66 Super Sport Gasser in Pink (yea, pink!)
Hot Rod Chevy Gasser
It takes all kinds, we know that, but you gotta like the gasser style from the 60′s. Straight axle jacked up in the front with a slight lift in the back too. It’s an attitude. It says, “I’m fast and I was built to run.”
So stumbling along at the Goodguys Southwest Nationals in Scottsdale, enjoying the sun and the 3000+ cars, I found one that stopped me in my tracks. It’s a gasser alright, but it was pink. Pink! Not that goofy Mary K pink or some faded, pale pretty in pink, this was HOT pink and it was glowing in the Arizona sun. People walking by kept turning their heads sideways. Delirium?
I gotta get a story about this car. Questions poured out when I finally had a chance to meet Bob Starks of Weatherford, TX. The story Bob told about his car epitomizes, “My Ride is Me.” After buying a 1966 Chevy II Super Sport new, then selling it to buy a house, Bob has painstakingly remade his car. (Check out the pictures of the original car at the bottom of this page)
Bob’s been into racing his whole life. Back in Jr. High, a friend knew a Texas based drag racer named Vance Hunt who ran a T/F dragster. Next thing you know, he’s at the races with Vance, then in 1965, he started crewing for Gene “the Snowman” Snow. You remember Gene Snow, he was the first funny car driver to break the 200mph barrier. Gene’s Hemi powered Dodge called “Rambunctious” is shown on the left. It was while working for Gene the idea for the Super Sport was born. Bob’s car was inspired by Kelly Chadwick’s gasser. (Bob hooked me up with this great old school picture)
So then in ’66, after owning the new Super Sport for only 9 months the straight axle went in and the nose went up. From there, he raised the back for the perfect stance, then realized that since the car was up in the air now, you could see the underside. That’s when the chroming started… the axles, front and back, leaf springs, backing plates… it’s all dipped in the shiny stuff. Jackie Peebles of North Texas Quality Chrome did the all the plating (and did an encore performance on the new car) From there, Bob showed the car all around the Texas and Oklahoma area and drove it. It continued to serve as his daily ride and even took him through college in style! But then, in 1977 to buy a house for him and his new wife, the car was sold for $1900! Sound nuts? Well keep in mind that a house was only $12,000 back then.
Fast forward to just over a year ago. Bob went to his 40 year high school reunion and heard alot of, “What’d you do with your car?” Then a car sow in Des Moines somehow sealed the deal. Bob needed to recreate his ride from 1967 in 2007. That’s where Sam Woodard of Oklahoma City, OK stepped in. In a stunning (and highly focused!) 13 months, Sam turned the Kansas doner car into the perfectly straight show car seen at Goodguys. Sam’s no stranger to high quality builds. He does it all the time as shown at his website: Woodard Racing He’s also the president of the Central States Gasser Association, so this isn’t his first trip down the 1320.
As you often hear, the car they thought was, “In pretty good shape” drank a stiff shot of truth serum known as media blasting. The truth of the old Kansas car is barely seen now. Only the basic shell survived and practically every panel was replaced for all the rust. From there, Bob had to kinda talk Sam into his plan. Sam had some good ideas, but Bob only wanted what he had in 1967. Looking back, Sam’s glad they did when folks say, “I remember that car!”
From Oklahoma City, the car made its way to the Forth Worth area in the shop of Shark Performance Art. Scott Draper or “Shark” as he’s called, consulted with the original painter, Nat Quick. Nat was painting Funny Cars and Top Fuelers in the 60′s and Bob knew him from his pit crew times. Nat’s original paint job, just like this one, set Bob back two-hundred-bucks! Nat was kind enough to coach (over the phone no less!) Shark on how the original car was painted. There’s alot going on in that House of Colors Magenta Candy Pearl.
The custom paint on this gasser is set off by two things. One is the super rare gold murano pearl mixed into the paint. The same was murano pearl was used when Nat did the car in 67 and that’s where Shark needed some coaching. Murano pearl is made from sea life, like shells and real pearls, but was apparently outlawed by the EPA maybe 45 years ago. Somehow Bob found some. I guess the stuff keeps forever if you keep it in your refrigerator! (source for the info on Murano Pearl: lostart1.com) Bob bought a whole jar of the stuff, but it turns out that a spoonful was enough to shoot the entire car. As a thanks to Nat, his crest is painted onto the lower front fender of the car. (Click on the image to see the lace)
The second reason this paint’s trick is the same reason folks were turning their heads in all kinds of directions looking at the car. It’s got a circular lace pattern running in two stripes on the top of the car and also along the side. It’s wild! Way back when, the lace pattern was made from a doily or something like that, but searching high and low, even in Belgium, Bob couldn’t find the right pattern. No problem. Bob took an old photo of the car showing the lace then scaled it to find out the exact size. He then drew the pattern using Autocad and had it (frick’n) laser cut onto a piece of naugahyde. The final lace pattern was 84″ x32″ and had 36,000 holes!
The last bit of cool-rareness on the car is the Morbec wheels. We’ve already established that Bob’s a damn resourceful guy by finding the murano pearl and cutting the lace pattern. The wheels were the last piece of the puzzle to perfect the Super Sport masterpiece.
Bob told me Morbec wheels were made in the Fort Worth area from the 60′s on through to about 1982 by Perry Morrison, thus the “Mor” in Morbec. These wheels are near cult status in Texas, so Bob had his work cut out to find some. Just about every link I found about Morbec wheels was a WANTED ad! While Bob’s deep reaching feelers searched the country, a set turned up in none other then, Forth Worth, TX. Looking closely, their in perfect condition and are rumored to be one of the last sets ever made.
I couldn’t be more impressed with Bob or the car. Bob and his buddy Otis traveled out to stay with some family in Scottsdale. Otis’s 29 Sedan is coming up in a future story. If you ever get a chance, take the time to chat with Bob. You’ll be glad you did. Things come big in Texas and Bob’s determination, persistence and kind heart are great examples.