Don’t Call Me Shorty: 1966 Chevy II Drag Car

Drag racers are always looking for an edge.  Larger motors, trick parts, better tires, and the list goes on and on.  During the sixties, factory backed teams played around with acid dipping bodies to make them lighter.  Less weight usually means more speed.  While these creations were mechanical works of art in the eyes of many, less financially advantaged competitors sometimes relied on their talents with a torch and a welder.  Near Chattanooga, Tennessee sits one of these aesthetically questionable creations.  For sale on craigslist with a heady $15,000 price tag, this diminutive Chevy II drag car is looking for a new owner willing to brave public opinion for a chance at 1/4 mile greatness.

The seller tells us that this petite beast was built in 1983 as a drag car.  While you mostly see cut down cars as attention getters for businesses, this sporty shorty was built for battle.  The wheelbase was obviously altered, the frame “doubled,” driveshaft loops were installed, and it looks like a gasser style straight axle rounded out the package.  Whoever did the body chop must have been pretty talented.  The doors look like they were mainly built from the rear doors of a four door wagon.  The front sections that match up with the cowl were somehow fabbed in rather seamlessly.  A little more length in the doors may have balanced the looks enough to make it look cool.

We can also see a seam just past where the roof meets the pillar.  The bright yellow paint found a way onto the black trim there, highlighting a slightly poor fit.  Inside, we see that the roll bar support/door beam has been cut for ease of entry and exit.  I have seen these rigged up with a hinge on one side and a locking mechanism on the other, so a new owner may look into that.  The interior is otherwise in good condition.  The monsterous floor shifter goes well with the vintage steering wheel and the racing tachometer on the dash.

Under the hood is a 355 cubic inch small block Chevrolet engine that has been “built to the hilt” according to the seller.  It is backed up by “a built TH400.”  The rear end is said to be equipped with a limited slip differential with new gears installed.  Looking into the engine compartment, we see that the go fast goodies include headers, a tunnel ram intake manifold, dual four barrel carburetors, and what looks to be a turnbuckle to keep the engine from torqueing over too much under load.

A look from a different angle reveals an aluminum radiator with a matching fan shroud.  This angle also gives us a good look at the air scoop and the cut out in the hood.  The whole tunnel ram setup pretty much mandates this modification due to the height of the whole package, and the cut out seems to be somewhat strengthened by a metal lip surrounding the gaping orifice.

The seller tells us that this munchkin marauder is currently being daily driven.  You don’t see many custom shorty drag cars on the street, especially in bright yellow and sporting an industrial strength set of wheelie bars.  I wish we knew the length of the wheelbase, the front to back weight distribution, 1/4 mile times, and the overall weight.  Since we are wishing, I’d bet that a video of this dwarf drag car caterwauling down the track would be comedy gold.  They say there is a car for everyone, and I’d like to meet the kind of person that would put down 15 big large ones for this flyspeck flyer.  The future buyer may be end up being just a wee bit eccentric, but I am certain they would instinctively know how party in epic fashion.


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  1. JimZ Member

    Quite the “grocery getter”!

  2. Bryan Corey

    Cut off the wheelie bars,
    Add big fresh sticky slicks,
    Then daily it

  3. RoughDiamond

    Interesting. The link shows posting deleted by author. I live in Chattanooga, TN and I never did see that vehicle.

    • Ohio Rick

      You probably passed it hundreds of times and just didn’t notice it.

  4. RoKo

    This is one of those cars that begs for the invention of a time machine. That way, it could be taken back in time and hopefully saved before some nimrod decided that a shorty version was a good idea.

  5. Steve R

    NHRA has a minimum wheelbase. I’m pretty sure this one is too short, the local track tossed someone with a low-10 second Triumph TR7 because it was so squirrelly. It looks like a death trap, I know if this thing showed up at my local track they would look for a reason to keep it from running.

    This thing looks like someone’s interpretation of a race car, but is really a street car. The original ad has been deleted, but if there were no mention of performance without time slips it probably is.

    The asking price is way out of line.


    • Miguel

      There are quite a few events now centered around wheelies.

      I bet that is what this car would be used for.

  6. grant

    I’m with Steve on this one. Pretty sure even if it wasn’t too short, the cut rollbar would be an immediate disqualification. This is a hot rod built “racecar style.” It’s also not worth anywhere close to the asking.

  7. JW

    I like it but I also never follow the crowd, his asking price is dreaming but someone might negotiate with him and take it home. You would be the only one at cruise night with one. I would say it’s more for show than racing. A daily driver would be pushing it a bit.

  8. Rock On

    Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga choo choo?

    Like 1
  9. KSwheatfarmer

    Short wheel base would make it tougher to keep this thing in a straight line at speed. Farmers know about straight lines since we got GPS.

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Amazing what GPS has done to the Ag industry.

  10. jdjonesdr

    OK, I’ll cross the line. “Hey SHORTY, yeah you, SHORTY! What are you doing on this website?”

    There, I called it shorty.

  11. 57chevy

    Our wrecking yard wouldn’t even want this choo Choo for parts! What a Shame! The things some people will do to ruin a car!!!!

  12. KSwheatfarmer

    leiniedude, also amazing how addicting it is. Can’t hardly do any operation with out it now.

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      I agree Buddy! I haul fertilizer part time in the spring to the applicators in the fields. Sometimes I will ride along between loads. Once the fence row pass is programmed in it is hands free, wow. Not to mention soil sampling. Take care, Mike.

  13. XMA0891

    Amazing how talent can be used to both improve, and ruin. It is yours to do with what you want… Why this? It doesn’t even look safe – At any speed.

  14. 57chevy

    Scrap Iron ONLY! Recycle this Beast!!!

  15. healeydays

    Already gone from craigslist. Probably will now see it on Street Outlaws with the name “The Flying Banana”.

  16. 1st Gear

    No ya don’t-this is a Clown Car.Put the drive train in a respectable car and let the kids use the hulk of this thing as a jungle jim in the back yard.Problem solved.

  17. 57chevy

    I wouldn’t devaluate my house with this Hunk ‘O Junk in my yard!

  18. Beaver

    I was thinking about a bid JUST FOR THE MOTOR IF it could be Authenticated and then put into a cool body!!

  19. Davis

    Turning circle must be quite impressive.

  20. Troy s

    It would have been plenty quick, really quick, with that hot motor set up already, there was no reason to shorten and alter the wheel base on this Chevy II wagon.

  21. Doug

    There were a number of wagons used for drag racing , especially in the “stock “classes, because the added weight of the windows up high helped by giving a tad more weight transfer and traction than the sedans.

  22. Matt Member

    Im pretty sure we have seen this one on here before, because it is so familiar…

  23. Whippeteer

    The last time it was listed for only $12K

  24. bob

    i got it for 6,000

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