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The Gasser: Wild CNG ’33 Hot Rod

Can a modern V8 hot rod be clean, mean, and green?

Whoo yeah.

It was impossible to miss the Lamborghini green Gasser in the Luxfer booth while strolling the show floor aisles at the 2010 Alternative Fuels & Vehicles Conference in Las Vegas this week.



The Gasser started out as a Factory Five ’33 kit and made a hard left into crazy land. Fairfield, California-based Daytech Auto and AFVTech of Goodyear, Arizona steered the ’33 roller into uncharted territory when they dropped a specially prepped LS-7 427 cubic-inch GM Performance crate motor between the frame rails.

The Gasser - CNG Hot Rod (front view)

So what’s so special about a 427-inch V8 in a ’33 Ford hot rod?

Hang onto your hat …

The LS-7 was rebuilt to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), with upgrades to the valves, seats, piston rings, to produce an estimated 650 horsepower. The engine uses MSD ignition system components and a Peterson Fluid Systems oil tank. Other goodies include electric power steering and a drive shaft-powered alternator.

There are four Luxfer CNG tanks nestled in the trunk, promising a 200-mile range.

CNG-powered Gasser Hot Rod (rear view with CNG tanks)

The Gasser’s six-speed T.C.I.-prepped automatic transmission is controlled via Momo steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, along with a 2 button handle Outlaw shifter between the seats. Wilwood pedals handle the chores underneath the dash.

The dashboard is aeronautically-inspired. Builder Wayne Day started his career as an aircraft mechanic in the United States Air Force, and has raced in both Top Fuel/Alcohol dragsters and SCCA road racing.

Needless to say, the Gasser was designed to go fast around the corners, as well as in a straight line.

Ultra-lightweight carbon-fiber HRE wheels are wrapped in beefy rubber, with a Ford 9-inch rear bringing all that clean power to the rear wheels. Alcon got the nod for brake components.

The Gasser is fully OBD-compliant and uses an Impala-sourced traction control system. There are over two miles of wiring in the car.

Each of the fully functional sidepipes sport water-cut logos and contain a pair of catalytic converters, for total of four. The custom headers and side pipes were build by Lemons Headers.

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8 comments ↓

#1 Sean on 05.15.10 at 7:59 am

Sorry, but no car is truly “green” and certainly not a wasteful hot rod.

#2 mpg-o-editor on 05.15.10 at 8:20 am

Sean, shut off your computer. Turn off all your lights, your HVAC system, and your fridge, too. Don’t get on an airplane or use any hot water.

#3 mike on 05.17.10 at 8:34 am

too bad this LS7 is a small block, not a big block as mentioned in the story…………still pretty stout

#4 mpg-o-editor on 05.17.10 at 9:00 am

Many thanks for the catch, Mike! Apologies for the typo. I’ve made the fix …

#5 mike on 05.17.10 at 9:40 am

FYI, GM was going to build an LS7 motor for the 1970-72 corvettes, it was to be an all aluminum 454 w/aluminum heads and triple carbs………too bad it never came out. It was advertised in the 1970 corvette brochures.

#6 baldrodder on 05.17.10 at 5:03 pm

This is a great project that showcases CNG and it’s many applications. There are tons of photos of the build up stage at http://www.hotrodtime.com/gasser You can see how much hard work and time went into creating this ride in a relatively short amount of time.

#7 wayne day on 05.21.10 at 5:58 pm

some history on big blocks, small blocks. gm now is producing the ls. series engine, which replaces the big block, small block, and you can build basiclly a lot of cubic inch in the ls series engine. the ls series engine used in the gasser project is 427 cubic inches, which is equivulent to the old big block, which is no longer produced. thanks for the interest

#8 JaKaL on 09.27.10 at 12:49 pm

I love the car, love the idea, price is crazy for some other parts, hehe. However, I been trying to work on a medium performance application on an 85 GMC 3/4ton 4wd, but seems restrictions in California make it impossible so far as I have been able to find. I was hoping to make the truck into a “Search & Rescue” style on and off-road go-anywhere rig. But my search continues, though I am thinking about giving it up. :(

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