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1955 Chevy Drag Car - Gasser

Ted Toki's '55 Chevy

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Tech Notes
Who: Ted Toki
What: '55 Chevrolet straight-axle Gasser

Short-block: It's a 350 with a 4.00-inch crank. Check out how we did it in the Aug. and Dec. '09 issues of CC.

Heads: We ran stock heads for the baseline, then Eric Solomon plopped on a set of Edelbrock E-Street heads. The engine picked up about 75 hp.

Intake: Hey, guys just like multiple carbs. The intake is an Edelbrock Dual-Quad RPM Air-Gap with two 500-cfm Thunder Series AVS carburetors.

Valvetrain: The cam is a circle track grind from Comp that Ted chose to match to the original iron heads. It has 236/238 duration at 0.050 with 0.501/0.501 lift on a 108 LSA. Try PN 12-647-5 in the catalog.

Transmission: It's a TH400 built by Mike's Transmission in Lancaster, California, and a regular street/strip job with a Continental P1-P2 converter that stalls to 2,800 rpm. Wires run from the shift light to a magnetic solenoid of unknown origin that pops the B&M Pro Stick from First to Second when the light comes on. It's kind of like an air shifter without the price or the bottle.

Rearend: The '55 had a '50s Olds/Pontiac rearend, but it was too hard to find gearsets and limited-slip differentials, so Ted swapped in an 8.5-inch 10-bolt until it started bending gears and breaking axles. Next up was a 12-bolt from an Impala that Ted cut and welded to use '69 Camaro axles and press-on bearings. Currently, it has a 4.11:1 gearset.

Suspension: The car has run 9s with stock '55 Chevy leaf springs and modified front bushings, an extra wrap on the springs, and Westside-made slapper bars. The best 60-foot is 1.32 on a set of slicks.

Straight axle: The car came with the setup, but the axle was mounted below the leaf. Ted put the axle above the leaf to lower the car and ran it that way. He then rotated the axle back to add caster to make the car go straight. When he'd hit a bump, the car would shimmy until you pulled over. Ted added a steering damper and the problem went away.

Brakes: In the front, the '55 has G-body rotors with Camaro calipers and a '40 Ford spindle. "It's street rod stuff." In the rear, it uses a common aluminum drum from a junkyard G-body.

Meats: For race day, Ted added a set of 10-inch Weld rims with 3.5-inch back and 11.5/30R15 M/T ET Street tires.

Skinnies: The fronts are 15x4-inch Center Lines with some 165 cheapos.

Paint and body: The front end is thick 'glass from the '60s reinforced with plywood, making the car weigh 3,350 pounds with no driver. It might be lighter with an OE hood and fenders. The rest of the car is real steel. It was left in primer for a couple of years because the radii on the wheelwells were cut as a series of straight lines and looked beyond bad. Paul at the now-defunct Domino Auto Body radiused the wells and mixed up a bunch of extra paint colors that equated to the yellow you see now. The late Wayne Hodge added the flames and graphics. Over the last 10 years, Ted's daughter has touched up the paint.

Interior: The interior is all business, with Jaz polyethylene buckets, two 15-pound nitrous bottles, and a wheel to hang on to.

Thanks: The guys at Westside, George Diagne, Eric Solomon, Jeremy White, Dave Tenhauten, Yannik Sire, Eddie from Kartek, Garrick Preece at Kelly's Block Welding, and Ted's daughter.

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27 comments
Cole Rogers
Cole Rogers

First off... no flames... And yellow? Go with a dark red... Maby candy and those rims... Man wtf? Ruined a classic beauty

Dean Henderson
Dean Henderson

Tired of seeing it and hearing about it. He must be a major friend of someone on the CC staff. This is why I cancelled my sub years ago. Same old stuff over and over....

Joe Scott
Joe Scott

I have a 55 chevy but needs work I always wanted one since I sneaked my my uncles down the road , dreams do come true

John Geraghty
John Geraghty

Was just scrolling thriugh really fast,,, and stopped dead !! Nice B-Gasser,, I had a Midnight Blue one, & a Tampeko Tourquise C-gasser !! Great fun !! ,,,, just beautiful !! Cheers !!

Marty Clark
Marty Clark

Loved it with the Wrench rat twin turbo set up

Randy Young
Randy Young

The best accessory that beast has is a license plate!

Cindy Thompson
Cindy Thompson

A 55' Chevy awe my dream car, as long as I can remember I've wanted one. I know I will never be able to afford one but it's nice to dream!

Erik Akers
Erik Akers

By chance dose that have a round bumper on back? Looks like Ebay turbo 55 from few years back...

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