Feature: A Monstrous ’55 Chevy Gasser

Rick Logsdon’s Chevy terrorizes the West Coast gasser clan. 

Drag Racing

 

Rick Logsdon has an eye for quality race cars. While wheeling his vintage Bad Attitude Super Comp ride at Fomoso Raceway, he had been lusting after Dean Hall’s Korbel Champagne-backed ’55 Chevy gasser. When the opportunity arose to buy it, he jumped at it.

 

Since taking ownership in ’07, his classic Chevy has undergone a complete under-skin rebuild and several power upgrades. When Rick took over the helm from Dean, it was akin to stuffing the Hulk  (minus the green skin) into a Smart Car. Originally based on a Alston kit chassis, Rick’s engineering guru Gary Hanson has pretty much rebuilt the ride from bow to stern, now Rick properly fits in his ride. Recently, Dean asked if there’d been any changes made to the ’55. Rick laughingly responded, “Remember the Peanuts Snoopy you left in the car? Well, that’s about the only thing that’s the same!”

drag racing car

Jimmy Teague of Dinuba, CA, laid on the color. The white remains from the Korbel Champagne days, blue is the shade of Rick’s former ride. Jimmy Teague of Dinuba, CA, laid on the color. The white remains from the Korbel Champagne days, blue is the shade of Rick’s former ride.

 

The original 565-inch big-block was replaced with a 632 Brodix combo, bumping the ’55 up to A/G. Currently, a gargantuan 812-ci Donovan featuring Sonny Leonard Hemi heads provides the power. All of Rick’s engine work has been done by former NASCAR engine whiz Jim Watkins. Rick recounts that in his stock car days “you were either running Jim’s engines or chasing them.”

 

A regular competitor in ANRA, WCHRA and the NHRA Heritage Series, Rick won both ANRA and WCHRA Championships in ’08 and 2010’s NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion race. This season, in spite of engine issues which sidelined him for a time, he appeared in five final rounds in a row.

 

drag racing car

Dean Hall is responsible for the tin work in the clean and functional interior. The shifter is connected to a Mike’s Transmissions Monster Glide, provided and supported by Mike Stewart.

 

In his “spare time” away from racing, Rick founded Energy Link Industrial Services in 1999. The company, which provides oil and gas processing equipment to drilling sites from California to Pennsylvania, was purchased by Ray Miller of RFM in ’07. Rick remains onboard and Ray actively supports Rick’s racing endeavors. In addition to Ray, Rick gives a loud “Thanks” to Gary Hanson of Hanson’s Race Cars in Montclair, California; Randel Welding and Cencal Machine, both of Bakersfield, California; TCW Performance Products, a manufacturer of high-performance automotive belt drives; and crew chief Ted Wadlington, who’s also the owner of TCW.

 

drag racing car

Jim Watkins’ Hemi Donovan has propelled Rick’s aero brick to an ultra-strong 7.28 at 188.33 mph.

 

Rick also wanted it to be known that the insights and information provided by Bill Condit and Dean Hall have added greatly to his driving career. He’s developed a close relationship with Fomoso track operators Blake and John Bowser. Since Jim’s race shop is on the track premises, the Chevy serves as the Bower’s “house car” for occasional track testing.

 

drag racing car

The Scoop says it all: No power adders! Rick’s aiming to be the fastest naturally aspirated full body ’55 Chevy on the planet. Let’s also mention, no electronics!

 

Rick feels fortunate to have a track of this quality literally in his backyard. “The Bowsers really do strive to give us a great place to race.” Racers and fans be forewarned, when a certain blue and white ’55 Chevy Gasser rolls into the pits, stand by for some serious action.

 

Gary Hanson's chassis

Gary Hanson’s chassis work gets Rick from burnout to the traps straight and strong, lap after lap.

 

Text by Pete Ward

Photos by Doug Adams

 

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