Category: 1962

This 1962 Buick Special eight-passenger station wagon would make the perfect street-legal gasser. Here’s how I’d build it. – David Conwill @Hemmings

This 1962 Buick Special eight-passenger station wagon would make the perfect street-legal gasser. Here’s how I’d build it. – David Conwill @Hemmings

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“These rules are solely for the purpose of obtaining certain stylistic qualities associated with drag racing in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s,” is a great premise for a race series as far as I’m concerned. Those certain stylistic qualities mandated by the Southeast Gassers Association (“SEGA”) result in period-correct gassers, circa 1967.

I just spent a bunch of time documenting folks having fun at the Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Races. It got my creative juices flowing and reminded me of a previous encounter with the folks at SEGA (just via e-mail, sadly). They’ve got a similar philosophy to their counterparts at PSMCDR, but instead of being aimed at the old NHRA Stock classes, it’s oriented around the gassers.

Gassers, if you aren’t familiar, are those drag racers that ran in the NHRA Gas classes from 1955 to 1971 and the similar classes of other sanctioning bodies. As distilled down by SEGA, the hallmarks of a ’67-style gasser are a solid front axle (straight or dropped) suspended from leaf springs, an elevated stance (12 inches at the rocker behind the front wheels, 11 inches at the rocker ahead of the rear wheels), a vintage (i.e. a design that existed in 1967) V-8 engine, and a manual transmission

.The SEGA rules also make it clear that every car has to be invited and that day-of-race entries aren’t permitted—you should check with the organizers before assuming anything is within the spirit of the rules. Still, the general guidance on selecting a vehicle for racing is “Closed full body styled production cars 1967 or earlier. No open or altered body styles. All cars must have a top/roof” with further prohibitions on 1967 Mustangs, all Camaros (we’re guessing Firebirds too), V-8 Corvairs, Opels, and Cougars.

Sonny Clayton’s 1956 Chevrolet is a SEGA participant. Tri-Five Chevys are relatively common gassers, as are 1933-’42 Willys and Chevy II’s.

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15 little-known facts about “American Graffiti” – Joe Lorio

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American Graffiti, the surprise summer blockbuster that ignited the career of filmmaker George Lucas (director and co-screenwriter), is one of the most car-saturated movies that is not explicitly about cars. Set in Modesto, California, at the tail end of summer 1962, it follows the exploits of a quartet of recent high-school grads: college-bound Curt Henderson (Richard Dreyfuss), class president Steve Bolander (Ron Howard), the nerdy Terry the Toad (Charles Martin Smith), and drag-racer John Milner (Paul Le Mat). The action takes place on a single night against a backdrop of endless cruising. Lucas made the movie in 1972, and it was highly autobiographical. In an interview in The New York Times, Lucas said of the film:

It all happened to me, but I sort of glamorized it. I spent four years of my life cruising the main street of my hometown, Modesto, California. I went through all that stuff, drove the cars, bought liquor, chased girls… a very American experience. I started out as Terry the Toad, but then I went on to be John Milner, the local drag race champion, and then I became Curt Henderson, the intellectual who goes to college. They were all composite characters, based on my life, and on the lives of friends of mine. Some were killed in Vietnam, and quite a number were killed in auto accidents

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What if AMC had a Mustang-style vehicle before Ford? – Larry Edsall @ClassicCars.com Journal

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What if AMC had a Mustang-style vehicle before Ford?

Henry Ford Museum curator goes for a drive in the 1962 Budd XR-400 concept car

Budd Company was a major supplier of sheetmetal stampings to American automakers, producing body parts for nearly half of the passenger cars produced in North America in the pre- and post-war eras.

In 1962, Budd produced a running prototype of a sporty convertible, the XR-400 concept designed with sports car proportions. Budd suggested to American Motors that it should put such a vehicle into production. By the way, that production would have begun months before Ford unveiled a car with similar styling, the Mustang.

Read the story here

You may be cool, but are you ‘Studebaker Cool?’ – Kurt Ernst @Hemmings

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Brooks Stevens’s Sceptre concept, designed for Studebaker. Photo courtesy Milwaukee Art Museum.

From its start as a manufacturer of horse-drawn wagons to its demise as an independent automaker competing head-to-head with Detroit’s Big Three, Studebaker enjoyed over a century of success. Opening on May 18 at the AACA Museum Inc. in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Studebaker Cool: 114 Years of Innovation narrates the history of the imaginative brand with a display of over 40 vehicles, focusing primarily on the years between 1906 and the end of automobile production in 1966.

Among the vehicles scheduled for display is a battery-electric wagon from Studebaker’s early days as a powered vehicle manufacturer. Built to carry congressmen through the tunnels connecting the Capitol to government office buildings nearby, the 1908 Studebaker Electric “Carry All” was one of two such models built for this purpose.

Read Kurt’s article here

 

America’s Funky Compact – 1962 Rambler American Deluxe – Milton Stern @Hemmings

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WHAT IT’S LIKE TO OWN AND DRIVE AN UNRESTORED 1962 RAMBLER AMERICAN DELUXE?

Love them or laugh at them–the 1961-’63 Rambler Americans are now a kitsch classic. An evolution of the original 1950 Nash Rambler, America’s first successful compact car, the 1961 Rambler American was an extensive reskinning of the “bathtub” Rambler American of 1958-’60.

Read the rest of the article here

 

Today’s sales incentives are a joke compared to 1962’s free pony with a new Chevy – Kyle Smith @Hagerty

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In the long history of car sales, dealers have attempted all manner of gimmicks to get new buyers into the showroom and out the door with a new set of wheels. Lottery contests, rebates, all types of giveaways, and more. We thought we had seen it all until an we saw this ad from 1962: a free Shetland Pony to the first 25 buyers of a new Chevrolet.

Read the article here

After the Flathead the Ford Y-Block V8 Engine

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The Ford Y Block V8

 

The venerable hot rodders favourite Ford Flathead V8 reached the end of it’s life, (at least in the States :)), in 1953 and it was followed up by the introduction of the Y Block OHV V8 in 1954.

The Y Blocks came in 239, 256 cubic inch variants for 1954, for 1955 272 and 292 cubic inch units were added.

In 1956 the 312 cubic inch motor was added to the range, this engine family ran until 1964 when it was replaced by the Windsor and Cleveland V8’s

For a really good detailed look at the Y Block V8 and where it was utilised you can read here at the motor-car.co.uk website.