Robbie Davis pilots his Erwin von Homeyer-built ’39 Willys gasser at California’s Eagle Field Nostalgia Drags


THE Eagle Field Nostalgia Drags come around every year in May, when the decommissioned runway, situated in the sleepy town of Firebaugh about four hours north of Los Angeles, fills with the sights, sounds, and smells of good old- fashioned un-prepped eighth-mile vintage drag racing.

Willys GasserFrom putt-putting four-bangers to balls-out nitro dragsters, the weekend is packed with what is arguably the cream of the West Coast’s nostalgia crop, including an outstanding number of historic and survivor drag racers.

Willys Gasser Robbie Davis’s 1939 Willys coupe fits neatly into that category, and the Estranged Car Club member made it down from his home in Portland, Oregon for the weekend’s racing. The coupe was built into a gasser by Erwin von Homeyer in the early 60s, originally ran a hot flathead Ford and was largely successful at tracks across Oregon, collecting trophies and track records in its heyday. By 1967, Erwin had grafted its running gear into a Ford Anglia and retired the Willys behind the dry cleaners his family owned in the late 60s. Many years later, Robbie happened upon the gasser, was eventually introduced to and befriended Erwin, and subsequently tracked down and purchased the Anglia, too.

Willys Gasser As it survives, the Willys still wears its original $19.95 paintjob from the cowl back, is powered by a 383-cube Summit crate motor and updated with parts Robbie had around his shop. Robbie reckons it’s good for mid-11s on the quarter-mile, but the light ’n’ tight little gasser has no issues lifting the front wheels at his local, better-prepped tracks.

Willys Gasser Check out the video for some vintage gasser action with Robbie and the Homeyer Willys!