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Husting dragster resurfaces after 52 years...


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#1 TSR

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 12:47 PM

The LASCM's latest acquisition: a "lost" marvel, one of Gene Husting's most famous 1965 dragsters, the "Hustler," featured in period magazines such as Car Model and Rod & Custom.
 
Came without motor internals, gears, and rear wheels, but fortunately the LASCM has the original parts from... the Gene Husting dragsters box donated by his estate.
 
This is a fabulous car, of which the light alloy body was painted by none other than Bob Kovacs, famous for his "Kustoms by Kovacs" paint schemes on any kind of products, from toys to refrigerators. In fact in direct competition with world's famous Kenny "von Dutch" Howard for the craziest 1960s paint jobs...
 
It was missing most of its body screws but I just happened to have a good supply of perfect nickel-plated 2-56 jobs matching the remaining originals... 

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The car was modified several times by Gene, constantly looking to improve its 1.2-second 1/4-mile pass. The picture above proves it to be the real thing. Unusually (and thankfully), the magnesium chassis plates are painted, saving the car from the usual ugly surface corrosion.
 
Lovely machine that made its mark before Husting introduced the anglewinder concept in 1/24 scale professional racing in America.
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#2 Don Weaver

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 12:57 PM

What a beautiful automobile!!!   :good:


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Don Weaver

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#3 SlotStox#53

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 01:11 PM

Oh Wow! :heart: Truly an amazing dragster!!
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#4 Mark Mattei

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 01:51 PM

Glad to see a thing of beauty is being saved. Good going.

 

Mark.


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#5 Lone Wolf

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 03:25 PM

Fantastic.

 

It's in the right place. 

 

Congratulations

 

I know you said you have parts but if you need any vintage jewelers screws or anything else here for the car let me know.

 

These are period correct parts for building rails, etc.

 

DSC01946.JPG

 

DSC01947.JPG

 

Everything shown here came out of J & J raceway in Cali where big drag meets were held back in the day.

 

Joe


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Joe Lupo


#6 Steve Deiters

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 03:29 PM

These brutes were something else. If they ever launched they would have probably killed somebody! I think 36 volts was the standard "fuel" of the day. 

 

Made me think of two other slot drag racers of note from that era. Bob Braverman and Ray Ramsey...



#7 TSR

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 03:40 PM

Joe, this is very kind of you! Thank you.

Fortunately I have kept much hardware from my own racing days, with screws and nuts as tiny as used for Swiss watches assembly (need a microscope and steady fingers for assembly) to standard 0-80, 2-56, etc., in a vast array of metals, configurations, and heads. The car uses mostly 2-56 stuff and I have already assembled the loose body back on the chassis with the very same K&B brass, round-head, 2-56 screws Gene used.

There are several sets of original rear wheels and tires inside Gene's box, which was donated to the LASCM by the family after Gene's passing. There are also correct armatures, gears, magnet plates, brushes, bearings, and gears. It will just be a matter of selecting the right bits and bolting it back to the car. The articles in Car Model and Rod & Custom actually tell us which parts to use!  :)

Gene's box: 
 

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Steve, Bob Braverman was one of the best drag racers and of course designed the Russkit production dragster. Ramsey and plenty of others were stars, but Husting got the most press in part because he and Braverman wrote the stories! Since he was also winning, hard to argue.


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#8 Lone Wolf

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 03:58 PM

You're very welcome.

 

That friggin' box is to die for.   :heart:  :heart:  :heart:  :heart:  :heart:

 

Love the contorted exhaust and the "deadly saw tooth spur" on that fantastic hand-painted masterpiece.

 

At 36 volts it was a good thing that OSHA wasn't there. Lots of body protection would have been mandatory due to flying parts.  :)


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#9 TSR

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 05:35 PM

We are not sure of who was the artist who painted the box. It looks like his knowledge of 3-dimensional perspective was slightly off the mark, but we love it just the same... 


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#10 Mbloes

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 07:26 PM

Or maybe the chassis is just twisted...
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#11 Gator Bob

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 12:42 PM

A truly remarkable machine!

 

Bubble top padlock dragsters could make a comeback. 


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Posted Image
                            Bob Israelite

#12 boxerdog

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 01:08 PM

Now if we could get a 36v battery setup operational somewhere...


David Cummerow

#13 Half Fast

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 01:13 PM

Fabulous 50-year old technology that still looks state of the art today! I'm glad to see it preserved. :good:

 

Cheers,


Bill Botjer

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#14 SlotStox#53

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 01:25 PM

Now if we could get a 36v battery setup operational somewhere...


Would love to see what our modern built vintage hardware dragsters could do on the oldskool 36 volts.  :D


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#15 Gator Bob

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 02:05 PM

We get them going pretty good a 14-16 volts. At 36 we would need parachutes... and gear guards.

 

So now, I'll be on the look-out at the dollar stores for some useless bubble blister packed item... just for the 'right bubble."


Posted Image
                            Bob Israelite

#16 Gator Bob

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 02:11 PM

Dokk, please show the car some due respect and put some rear wheels on it. I figure Scott might have something that fits.

 

Although... it does look cool with-out wheels and imagining the rears are on there but shrouded.


Posted Image
                            Bob Israelite

#17 Cheater

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 02:16 PM

We get them going pretty good a 14-16 volts. At 36 we would need parachutes... and gear guards.


You'd need scatter shields around the motors, too!
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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#18 Bill from NH

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 02:21 PM

And faceshields for the racers. :laugh2:  Actually, well-placed panes of Lexan would make a good catch fence.

Bill Fernald
 

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#19 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 03:44 PM

I love this dragster. I love this box. Gene Husting and Bob Braverman were very important to me when i was starting to slot race. 


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#20 TSR

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 05:41 PM

Howie only built one "rail" dragster when he was a young gun, and fortunately it survived and will be restored to full glory when time allows...

1967-ursaner-rail-1.jpg

1967-ursaner-rail-2.jpg

"Ve Have Vays to Make Zem Talk!"   :big_boss:


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#21 Ben Morrow

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 06:01 PM

Truly amazing sight to see!
 
Beutiful car and Love that box paint, pretty cool for the period!...
 
Thanks for posting a true jewel of the past! :)
 
See, "old guys do rule.:sun_bespectacled:
 
Ben



#22 BillB

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 06:34 PM

From an article in Rod & Custom March 1965, another of Gene Husting's dragsters, perhaps an earlier version.

Ghusting.png
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#23 TSR

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 04:58 PM

Bill, thanks!

From what I know about Gene's dragsters, he built a total of three similar cars. The "Hustler" was apparently the last one built.

I have rounded some of the parts to revive it: correct Husting wound armature, flanged ball bearings, Weldun pinion gear, a pair of rear tires on Russkit Lola T70 setscrew wheels.

I also on track for a set of ground magnet plates and the proper motor ends with brush array.

That thing will be functional like most of the cars that will be on display at the LASCM.

#24 dc-65x

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 07:17 PM

That Husting's rail is a national treasure... or it should be! :wub:

Rick Thigpen
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There's much more to come...


#25 BillB

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 08:31 PM

An amazing dragster from years past... look forward to seeing its completion!
Bill Bilancio





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