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MPC Flip Nose '57 gasser converted to......well, a gasser.


roadhawg
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“You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.” -Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride.

Gasser. That term gets used a lot, for all sorts of vehicles....I've even seen on Facebook a gasser described as "any car that's jacked way up and has a big engine", but in my opinion a true gasser is a competition legal drag car that raced in the 1960s. As far as being jacked up high, believe it or not they actually had rules about height, such as the centerline of the crankshaft could not be more than 24" above the ground, and usually only the top 3 classes (A, B, and C/gas) were raised any at all, to accommodate straight front axles. 
The gas class reached it's prime in 1967, and was eliminated by 1972, so there's really no such thing as a "modern gasser". There's cars built today to resemble a gasser, but they're just current interpretations of a true gasser....and to be honest, seeing modern parts on them just sorta ruin the look to me. 
There are several nostalgia gasser groups that race today, but only one....The Southeastern Gassers Association....races PERIOD CORRECT gassers. Their rules are based on 1967 rules, and their motto is "follow us to 1967". These cars are the real deal. If you ever get a chance to attend a SEGA event, please do! It's only $20 for a full day of authentic heads up gasser racing, and that includes your pit pass.

Anyway, enough of my shameless promotion of the Southeast Gassers. On to the model...
I wanted to build a gasser that, if real, would be SEGA legal. This is the MPC Flip Nose '57, built using the SEGA rule book as a guide. I've added period correct tires and wheels, and lowered the car slightly, which required reworking the rear suspension and opening up the rear fenders. I've also noticed on other builds of this kit that the front axle looks a little too far to the rear, so I moved it forward about 1/16-1/8"". Since the SEGA doesn't run a supercharged class, I modified the hole in the hood for fuel injection instead of the blower. 
The SEGA gives a weight break for uncommon engines (something other than Chevy, Ford, or a Hemi) so I went with a Pontiac 421 from the AMT '62 Catalina. They also give a weight break for mechanical fuel injection as opposed to carburation, so the intake is from the parts box....I think it came from the Revell Anglia gasser....Oldsmobile engine, I believe, but the injection unit is the same basic design for a Pontiac. Wheelie bars are also from the parts box. Interior is straight from the kit, except I added a dash mounted tachometer. The windows were replaced with clear yellow plastic, except the windshield which remains clear. 
The name is a play on words for the Pontiac "engine"....Pontiac being an Indian Chief. Decals are from Speedway Decals. The color is Duplicolor Bright Red. 

This was a fun build, and I'm reasonably happy with the way it turned out. Now, for my next trick, I'm going to try to convert that Moebius Nova gasser into a real SEGA legal gasser....that should keep me busy for awhile! 

Thanks for looking. 

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I've seen this kit build up numerous times before....never this good. Absolutely a beautiful representation of a late 60's lower class gasser. Where did you get the decals? They're period perfect. I agree. I love the bumper sticker.

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Posted (edited)

Most excellent build.  I am a Gasser freak and was lucky enough to spend two-wonderful days last summer watching SEGA run my local dragstrip.  One rule you didn't mention was the use of four-speed transmissions only and nothing air-shifted, all must be hand thrown.  Really like the color scheme you did on yours.  One fine machine.

Edited by TarheelRick
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8 hours ago, M W Elky said:

SWEET I LOVE THAT NIXON DECAL NICE JOB 👍 

Donovan Stott had that decal on the Anglia gasser he raced a couple years ago. The SEGA says all decals must look like they're from the late 60s, so I though that might work lol. 

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7 hours ago, iBorg said:

I've seen this kit build up numerous times before....never this good. Absolutely a beautiful representation of a late 60's lower class gasser. Where did you get the decals? They're period perfect. I agree. I love the bumper sticker.

Thank you! The decals were custom made by Speedway Decals. 

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2 hours ago, TarheelRick said:

Most excellent build.  I am a Gasser freak and was lucky enough to spend two-wonderful days last summer watching SEGA run my local dragstrip.  One rule you didn't mention was the use of four-speed transmissions only and nothing air-shifted, all must be hand thrown.  Really like the color scheme you did on yours.  One fine machine.

Thank you! Yes, 4 speed, and no clutchless shifting. If they suspect you're not using the clutch, they'll put a camera in your car!  

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Love seeing a great build that truly represents a Gas Class dragster.  I haven’t been to a SEGA meet but have fond memories of seeing a lot of great gassers run at Cecil County Dragway in Maryland when I was in high school back in the ‘60s.

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