Ford Ranchero and Chevy Nova Gassers Line Up for Classic Drag Race

Ford Ranchero and Chevy II Nova gassers 1 photo
Photo: Race Your Ride/YouTube
Modern dragsters are cool and all, but nothing beats a quarter-mile duel between two old-school gassers. Meet "Moonbeam" and "Sour Grape," two traditional gassers based on a 1965 Ford Ranchero and a first-generation Chevy II Nova, respectively.
These cool racers showed up a the Byron Dragway sporting the looks made famous by 1960s gasser racing. "Sour Grape" is a first-gen, 1964 Chevy II powered by a 5.8-liter small-block V8 with a ProSystems carb. It also features a Jerico four-speed gearbox and a Ford nine-inch rear. Most of the car was built by The BorderBandits DRC group and it's impressively fast.

The Chevy driver runs three sprints in the video below and all are in the low 10s. The quickest quarter-mile run comes in at 10.12 seconds, to go with a trap speed of 130.92 mph.

The Ford Ranchero is based on a 1965 truck, which is a late second-generation model. Under that scooped engine hood also lurks a 5.8-liter small-block V8, fitted with Cleveland heads and twin Holley carburetors. All that power goes to the rear wheels through a G-Force South four-speed transmission.

"Moonbeam" also seems to be impressively fast for its class. But even though it runs alongside "Sour Grape," we can't pick a winner. That's because the Ranchero driver is practicing 1/8-mile runs, releasing the gas pedal beyond that point. It also takes the quarter-mile line in the 10s, but the sub-100-mph trap speed is a clear sign that he's not gunning for a benchmark.

A 10.37-second ET with no pressure on the gas pedal is also a hint that the Ranchero would be quicker than the Nova on the quarter-mile, but I guess we'll never know by how much. It's also worth pointing out that the gasser truck is being driven by 18-year-old Colby Welch, apparently a rising start in the local drag scene.

Well, let's hope we will see more of these fantastic gassers in proper drag racing events soon. That Ford Ranchero appears to be a good candidate for nine-second runs. The fact that second-gen Rancheros aren't very popular with drag racers makes "Moonbeam" that much more spectacular.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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