"Project Gasser Madness"
~Part 4 ~
~ Chassis Complete ~
In late June I drove back to Chuck Finder's shop in Ohio to pick up the Gasser Madness Willys Pickup project gasser chassis. En route there I was towing a rust free, 56 Chevy 2-dr wagon that Chuck will transform into a dream ride. It will have a blown SBC under the hood with Chuck's patented triple two barrels street induction system. I think you can see Chuck's pleasure with the car. I've named it Workhorse!
Larry Sikora, Chuck's assistant who did the fabrication and welding on the chassis is next to Chuck in one of the pictures. Chuck said, "Without Larry, the Willys couldn't have been built." I'm grateful that two of the best minds in the building of a chassis for a gasser style car worked on the Gasser Madness Project Car. Without them, it wouldn't have been done to the high level of quality and safety that it is, combined with an adherence to the design and style of the period it's meant to reflect: the transitional era when gassers were evolving into funny cars.
You will also catch a glimpse of some of the wonderful cadre of Chuck's friends who helped load the Willys for its trip to California. The yellow primer coupe is the Traveler car replica that Chuck is now working on with Hank Whittmore; again, Larry is involved in that too. Another of Chuck's great friends, "Big Al" Teal is dropping a blown BBC into the Gasser Madness chassis for the ride to California. The actual race motor for the Willys will be an unblown but injected BBC. Mark Nichols is giving Chuck a hand installing spindles on the Traveler.
One photo shows the "California Willys Express" stopped in Gallup, New Mexico. The pickup and motor are tarped in green and I tossed in one of Chuck's beautiful chopped 33 coupe bodies for a friend back in California.
The photo with the tarp pulled back shows Art and Ralph Foster admiring Chuck and Larry's work on the chassis. The "Willys Express" had just arrived at Art's shop, Foster Engines. in Santa Maria. Art has already squeezed his son A. J. into the driver's seat so he's unseen in this photo but A. J. will be doing the driving.
The photo of the pickup with the front fenders and hood mocked on was taken yesterday at George Wuethrich's Lightning Auto Body in Santa Maria. George has already formed the aluminum for the pickup bed and now he's at work on finishing the body work. George will also do the paint. In the upper RH corner of that photo you can see the roof of George's own 33 pickup. That will be a very nice early Hemi powered Willys. Our goal is to attend the Gasser Reunion next year with both cars.
Thanks as always for your fantastic website.