Shopping Cart! 1955 Chevrolet Gasser

At the other end of the spectrum from the “sleeper,” a stealthy car that looks slow but will kick your fanny, you find the “Gasser!” From the unmuffled exhaust dumping out the front wheel openings to the race lettering, there’s nothing remotely sleepy about this hot-looking Chevy! According to Rod Authority a Gasser runs on gasoline, not more complex racing fuels, and many use a lightweight beam axle up front for weight reduction and weight transfer. This 1955 Chevrolet 210 post ran in the ’60s as the “Shopping Cart,” and retains its paint from those days including the hand-lettered sponsor tags. The listing here on eBay awaits a $25,000 opening bid. The seller promises documentation necessary to run in vintage events.

The 327 cid (5.3L) Chevrolet V8 wears a high-rise dual-quad intake with twin chrome horns on top. Nothing says “I’m gonna wind up and bust your jaw” like an engine sticking up through the hood. Driving this bad Gasser is like a walking statement of fact: “I may not win, buy you’ll know you were in a fight.” A four-speed manual gearbox transfers power to the fat rear tires.

I believe a 210 wears more trim than this one from the factory, but smooth sides make a better canvas on which to paint your car’s name and sponsor lettering. Is that blue window tint?

The blue theme continues inside. New racing belts are the only hint of anything from this century. Van seats were a common Gasser addition, again with weight reduction in mind.

It’s hard to see a flip-front ’55 and not think of the iconic Chevy from the 1971 car flick Two Lane Blacktop, even though that road-legal ride is certainly not a Gasser. I’m more the sleeper type myself, but I love the outrageous in-your-face style of the impractical Gasser. What better way to transport yourself back to the ’60s than in a true vintage drag car like this? Have you had a close encounter with a Gasser?

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  1. Mike Morgan

    It wouldn’t pass tech at an NHRA track with the fuel lines on the firewall, and having the belts mounted that way won’t fly either.

    Like 2
    • Poppapork

      Plenty of non NHRA drag events. You just have to know where to look and hope not to crash. There is even drag racing for DONKs
      If you dont know what a donk is its kinda like a classic low rider but on 26inch rims (the highest rim i saw was 34inches)

      Plus this car woulda been cool just to roll around town and advertise your business

      Like 2
      • Steve R

        You would need to run this car at an outlaw track. If it’s an NHRA sanctioned track, all events run under nhra’s rules, if not, the insurance company won’t cover the claim. There is an outlaw track around here, the vast majority of racers avoid it like the plague. It’s a meat grinder, they attract lots of people that only want to go fast but think many of the rules are just a suggestion. At almost every event at least one car gets wadded up into a little ball, where as at the sanctioned tracks it can be months between accidents, even though the cars that run there are significantly faster.

        Steve R

        Like 8
  2. Steve R

    It’s a cool old race car that actually has a proven history. It’s would make a great car to display at nostalgia races and makes few exhibitions runs once they swap out some of the present day parts that have been recently installed. The car isn’t close to being compliant with current NHRA rules so there isn’t really any reason to try and bring it back as an actual race car. It’s more interesting as a showcase of how things were rather than a compromise of what it would be once those updates were made.

    Steve R

    Like 12
  3. dave

    Regardless, we’d be honored to have this bad mutha in our shop!

    Like 6
  4. knelipot

    Made a tilt front end on my ’56 150 by bolting the hood to the fenders and liners. Welded tabs to the front of the frame for hinges. Dang that thing was heavy but I was young and it sure looked cool! I notice this one isn’t cut at the back lower end like a lot (Blaphemi) are. Mine had solenoids to pull the bottom in and lock the lid down. Dang I miss that car…

    Like 3
  5. Howard A Member

    I agree with Steve, this is just for fun. We didn’t see many “street” gassers in Milwaukee, there was an older guy in HS named “Mousie” that had a pretty wicked ’66 Nova, but not many like this. This is one of the rare cases that I say leave it as is. These were never pristine units, and usually a hodge-podge of mechanicals on grandpas old Chevy. Very period correct. Pretty cool.
    As far as 2 Lane Blacktop, these cars always take us old farts back. That movie, like American Graffitti ( Bob Falfas car was the same one as 2 Lane BT) defined our generation. A while back, I was watching Jay Leno, and he had James Taylor and the original car on. It was fun to see his reaction, but had a much different take on the movie. He didn’t like it at all, I think his one and only movie, and claims, he never saw the finished movie.

    Like 3
    • Camaro guy

      Howard if you’re from milwaukee you must have at some point cruised HY 100 two cars come to mind a yellow 55 Belaire no front bumper and a tilt front end had a dual quad 409 / 4 speed and a burgundy 62 impala also no front bumper and jacked up suspension had a 377″ stroker sbc built by the Hot Rod Shop of milwaukee

  6. DON

    I don’t know, reading the definition of a Gasser , the Two Lane Blacktop car still fits the bill- Its a lightweight drag car that runs on gas- It does say the faster classes cars would run straight axles , so the 55 in the movie could have been in a lower class . It has no front bumper, fiberglass trunk lid ( maybe the tilt nose too ?) , and I believe it had Plexiglass side windows .

    Like 1
  7. TimM

    It’s cool and has more potential in my opinion to be put back on the road!! Of coarse the headers sticking out the side would have to go but not much else and it would be great to drive around town!! Might be a bit of a cop magnet but if the breaks work and lights it is a lot less work!!

    • Mike Morgan

      We drive loud, straight axle, altered wheelbase, street freak/gasser style cars all over So. Cal. and have never been pulled over, unless it’s just so they can get a better look.

      Like 1
  8. C5 Corvette

    Very Cool!

  9. 1st Gear

    Two Lane Blacktop ’55 is running a LS 454/M22 combo. Killer low 11’s (for the time) and streetable is saying something.
    That small block here in Shopping Care is a sight to behold for us old timers from the days of the 3 C’s – cam,carbs and compression. Personally,I love small block power and will for the rest of my days.

    Like 3
  10. Troy s

    Neat old ’55, from a time when that was all they were, neat. Not a classic quite yet. I should check the ad for any elapse times from back then,,, I’ll guess and say twelve flat, maybe high elevens. Got to like that cartoon decal on the door, that’s too cool.
    Not quite as nasty as the primered Two Lane cars, I think I’d call it Faded Glory.

    Like 1
    • 1st Gear

      Had a 10.98 marked on the window in post pics. Ballsy for a gas small block back then

      • Troy s

        All be darn, the vintage photograph of it launching back then…10.97, that thing hooks for sure with a serious top end charge! Not to be off topic but that’s how quick the Two Lane ’55 was that had the tunnel ram L88 427. The faster of the three movie cars.
        Ballsy 327 for even now, gotta like the those tiny pizza cutter front tires!

        Like 1

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