Aug 03

Henry J Gasser: The Grape Ape

Henry J gasser drag cars aren’t exactly something you see everyday. Gassers in fact have largely gone by the way side with the exception of a few collectors who still buy and build these examples of drag racing’s wild past. The concept of a gasser is simple, get the front up in the air to aid weight transfer on launch, reduce weight to extreme measures, stick in a huge motor and a big supercharger if possible, then go fast. All amenities are spared because you don’t need them to go fast. Gassers were hugely popular the 1950s and 1960s. They are the early ancestors of the modern funny car. Today we’ll take a look at one particular gasser, the Grape Ape. It’s a sweet Henry J that when we last saw it was nothing more then a box of rust. However with some time, fresh paint, and effort the result is one cool example of what a gasser should be.


I was fortunate despite the high sky to get several quality shots of this beauty and lucky the crowd at the show was not too thick yet which meant I could get all the right angles so hit the jump and check out the rest of it.

Lots of really great paint work for the logos here. No sticky decals, just craftsmanship.
You gotta have a huge blower on a gasser.
No frills on the interior, only what you need to go fast and maybe a little club advertisement.
No doubt which crew this gasser runs with, the boys from the White Hall Drag O Way always have a presence at the local events.
Powering the Henry J is a monster 468 big block Chevy with a Weiland blower on top. T400 trans, and a Ford 9 inch help harness all that power.


I hope you enjoyed the Henry J, I know I sure enjoy seeing projects like this that are maybe a little out of the norm.