Lions, Tigers, And Bears: Tom Glick’s Gasser Has A Striking History

It’s not every day that you can buy a Gasser Anglia with a backstory to match its extravagant looks. This is a story of Tom Glick and the 1948 Anglia that he transformed into a beautiful racecar that was part of headline news a few years back.

On October 18, 2011, Terry Thompson of Zanesville, Ohio, driven by debt and marital problems, released a menagerie of rare African lions, Bengal tigers, black bears, panthers, wolves, and other exotic animals from cages at his home before taking his own life. Responding officers, forced to defend themselves and area neighborhoods, killed 48 animals in all in a story that made national news and led to sweeping new legislation on the ownership and captivity of wild animals.

What many did not know is that the eccentric animal collector also had barns filled with many unique vehicles, including racecars — and among Thompson’s estate was the Anglia you see before you.

“He had a ’33 Willys delivery, a ton of motorcycles, speedboats, and airplanes,” Glick enumerated. “In fact, the estate that sold the Anglia told me he would go to sprint car races, drag races, and more. Whatever car would win, he would go buy it and put it in a barn on his property.”

Tom Glick's love for everything Anglia started in 1967 with his uncle who had a '48 Anglia that they raced in B/Gas. "He used to hang around with Ohio George, Fred Hurst, and all those guys," Tom remembers. "That car, originally named the Candiman, is what drew me into the love of Gassers and Anglias in particular."

Tom found his own Kandiman II Anglia in 2017. It had come from the headline news related to the Thompson estate. “He and his wife had a bunch of exotic animals like giraffes, hippos, and tigers,” Tom says. “He got distraught and let the animals loose from his farm. The sheriff’s department shot the animals, and then Thompson shot himself.”

When Tom acquired the Anglia, it was in primer but in very good condition. The roller served as the starting point for his new Gasser project. “The bare chassis was already updated with newer modifications including a funny car cage and strut front suspension.

Tom took the roller and worked diligently to build his own Kandiman II creation. The body is steel with a fiberglass nose and rear fenders set of unknown origin. The chassis is constructed of 2- x 3-inch mild steel with a 12-point roll cage and Funny Car-style surround. The front suspension features a custom fabricated A-arm design beneath Strange Engineering struts.

Other than the rolling chassis and body the car was essentially stripped clean," Glick chuckles. "I kidded around and told friends that if the previous owner could have figured out how to do it, he would have sucked the primer back off the car and reused it." The retro Tri-color paint work with cobwebbing effects was completed by Glick in his garage.

An 8-3/4-inch Chrysler rear end is in place with 4:88 Strange Engineering spool. The 4-link rear suspension uses Strange coil-over shocks. “The Funny Car floater-style rear end is what was in the car when I got it,” Tom says. “It is like an early 70’s rear end, but it was built right and works well.”

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“I painted the Anglia in my own garage,” Tom says, adding “I used a Tri-coat paint process with red and tangerine accent, plus a black cob webbing effect. I want to thank Jane Glick (my wife) and Dave Mulane for their help in sanding the clear. It may not sound like much, but this kind of vintage paint scheme requires many coats and a bunch of work to get right.”

American Racing Torque Thrust 15- x 3 1/2-inch spindle mount wheels are mounted on M&H Racemaster 22-inch Funny Car spec tires on the front. On the rear, 15- x 12-inch E-T Racing “big window” wheels were custom purchased with a unique offset. The slicks on the back are 12- x 31.5-inch Hoosier Racing tires.

The braking duties are accomplished with Strange Engineering spindle-mount front disc brakes and stock Chrysler drum-style brakes in the rear. There is a Harwood Industries brake pedal and master cylinder assembly in place. The driveshaft is custom constructed and balanced by Lima Clutch and Joint in Lima, Ohio.

I tow the Kandiman II on an open trailer. It catches a lot of attention going down the highway. It’s a hoot to go down the road (laughs.) We get a lot of thumbs up from other people, that’s for sure. – Tom Glick

An Autometer mini tach with a magneto adapter is in the dash along with additional Autometer gauges. The one-two shift is performed with a Holley Performance/Hurst Quarter Stick. For all the safety equipment duties, Tom uses a Racequip five-point harness and all Impact Race Products helmet, jacket, and pants.

Glick's self-built small-block 406-cube powerplant uses a Chevrolet block, RHS aluminum heads, and an Alkydigger Fuel Injection-prepared Enderle stack injection on methanol.

Glick built the 406-cubic inch Chevrolet using an Ohio Crankshaft 4340 crank, Manley Performance steel rods, and JE forged 12:1 compression pistons. Up in the valvetrain area, there is a Crane Cams .610-inch lift roller cam, matched solid-roller lifters, and rocker arms. The upper part of the engine is comprised of Racing Head Service aluminum heads, and a Vertex magneto.

The small-block power moves through an Abruzzi Racing Transmission prepared Powerglide with a transbrake and an Abruzzi brand 5500 rpm stall torque converter. He uses a JW Performance Ultra Bell housing/shield and transmission shield.

Daughter Harmony, son Dana, and Tom Glick each compete at select nostalgia events with their own cars. Harmony competes with her own ’33 Willy where the father and daughter love to make side-by-side passes.

When Tom first got the car out on the track, he experienced some issues at first. “It wheelstanded really bad, and I ended up breaking one of the front suspension A-arms,” Glick notes. “I couldn’t see the break myself. It was like a wheel was just leaning in. I took it over to Dan Bowers at Advanced Chassis and they couldn’t believe the A-arm was cracked all around, so they put new A-arms on it and realigned it. He’s got it set up the same, front wheels and all, and it runs straight as an arrow now…for an Anglia (laughs.)”

Tom enjoys running with the Nostalgia Drag Racing League (NDRL) as well as attending other specialty nostalgia events in the greater region around his Lima, Ohio home. “We’ll hit the Gasser stuff and put together a 2020 season schedule for the whole family,” Tom says. “We’re looking to travel through Ohio, as well as Indiana, Michigan, the general area.”

The unique Chrysler rear end is the revamped original differential that was in the car. It is reworked with a 4-link suspension. The clean trunk tinwork by Glick holds an Optima deep cycle battery.

“We especially like to run the Rock’N’Race Reunion at Dragway 42,” he says. “We take an interest in just about any event that features Gassers. My daughter, Harmony, has her own 1933 Willys Gasser. We try to take both cars to as many of the larger nostalgia races whenever possible. My son, Dana, competes in the NDRL Pro 7.0 class/Quick 8 with my Camaro. So, with the three of us at the track, we stay plenty busy.”

For the interior, Tom performed all of the fabrication work to add carpet covered aluminum panels. A JAZ brand racing seat and an old school Grant 3-spoke steering wheel give the Anglia a special vintage appearance.

The Anglia runs consistent 9.80’s at 131 mph right now. For 2020, Tom will try to step up the Anglia to the quicker 9.0 or 9.50 NDRL classes.

With the whole family traveling to events together, Tom can’t think of a better way to spend his time. The car’s storied history is always great fodder when talking to other racers, and he truly is enjoying the Kandiman II Anglia and looks forward to many more years at the dragstrip as a family unit. Just don’t make any wild animal sounds late at night in the pits area — he gets jumpy…

About the author

Todd Silvey

Todd has been a hardcore drag racing journalist since 1987. He is constantly on both sides of the guardwall from racing photography and editorship to drag racing cars of every shape and class.
Read My Articles

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