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April 2013 Vintage Vault

Posted in Features on April 1, 2013 Comment (0)
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Photographers: Thomas Voehringer

Project Hot Rod
Unfortunately, it’s not every day that you see a CJ-6 running down the road anymore. So when we came across several build type photos of a CJ-6 in Source Interlink Media’s vast archives, we had to run them in Vintage Vault. The truth is we have shown at least one photo of this Jeep’s tri-Weber-equipped Tornado I-6 in an article about old-school engine swaps a few years back. The Jeep and the engine were built by none other than Brian Chuchua in 1965, and the photos were shot for Hot Rod by Eric Rickman. Unfortunately, no buildup of the Jeep was covered in Hot Rod, though some pictures of the Jeep have trickled out over the years in a few places. This first shot shows the tub and chassis under construction at Chuchua’s place, Four Wheel Drive Center in Fullerton, California. Are those locking hubs on the rear axle?

You Grab That Side, I’ll Get This Side
Here is a shot of the installation of the Tornado OHC I-6, also shot by Eric Rickman in 1965. Now we are getting somewhere. Is that Brian in the foreground? It looks like they just hand lowered the engine in there. Well done, guys!

Rejetting the Webers
Tuning those three carbs (we’re guessing Weber 45 DCOE 9) looks like it might not be an easy proposition. Here, in another shot by Eric Rickman again at a Carlsbad NHRA Drag Race in 1965, Chuchua is tuning the carbs between runs down the strip. That is one clean Tornado and a sparklingly clean engine bay. Nice!

Weigh-in at the Track
Here is a shot of the completed Jeep getting weighed in at the Carlsbad, California, NHRA Drag Race from 1965. Unfortunately, we did not find a shot of the Jeep in action, but it’s still pretty darn cool. The side says “‘Chuchua’s Jeep’ Sales & Service Fullerton.” We also totally love the white pickup-style soft top and see a Champion battery in the bed. Looks like Firestone tires front and back. The Jeep was supposedly built for E/Modified Production. Chuchua also helped build some Jeep-bodied funny cars later before the NHRA banned them.

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