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Snake45

Possibly Stupid Vintage NASCAR Question

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14 hours ago, RancheroSteve said:

I think in this case "purpose built" could be ambiguous and doesn't necessarily mean "fully fabricated". I take it to mean that in '67 they were using Fairlane unibody platforms, with Galaxie front clips, and of course a lot of rollbar tubing and boxing in of the frame rails, like Coulter shows in his book. At some point I suspect they started running out of actual '65 Galaxie frames ('69-70?) and started making something virtually identical that could be essentially be called "fully fabricated". Then I imagine as time went on, they began using less and less of the original unibody until it became a fully fabricated chassis. The way they were cutting up and modifying the unibodies made them almost irrelevant anyway. What year this happened, I'm not sure (the sixties and early seventies cars are more my cup of tea.)

Again, like afx, I'm not trying to start an argument, that's just kinda how I read the history.

This is pretty much correct except the half chassis was pretty much the same 67-71. 72 introduction of the full frame Torino changed the Ford camp completely. I’m not trying to argue with anyone either. All I’m saying is never trust a scribbler. Written history is easily changed due to writers memory or perception. Photos are the best evidence and don’t get things wrong. If you guys want to see a half chassis car the way it was go to Facebook and look at John Crafts restoration of a Bondy Long Torino . Shows it all apart and exactly how they were built. 

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Here are two vintage late 60's early 70's pictures, one Chrysler one modified GM:

 

nichelsroadrunner2_zps1043c89b.jpg

nichels gto chassis.jpg

Nascar 73 chassis.jpg

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The photos, like Tim said, tell the story. The top two were from Nichels. One is a Plymouth Road Runner (unit body) and the other a Pontiac GTO (full frame). The Plymouth has reinforcements in the rocker area to strengthen the unit body and the GTO has a front clip welded to the factory frame. The last picture was from a California chassis shop (Stock Car Products, I believe) in 1973 and you can see all of the elements of a "clipped" full frame: reinforced factory  Chevelle frame, Ford Galaxie based front clip and Chevy truck arm rear suspension.

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1 hour ago, DoctorLarry said:

The photos, like Tim said, tell the story. The top two were from Nichels. One is a Plymouth Road Runner (unit body) and the other a Pontiac GTO (full frame). The Plymouth has reinforcements in the rocker area to strengthen the unit body and the GTO has a front clip welded to the factory frame. The last picture was from a California chassis shop (Stock Car Products, I believe) in 1973 and you can see all of the elements of a "clipped" full frame: reinforced factory  Chevelle frame, Ford Galaxie based front clip and Chevy truck arm rear suspension.

Notice they started with a boxed convertible frame too

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Now I"m glad I asked this "stupid" question. Lots of good info coming out, which I'm sure will be of interest to many. B)

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1 hour ago, afx said:

Information from the the 1973 Rules Book.

https://www.cottonowens.com/scrapbook/construction_guidelines.php

That rule book shows exactly how a Holman moody car was done. Tubes slipped in the existing rocker panels to tie into the frt stub and rear torque boxes. The stock rear frame rails can be seen in place. 

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I had the chassis photos from the same place posted earlier in the thread.

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Lots of good info and perspective here - what makes this board so worthwhile. I agree with not trusting everything you read. Photos tend not to lie, or at least lie less. And I guess when we get into the scale realm there's the question of "how far do you want to go?" I appreciate the guys who try to get it right.

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Posted (edited)

My wife's uncle is Charles (Charlie) Strang (he passed in 2018). He was the senior engineer at Mercury Marine (under Carl Kiekhaefer). He was in charge of building the 55-56 Chryslers run by Kiekhaefer. After Kiekhaefer left NASCAR in 57 Charlie maintained close ties with the France family and many of the greats of NASCAR. He was the national commissioner for NASCAR 1998 to 2008.

 

At Family Christmas parties and other family events Charlie would tell stories about the 55-56 seasons as well as other stories relating to NASCAR. One time while discussing the Dale Earnhardt crash investigation he started talking about crashes that changed NASCAR. He specifically talked about the Don MasTavish crash in 1969 involving a 66 Comet running in the Sportsman series. The Car hit the wall right where an outside gate was and the entire front of the car came off leaving the driver completely exposed. As the car spun to a stop on the track another car hit the Comet head on. The crash was horrific and it was televised. The Comet was not running a full race chassis, it was jut a reinforced unibody. Charlie said this crash got everyone’s attention and it spelled the end of the stock chassis car.

 

I recommend you google Charlie (he also invented the inboard/outboard) and the Don MasTavish crash.

 

Carmak

Edited by Carmak

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