Mr. Voodoo! 1958 Chevrolet Corvette Gasser

There’s a song from a D.C. based punk rock/new wave band that was known as Zehn Archer called “Situation Suffocation”. The opening line states, “It’s just nostalgia creeping through” and that’s exactly what we have on Barn Finds today, a 1958 Corvette “Gasser”. This dragster, known as Mr. Voodoo, resides in Lake County, California and is for sale here on craigslist for $68,000. Thanks to Ikey Heyman for the tip.

Talk about old school, that’s exactly what you are getting here. In the early ‘70’s I used to hang around drag strips like Capital Raceway in Millersville, MD; York U.S. 30 in York, PA and Cecil County Dragway, also in MD, and this class of dragster was a pretty common participant. The raised front end and solid axle helped with weight transfer for planting traction coming “out of the hole”.

Under the hood is pretty typical, twin four-barrel carburetors on a makeshift tunnel ram intake manifold. The “camel-hump” head reference refers to the casting marks on the front and back of the cylinder heads – it looks like the two humps of a camel and it means that the heads contain 2.02” intake valves and 1.60” exhaust valves, very “de rigueur” for the time. No telling what the horsepower output for this 327 CI engine is but a current day Challenger Hellcat would probably smoke it. That’s not the point however, it’s the nostalgia creeping through……. Also typical for the time is the four-speed manual transmission. The Oldsmobile differential was a commonly used piece at the time too, it was similar in design to the Chevrolet unit but much stronger.

The interior is pretty period correct with the big mechanical tachometer and safety harness – it’s surprisingly clean as frequently interiors in these cars were gouged out for weight savings. The “rolled” dash cover is a typical touch for the era.

This car lived its life a quarter-mile at a time between 1961 and 1974 and was then stored. So, that use and being constructed of fiberglass, probably means that it is pretty sound in the body & frame integrity department. The body panels obviously won’t rust but the frame will. There is no mention or images of the underside, however, so that would be something to review. Of bigger concern might be torsional twist of the frame from hard launches.

The seller states that, “This car has not been cut or altered by anyone”, so that helps with its originality but it is probably a nod and a wink to the potential for restoring it back to stock. My assumption is that this example is probably way beyond that stage but it certainly has value for what it is and what it has done – vintage racers/dragsters have solid collectability. Vintage racing always makes me nervous; bad, unexpected things can happen to any vehicle entered in a competitive event, that’s just how it is. What’s your thought, buy and keep to preserve its heritage, restore to stock or zoom-zoom and have at it? Any way you go, it’s just nostalgia creeping through.

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Comments

  1. Frank Sumatra

    I love it but once again have no clue what anyone would do with it to justify parting with $68K.

    Like 6
  2. Classic Steel

    Finally a dragster thats all together and looks real !

    I like it and hope it stays in current state👍👀

    Like 5
    • Steve R

      I couldn’t agree more. This will stand out in a sea of fake gassers. I doubt it will be raced competitively again, bringing it up to today’s current safety regulations will necessitate changes to the car which will hurt its appeal. Besides, very few cars racing at nostalgia events are actually old, the vast majority are newer builds. It’s earned a nice cushy retirement where it can be taken to shows and races, it’s a surviving example of what race cars were actually during the 60’s through the mid-70’s.

      Steve R

      Like 7
  3. OIL SLICK

    Don’t know about that dash but that thing is wicked cool.

    Like 6
  4. rudy

    Take that to your local Cruise in.. trust me your gonna be mobbed.. everyone has a 69 camaro.. a 57 belair.. when this one goes in .. your a Celebrity.. I know I have one..

    Like 5
  5. Charlie Strunk

    Camel hump heads aren’t always 2.02/ 1.6 valves!

    Like 6
    • Tort Member

      Mine were off a 62 Corvette 327 and were 1.94 1.50’s

      Like 2
      • Ronald

        I owned a few sets in the 70’s and all were 1.94-1.50, even then they were not all that common.

  6. 1Ronald

    Shows what people not used to having anything will do to a car and then think there’s a taker. Ruined it. Gone.

  7. Gaspumpchas

    Dam sam that’s sweet. American drag racing at its finest, hope someone who buys it puts it on display, or better yet, as Rudy said– drive it. Would be cool to see this beauty lope-loping into a cruise!!!
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 4
  8. Troy s

    Neat gasser, but check them cars in the garage, the Mopar with the fuel injection really caught my eye, wonder if it’s an altered wheelbase car!

    Like 2
  9. TimM

    So much cool for so much money!!! I couldn’t part with that much coin just to have a weekend drag car!!! Why does the price of everything keep going up and my pay stays the same???

  10. Big Al

    At least seller uncovered some of the backdrop cars to show em off…looks like a few Nascar originals in there….I think I know this place…been there.1

    Like 1
  11. Big Al

    At least seller uncovered some of the backdrop cars to show em off…looks like a few Nascar originals in there….I think I know this place…been there?? Yep, hauled a car there some years ago….anyone know that car in the corner with the 426????

  12. chrlsful

    these R may fav vetts (’56-’60) due to the “I-talian” rear. I’d take it like a new car to rest0mod (get hood street drivable, remove grill tank, narrower tire, keep dash but remove ‘extras’?, etc). Just me – never have the coin but 1/4 of us R just dreamin anyway…
    9 sec is pretty good for the era, no? That would B gone, fo suohah.

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