Unless you just crawled out from under a rock or have been doing the “Rip Van Winkle” thing for the past 10 years you know that hot rodding has gone full circle back to the roots of rodding with traditional hot rods dominating the scene. It seems street rodders understand hot rodding is as much about a time period as it is about cars and so hot rod styles from the ’40s through the early ’70s are coming on strong. Those of us who were cruising local hometowns in the ’60s were treated to a barrage of hot rod options. In the early ’60s there were still a healthy number of vintage hot rods, ’28-48 hot rods were still plentiful, but drag racing was coming on strong with most locations having several active tracks. This brought a whole new genre of cars, drag race cars, some dual-purpose cars that managed to get the owner to work all week and race on weekends, while others were dedicated race cars. Professional drag racing was growing with great rivalries in the top fuel, altered, and gasser ranks. Then, by the mid-’60s the muscle car movement was in full swing and suddenly factory hot rods were thrown into the mix and onto the strip. A day in the pits in 1965 would see plenty of Tri-Five Chevrolet gassers, along with some Willys, Anglias, and Austin gassers, next to a ’62 409 and a new GTO. Yeah, it was one very cool time period, seemingly with everything going on at once, a time period that many traditional hot rods love to revisit.

We can hardly discuss today’s mid-’50s to early ’60s hot rod resurgence without addressing the burgeoning gasser movement in our hobby. A natural offshoot of the wave of popularity surrounding the traditional hot rod, the gasser movement is really gaining traction. Straight-axle cars, nose high stances, piecrust slicks, velocity stacks, and colored Plexiglas windows are all making a huge comeback. For many people, the term gasser and Tri-Five Chevrolets are synonymous, and we must admit few things quicken the pulse more than a straight-axle ’57 with no front bumper and white fenderwell headers.

In the early ’60s street-going gassers were every bit as common as traditional hot rods and wicked ’55-57 Chevrolets prowled the streets and dragstrips in search of worthy competition. The cars were not nearly so precious then, so taking a Sawzall to quarter-panels and cutting through the side trim in the process was just part of the build. Tossing front bumpers, hood emblems, and other unnecessary chrome items were considered standard fare and a dash-mounted tach was mandatory. Yes, the ’55-57 Chevy was a big-time choice for hot rodders in the ’60s. When the big-block arrived they quickly found their way between the rails of the Tri-Five Chevrolets.

Mag wheels were developed for the growing number of drag race cars, originally cast in magnesium aluminum versions for street cars (and more budget-minded racers) sold like proverbial hot cakes. Yeah, hot rodding was going wild and it seemed everyone was modifying their car, and gassers were leading the action at the local drags, and on the street. Windows full of “kill stickers,” lightweight bucket seats, Hurst shifters, they all made up the lightweight, go fast, be bad gasser movement, and now, it’s all coming back. Happily there is a fresh supply of steel bodies on the market and now aftermarket frames make building a gasser even easier than it was in 1961.

Woody’s Hot Rodz has just introduced their all-new ’57 Chevrolet gasser chassis aptly dubbed “Full Wood.” A study in modern fabrication, the chassis it beautifully finished. The utter simplicity of straight-axles front and rear make this a very attractive way to go. The nosebleed stance is a compliment of the straight axle up front. Modern disc brakes make stopping at the big end a bit less of an adventure and modern steering makes prowling the streets easier. Brake options range from the base GM units to the latest offering from Wilwood. Out back an all-new Currie 9-inch housing is located via parallel leaf springs that have been positioned for proper stance and additional tire room.