Drag racing finds itself in the midst of a nostalgic revival of sorts, as everything that was old is new again, and nostalgia drag racing continues to grow in popularity year after year. There are series and events all over the country boasting the old school fuel Funny Cars, front engine dragsters, alterers, nostalgia Super Stockers, and a whole lot more. Classic match racing is also gaining in popularity with retro Pro Stockers doing dry hops and banging gears just like they did in the 1970’s and 80’s. Keeping pace with the old school popularity theme is the ever-classic Gasser — the early race cars based on production vehicles that were stripped of anything unnecessary, jacked up over a straight axle, and outfitted with big (often supercharged) engines.
This eBay auction for just such a vehicle, a 1956 Bel Air Gasser, has had a frame-off restoration that is period correct and, interestingly, is street legal. This car is guaranteed to turn heads at the track or at a local car show.
The original ’56 Bel Air was the second generation body style in the iconic line. Being big on style was the car’s calling card with grand lines and lots of chrome. The driveline was not performance inspired with the only V8 offered being a 265 cubic inch mill backed by a three-speed manual, two-speed powerglide, or a three-speed turbo glide. But none of that stopped drag racers from flogging these classic pieces of iron down the 1,320.
Being a period correct type Gasser is what makes this particular Bel Air so cool. The interior has all the hallmarks of a classic race car with basic gauges, tin work, and roll bar. Providing the power is a 327 with aluminum ZZ4 heads and a gnarly looking tunnel ram. A Turbo 400 transmission with 10-inch converter push the power back to a 1958 Oldsmobile rear end. The pictures show the detail that went into all parts of the restoration, including the classic leaf springs in the front and the straight axle set up in the front, and it also has the original style flip-up fiber glass nose. The paint scheme and old school lettering just addo the nostalgic flavor of this very unique ride.