Gassers were a class of drag racing in the ’50s and ’60s that had tried to limit a car’s chassis, wheelbase and engine location. The classic gassers were everyday street cars with huge engines many of them supercharged. The old 1941 Willys 3-window coupe was the most popular. As the gassers gained popularity and the crowds increased to see them, the racers pushed the limits of horsepower.
The gasser classes grew as the interest in drag racing expanded. People discovered ways to incorporate large used junkyard engines into these unwanted street coupes. There was certainly a class for everyone. Cars without superchargers ran in A through K/Gas classes which covered nearly every car with every engine combination available. The lower the letter, the heavier the car, the fewer modifications to the engine, and cars used for commuting earlier in the day. The NHRA gave the supercharged or ‘blown’ cars their own classes: AA/GS through CC/GS.
By today’s standards, gassers aren’t as exciting as modern funny cars or even the Pro Stockers, but they hold a special niche in the history of drag racing and are fondly remembered by many.
Check out our gasser gallery coming up next.
Click to enlarge.
It starts getting good about 1:54.