examples of these nostalgic speed machines. For the fifth year in a row, the gasser owners of Southern California have gathered to show off their machines, rev their engines, and lay down some rubber for the viewing pleasure of anyone that attends. It has attracted some big names including "The Camfather" himself, Ed Iskenderian, known widely in the racing community for Isky Racing Cams.


The term "Gasser" refers to a particular class of drag race cars that was popular in the late 1950s through the 1970s. Instead of nitro or alcohol, these cars ran on gasoline, and there was a limit of cubic inches for the weight of the car in each division. Not every car was raised sky high in the front. Before tire and suspension technology caught up with horsepower, some racers had jacked up the front suspension and lightened up the front end with a straight axles to help transfer weight to the rear tires resulting in more traction and lower times on the drag strip.

This practice got so out of hand and the front ends so ridiculously high that the NHRA actually had to make a new rule that the center of the crankshaft could be no more than 24-inches off the ground. Despite that fact, the iconic reverse rake of these cars is what remained as the gasser legacy, coming to mind when most people hear the term.

From Willy's gassers to Pontiac GTOs with trumpet stacks sticking through the hood there was a little bit of everything out there. Some of the cars were shiny with perfectly chromed trim, while others were painted by Mother Nature and proudly wore their patina. So take a look through this gallery of gassers and see what you missed at the 5th annual Revfest!

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