The Haas family is one of those families who have racing in their blood. The love for all things fast spans across a few generations in this family. It all started with Bob Haas, who has been a traditional hot rodder since the term first evolved. It was a common sight to see Bob tooling around town in his '32 roadster. Like most hot rodders, the desire to slip into something faster and better was never far from his mind.
The '32 was traded away for this '57 Chevy 150 post car that you see here. It was Bob's desire to de-billetize this '57 and turn it into a classicly styled gasser. Unfortunately, Bob passed away in 2001 and he was never able to complete his project. The acorn didn't fall very far from the Haas family tree, and Bob's son, Todd, took over the project.
Like most people, lack of time was an issue for Todd. Both he and his uncle are avid Bonneville racers and were busy building racecars for the Salt Flats, so the little two-door post had to wait a season or two before any wrenches could be turned on it. But have no fear, Todd continued the theme his father had envisioned, and started transforming the Chevy into the classic gasser style you see here. Perhaps the greatest part of all is that this classic Chevrolet is actually driven. While out on the Salt Flats at Speed Week, the '57 performed a variety of functions. Aside from transporting passengers, it was also being used as a push/pull car for the Haas and So-Cal race team. One of the most memorable experiences for Todd undoubtedly was scattering his father's ashes, which had been packed into one of the parachutes of the race cars.
Some folks might be a bit timid at the thought of driving a '57 Chevy out onto the salt, but not Todd. He knew his father would not have hesitated getting a little salt on the car-it's all about function and fun. At the time we caught up with this '57, it had a 327 small-block, ported, polished heads, Hooker headers, a Duntov cam, a 9-inch rear with 3:90 gears, Radir 8.25 whitewall slicks, and a Muncie four-speed.
Like any true hot rodder's car, Todd's '57 is far from complete. During the writing of this article, Todd had the '57 at So-Cal Speed Shop where it will receive the royal treatment and no doubt will be better than ever. Keep your peepers peeled on the Salt Flats in 2006. There is no doubt this '57 gasser will once again be employed and enjoyed.