It would be wrong to say that today’s replica Gassers are cooler than their ancestors, because after all, it’s hard to top the original — especially when you take into account the legends who built and drove them and the means they had of doing so at the time. But with go-fast parts widely available and safety measures in place that far exceed anything racers had 50 years ago, the cars have certainly gotten much quicker and faster, and that makes for even more compelling entertainment for the fans.
Just over a week ago, the Nostalgia AA/Gassers organization paid a visit to the Roxboro Motorsports Park in North Carolina, where Junior Ward and Michael Campolucci reeled off the quickest side-by-side race in the history of the club in a final round that was decided — literally — by about the width of a pencil lead at the finish line.
Campolucci’s 1933 Willys Coupe, named “Code Blue”, gets its motivation from a supercharged small block Chevrolet. Ward, meanwhile, has some firepower behind his “Junkyard Dog” 1934 Willys Sedan, as renowned driver and tuner Jim Oddy assists with the blown Hemi.
In the final round, Ward snatched a victory away from Campolucci on a holeshot, as his 4.935 at 141.73 defeated a quicker-but-losing 4.925 at 141.91 by the narrowest of margins — reportedly .000016-seconds, or an estimated .0399-inches. That razor-thin margin isn’t clear from the vantage point of the camera, but regardless, that’s a mighty impressive drag race, and one that’s exceedingly rare for Gassers, when considering just how feisty these cars typically are.