My first car was a 1957 Chevy street legal gasser, back in 1968. Bought the stock Bel Air from my parents, and much to my mother's dismay, I turned it into a straight axle gasser! My 2nd gasser was a mostly strip car built on a 1955 Chevy 150 coupe. It got stolen just after completion, and never seen again. Fast forward to 2010, and I was retiring. Wanted to build another gasser, so I purchased a 1946 Austin sedan, and built it into a 60's style gasser.

Great car, and a fun build in my backyard, in my portable canopy!

A couple years of enjoying the Austin, and the wife and I are sitting on the couch when a neighbor drives by with a '63 Falcon on his car trailer! Wife asks me what I think the neighbor will do with an old Falcon, since he's not a car guy? I decide to go investigate, and walk over to look at what he has. Long story short, he's had it for 20 years, and lost his storage. Planned to sell it, so a bargain was struck, and it got unloaded in my driveway instead!

We rolled it into the backyard, and decided to once again build a gasser on the Falcon body. Still had my portable canopy, and since it worked well before, I started the build in it again! Stripped the old six and 3 speed out. Removed all the front sheet metal, including cutting out all the inner sheet metal. Car was mostly rust free, so just began adding metal to support the straight axle, and a very large big block Chevy, with Super T10 4 speed!
To do so, I added a 1"x3" box tubing frame under the stock Unibody frame, and tied it clear back to the rear with subframe connectors. I also added tubing from this out to the rockers, and tied that into the floor braces.

An Econoline straight axle was found completely rebuilt on a local ad, so chose that as my front axle. I also added body to frame tubing, to further support and strengthen the chassis for the .040" over 454 Chevy!

The stock wimpy Falcon rear axle was replaced by a stout 8.8" Ford with 3.73 gears and a posi. and mocked up on the bottom of the stock springs for height. Later on I replaced the stock springs with new springs, as they were pretty shot.

A pair of beefy ladder bars were needed to plant the rear, so fabricated up a 4' long pair from heavy wall 1.125" OD tubing.

Some minor floor repairs where the metal had fatigued and cracked. I cut out plenty and made patch panels for both sides in front. The rest of the floor was perfect!

Engine mockup was done with a faux wooden block I built using a BBC as an example. It allowed me to set it in and out while figuring out where to place the engine to make the '55 Chevy fenderwell Patriot headers fit the Falcon body.

I quickly realized the engine needed to sit back farther than the firewall could accept in order to get the weight back, and also situate the headers where they needed too be! So got out the Sawzall and whacked out the firewall. I can always build it later around the new engine!

A .040" over 454 was found in a friend's dually truck with only 8,000 miles on the build! So cheap I almost got it for free, so grabbed it quickly!

I wasn't planning on using more than the short block, as I had an almost new pair of Edelbrock aluminum heads with Crower roller rockers, HD pushrods, and a Pete Jackson gear drive; all sitting in my storage shed! So all the goodies went on the engine, and I stumbled across a Super T10 4 speed with linkage dirt cheap too! So built it all up, and dropped it in the freshly finished chassis! Since every build I do is on a tight budget, had to buy almost everything used, or dig through existing parts to reuse! I studded the block, but had the ARP stud kit also in my parts, so in they went with the lightly used heads! The Holley twin 1850 600 cfm carbs and quick change vacuum balance kits were a budget buy from a friend's coupe when he went bigger! The lines I fabricated myself to save more money. Weiand tunnel ram was a swap meet find for a paltry $100!

Since I wanted the Falcon street legal, I cut in a pair of collectors off the inside, and ran full dual 2.5" exhaust out the rear with Flowmaster 40's a friend sold me for $40 a pair.

One new purchase were the pair of 10"x30" Hurst cheater slicks. But found a full set of ET Spokes for the build at $300 from a local swap meet. 8.5"x15" and 4"x15" up front.

Inside I used a Speedway Chevy 20 ckt. wiring kit, so chose a '95 Camaro tilt column from the junkyard to make wiring easier. Gutted the original gauge cluster, and fabricated an aluminum panel with Equus white face gauges, and an Autometer tach from my junk drawer.

I welded the fenders and hood together, to make a steel one piece tilt nose. Then added 1" round tube (electrical emt) to strengthen it. Cut a hole in the hood, and edged it with some scrap channel to make a nice lip.

Fabricated a 6 point roll cage, and splurged on seats! A pair of '75 MII buckets for $30, but spent another $350 to have them fixed up and looking like new! Added some old harnesses I had in storage, and got foil foam insulation for $32 at Home Depot!

No more budget for interior, so rear seat was a donor from a Taurus SHO, and cut down to fit. Dyed the leather black, and being a fold down, I made a trunk panel divider so it looked clean when folded down.
Had to scrimp on door panels, so I used the old mouse eaten panels as patterns and cut them out of hardboard. Then off to the local fabric store and covered them with $26 worth of black Naugahyde!


I cut out the rear wheelwells to make room for the Hurst slicks. Wanted them to look more "factory", so a pair of front fender lips were free from a wrecked '78 Mercedes sedan. Welded them on the edge of the opening, after trimming them to fit the body.
I made up a fictitious name for the quarter panel, and tried my had at lettering with the help of shelf paper patterns and a hand drawn stencil. Worked out great, and all painted with leftover paint I had.

Got the car street ready over the winter, and drove it without paint or carpets. A quick 3-4 month build by myself, in the canopy. Lots of fun, and the cheap 454 BBC puts out enough power for wheels up launches at the strip! Surprisingly, it's taken several trophies at local car cruises too, so I guess some people like what I threw together!

The end budget hit just under $5,000 which was my goal when I began. But paint will put it over that whenever I reach that point!