2016 HOT ROD Drag Weekend Gasser Mash
We love it when a cool car falls into the Drag Week narrative. Steve Wing’s 1955 Chevy Gasser came to fruition after reading about HOT ROD’s Drag Week and then his subsequent urge to participate. “It’s your guys’ fault,” he told us. Once he decided he wanted to join in the stomp and romp of Drag Week and Weekend, he knew he would only do it in the Gasser class, and only with a 1955 Chevy. “I love those radiused wheel openings, and they only look good on a ’55,” he says.
He was searching for a 1955 sedan when in 2012 he discovered a clapped-out hardtop sitting for 20-plus years in a field in Eagar, Arizona, not too far from his home digs of Lakeside, Arizona. “It had really been butchered and needed a lot of work,” Wing says. Like replacing the right rear quarter, front floors, trunk floor, firewall, and the entire dash—which had been butchered beyond saving. Wing did all of the repairs with a bit of help on the quarter replacement.
When it came time for the Gasser front end, he went with a Nickey kit, which contains the whole caboodle—from subframe to axle, spindles, and disc brakes. Says Wing, “It was a nice, easy kit to work with.” Wing chopped off the frame at the firewall and welded in the entire Gasser front end assembly.
Power is from a bored and stroked 454 big-block built by Beck Racing in nearby Phoenix. Now featuring 496 cubes, Beck reworked the Dart heads for better cooling, installed a hydraulic roller cam and various aftermarket pieces netting 10.3:1 compression. Wing chose an 850 Demon four-barrel squirter. It dyno’d at 744 hp and 680 lb-ft of torque on pump gas. Fenderwell headers are by Patriot.
The engine spins a Turbo 400 massaged by Dave Sharp in Tuscon, Arizona, with a 4,500-rpm stall TCI converter. Out back is a 3.89:1, 9-inch Moser with a spool on stock leaf springs and Caltrac traction bars. Wing thinks that he may swap the spool out for a locker based on its performance this weekend.
The cage was also a kit he installed, and while the interior looks great to us, he wants to finish it with door panels and a headliner. Just run it as is, we say. His first pass on Drag Weekend West Test and Tune day was a 10.67 at 125 mph. When he pulled into Phoenix Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, he had a mere 37 miles on the Chevy, so this weekend is going to be an adventure for him and his shotgun and helper on the build Bob Horvath.