To continue on with some of my previously posted photos from the So Cal Speed Shop Open House, I thought I’d shine a spotlight on one of the cars that really caught my eye as I walked onto So Cal’s back lot – The Asphalt Gigolo.
This early 1970s Chevy Monza funny car immediately captured my attention as it sat amongst all the hot rods at So Cal, basking in the late afternoon sunlight. Like I mentioned previously in my story, I’ve recently become a fan of retro funny cars. Everything from the style to the fat drag slicks to the forward-raked stance to the vintage paint and logos on the car to the monstrous 540 cubic inch big block engine, stainless steel, and big blower sticking out the hood… what’s not to like?
This backlit shot of the blower sticking out of the hood in the rapidly departing sunlight really makes me want to drive a car like this off into the sunset. Damn, that would be amazing!
When I mentioned my newfound attraction to nostalgia drags to some of the people I was hanging out with at the So-Cal Open House, they thought it was funny that I recently “discovered” this genre of car culture. After all, it’s been around forever! However, I grew up around people that modified Japanese cars, and these types of cars weren’t really within the scope of the things we were exposed to when we were growing up. It wasn’t until I personally became deeply captivated with Japanese nostalgic cars that my mind was opened up to appreciate other retro and/or nostalgic cars, like the Asphalt Gigolo. I just didn’t realize how cool they were at first, if you could believe that. Well, it’s not like I grew up seeing cars like this every day.
Just look at the super fat belt used to drive the supercharger, the hard lined plumbing for the fuel delivery, and the elaborate throttle linkage and return spring system that controls the air intake through the circular red flaps you see under the polished aluminum blower cowl. The Asphalt Gigolo’s huge displacement 540cid engine is serious business, but it’s this fuel system and roots-type blower that are the key to creating power for this monstrous engine.
Inside the cockpit, I was impressed by all the sheetmetal work on the car’s interior. And just look at the steering wheel – could you imagine actually steering a car with something like that? It must be difficult as hell! (But it’s not as if retro funny cars need to attack corners or anything!)
A big silver Simpson drag chute is necessary to slow the car down after its high speed passes down the 1320; you won’t be seeing Brembo 6-pot calipers on a nostalgic drag car like this!
Take a look at the detail on the painted in taillights too… whoever painted this car at So Cal definitely has skills!
This view really shows off the crazy exaggerated side profile of the Asphalt Gigolo’s fiberglass body. From the subtle bumps in the hood that hug the small, skinny front wheels to the huge lipped rear wheels with massive Goodyear drag rubber mounted on them, these types of cars really look cartoony! I love it.
Let’s have a closer look at the placement of the massive Goodyear Eagle drag slicks in relation to the steering wheel and the driver’s seating position. These huge tires are burning out, creating huge smoke and gripping the road, and they’re just inches away from the driver! Driving a car like this is definitely NOT for the faint of heart.
The blocked off panel details on this paint job really impress me. I think it looks awesome! However, intricate paint jobs aren’t the reason why retro funny cars such as the Asphalt Gigolo are admired by so many gearheads… we want to see them run! I can NOT wait to go to the next nostalgia drag event to see this Chevy Monza and other retro funny cars do big nitromethane burnouts and fly down the racetrack.
Thanks to So Cal Speed Shop for having bad ass cars like this on display! They have definitely captured my imagination.
:: Antonio Alvendia