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Author Topic: revmaster " THE ROACH"  (Read 10437 times)
speedwell
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« on: December 11, 2009, 11:54:45 am »

after seeing the picture of dean yesterday on gasser gallery
i said it will be time to made a little detail report for the lounger

pictures and words by glenn miller and frank skalski

the revmaster roach 1957 vw gasser was the work of frank and stan skalski, The early engine was a25/36hp-based unit with denzel heads , a pepco blower and 2 stromberg 48mm crabs on a custom built manifold system. This early version ran 107mhp in the low 13s at fontana and colton drags in the mid 1960s.

builder frank skalsky comments:

"the engine case was an odd 25hp all-aluminium one from a cery early vw,i have only seen two of those in all my years. The aluminium being much stronger than the magnesium alloy.It was hand lapped then line-bored.We used porsche cylinders ,that had news stud holes milled in the sides to fit the vw patterns; the crank was a 1600 porsche with porsche rods.I wheel and added a LUK diaphragm clucth , small diameter with a heavy spring pressre, the cam was an isky profile like the Fuel Dragster guys used , and the heads were Denzel(we elarged nad polished the ports).
"on the outside , i was lucky enough to have an excellent tech and welder friend helping -Bob Sanchez of 4-tuned exhaust headers fame as a aprtner.Bob built the 180° exhaust headers with 2 meagphones and an intake system to support the large(by vw standards) Pepco supercharger which had a roots-type blower .on top of teh blower sat 2 stromberg 48 carbs that we bored out and jetted for alcohol.The blower was belt driven, and the engine had a vertex magneto.
"at fontana, in the near stock weight'57 vw sedan with street tires, the fastest time was 13.41@107mph.we would use methanol with nitro and toluene as an igniter was added. The chemicals came from Fransisco Labs  in Glendale, calif
"this engine had a dragster like hope to it at low speed and a very distincive sound.Which i can best describe as "taring linen"

years later

"the last version of our car had a larger 2180cc engine with 92mm Deano pistons and cylinders that were clearenced with a 500 grit stones. The crank was a german alfing counterweighted unit that i stroked myself to 82mm at the revmaster shop. The flywhell was a lightened vw unit , usinga No four luk pressure plate.The front pulley was an special degreed aluminium unit, and the rods were lightened and polished vw stocjers.
The heads were stockvw D/port that we had opened and installed larger seats and valves then polished and match ported to the IDA manifolds. we used a Sig erson can-his best grind recommendation for our combo , chromoly push rods were used and the empi 1.4 rocker set up and empi valve covers came next.Again the exhaust system was built by bob Sanchez (a great old friend), andon the intake manifolds , from empi we mounted the weber IDAs and the same wertex magneto was used.
"we built the swing axles trans using the close ration third and fourth sears with a lilited-slip unit.Porsche axles and solid mounts.
the body work and paint were done by Rivesider Clarence Shaw (Shaw's body shop), she was painted a very yellow , and the pinstripping and lettering were done by Riversider Richard Mc Peak.
"we added plexiglass all around and the required safety equipement was Superior Industries. from memeory this gasser went 12.30 at its best with brother Stan doing the driving (he was better at the lights than me) this set-up came off the line great but was caught near the finish line in most races".
one must remember that the factory vw dual port head first apparead in the US , on the 1966 vw type IIIs and up to this point one had to go with the Okrasa or Denzel heads to make power.Thus even in the late 60's , we still saw many highly modified 36-and 40hp engines being run at the drags!

« Last Edit: December 11, 2009, 12:07:26 pm by speedwell » Logged

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speedwell
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2009, 11:57:15 am »

mores

Skalski is a t the wheel at OCIR,there are bumper bracket on the car because it was towed to the drags


handiwork done by richard Mc Peak
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speedwell
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2009, 12:00:01 pm »

the hot denzel 36HP engine with the sanchez exhaust system


because the car was gutted , it was very light,the car was carrying the sanchez two cone exhaust during the race
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speedwell
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2009, 12:03:02 pm »

this's the Revmaster Roach I-gasser as she appeared at the bug in @ OCIR in 1970


this the highly-modified early engine fitted with the Pepco blower and stromberg 48 carbs
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speedwell
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2009, 12:06:11 pm »

this franck Skalski (right),Revmaster manager shop.He went on to become a great innovator and engine builder at Empi's engine division
« Last Edit: December 11, 2009, 12:08:26 pm by speedwell » Logged

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Sarge
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2009, 14:03:45 pm »

Looks like John Rue (Fourtuned Headers) on the left....  The Roach had a sound all it's own.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2009, 14:05:59 pm by Sarge » Logged

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Jamie
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2009, 14:56:46 pm »

Very interesting, thanks for sharing  Cool
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deano
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2009, 16:05:14 pm »

Thinking of the time period that car was around. Naming a car "Roach" could mean two things in my book, a piece of crap, or a Cheech and Chong moment. Which was it... guys of the era?
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danny gabbard
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2009, 17:16:03 pm »

I dont under stand ?
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2009, 17:23:57 pm »

great article very tnx Fab!!! Wink
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simon uk
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2009, 17:40:10 pm »

good work fabs, extra marks if you had to type it all out!

Si.
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Sarge
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2009, 17:48:34 pm »


Thinking of the time period that car was around. Naming a car "Roach" could mean two things in my book, a piece of crap, or a Cheech and Chong moment. Which was it... guys of the era?


  Roll Eyes One look at the twin stingers says it all.... Grin
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Zach Gomulka
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2009, 17:49:13 pm »

13.41 out of a 25hp case...
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« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2009, 20:05:19 pm »

This is one of my favourite cars of all time. I have a couple of old Glen Miller pics of it but you don't see may photo's of it was it not around for long??
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Phoenix
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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2010, 05:30:55 am »

The reason it was called the roach was because it was hacked together from two different 54's that were in the yard at Four Tune. One of Frank's buddies, Sanchez - my uncle, gave him the cars. One had been rolled and one had a sunroof.
Stan, who worked at the Buick dealership, in the body shop put them together. The first few times they ran the car it was prior to paint and body work and everyone commented on what a roachy car it was. The name stuck and when they painted it the movie at the time was "I'm Curious Yellow". Stan loved that movie and probably Clarence  Shaw had yellow paint available. Shaw's body shop was right down the street from Rev Master and they'd been friends for years. The Denzel motor that they used in the early 60s sat underneath the bench at Four Tune for roughly 5 years. I wanted to borrow it for a weekend to run in my car but, Sanchez wouldn't hear it.
When Frank and Stan built the roach they used and or borrowed the Denzel to get started then built the other engine. Parts of that intake and carburetors endedd up at Leighton's shop which he used for some of his blower motors. They only raced the roach maybe 2 years, whatever happened to that car I have no idea. Frank then got a 67 sedan and a dodge challenger and I'd see him at OCR on wednesday nights. His wife would run the challenger and Frank would run the 67. I remember Frank when he first got the 67 running, headed to OCR and was showing Sanchez and I the engine and running the engine up,the fan belt breaking and almost nailing me in the head!
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Fastbrit
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« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2010, 09:41:16 am »

Fantastic information! Thanks for what must be one of the greatest 'first posts' on the forum. Cool
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Der Kleiner Panzers VW Club    
So it took some guy 17 years to run 0.31secs quicker and he boasts about it? A case of All Talk and...
Black Sheep
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« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2010, 18:20:36 pm »

Echoed here Phonix top first thread more please  Wink
And may i be the first to extend to you a big lounge welcome .
Now pull up a chair grab a cold one from the fridge and share some more of those great stories with us  Cool
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Stick with what you know works .
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OgCalLook
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Straight outa Riverside!


« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2010, 19:54:46 pm »

John - a big welcome to the Lounge from a fellow Riversider, Keep the stories coming.
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mackb61
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« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2010, 18:29:13 pm »


As the story was told to me back in the 60's:  In the late 60’s there was a “gentleman” whom I’ll refer to as Paul and at the time was, I believe, president of the local Riverside VW Car Club or possibly one of the officers of the car club.  The club held its meetings at Econo Motors, the local VW dealer in Riverside, California, on a weekday evening after the dealership had closed.  The club members would fill the Econo Motors parking lot with their VWs backed in their respective parking places and go inside for the club meeting.  Sedans, Ghias, Buses, and an occasional Meyers Manx were all present.  I believe Paul drove a Manx and had acquired an engine from Frank or from Revmaster, I’m not sure which, but hadn’t paid for it.   Frank had been trying to collect the fees due him from Paul, but Paul always had an excuse as to why he couldn’t pay.   Frank decided to repossess the engine.  So one evening while the club was having its meeting inside the dealership conference room, Frank and friend (I believe his brother) show up in the parking lot and removed the engine from the Manx and take it away.  Today’s engine removal competition must have been spawned from this incident, and I’m sure Frank still has the fastest time ever known in history.   I couldn’t imagine the embarrassment suffered after the club meeting is adjourned and the members race to the vehicles to do the downtown cruise.  Paul jumps into his Manx to take the lead position for the parade and no engine.  WTF?  All the club members standing around in awe wondering what happened to the engine.  Was it stolen?  Nope! Repossessed.  Priceless!   Thank you Frank for a story/memory I’ll never forget.  Please correct any inaccuracies in my post.

« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 18:36:35 pm by mackb61 » Logged
Fastbrit
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« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2010, 18:38:30 pm »

Priceless! Cheesy
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Black Sheep
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« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2010, 19:05:35 pm »

Nice , would love to have been a fly on the wall when he came out  Cheesy
Welcome to the lounge mackb61 , cool first post  Cool
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OgCalLook
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Straight outa Riverside!


« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2010, 23:47:14 pm »

Cool story!!
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Tom Hewitson
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ugly duckling
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« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2010, 06:20:36 am »

deffenetly bitchen little heads way ahead of there time . UD.
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ugly duckling
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« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2010, 06:31:09 am »

.. Smiley UD .
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speedwell
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« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2010, 16:59:29 pm »

where they came from  Huh porsche , denzel Huh
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Phoenix
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« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2010, 21:54:54 pm »

They appear to be Denzel, but I can't really tell w/o seeing exh ports. Denzel ports are more square, Porsche rectangular...if they're round then they're Okrasa 
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ugly duckling
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« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2010, 22:16:25 pm »

.. UD .
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Phoenix
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« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2010, 17:39:54 pm »

denzel
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