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East Coast four-door race car is a Midwest Hit

East Coast four-door race car is a Midwest Hit

A 1949 Austin A-40 Devon gasser was a hit at the first Symco Rod & Kustom Weekender in Symco, Wis. Car owner Rich Giebudowski of Orland Park, Ill., said that his tiny sedan was named for Devon County in England. 
“Austin named its models after different counties,” Rich noted. “The Devon was the name of the four-door sedan while the two-door model was called a Dorset. My car became an East Coast drag racing car in the ‘60s.”
The car was raced almost its entire life. It ran under the name “Master Blaster” back then and was raced by a man who owned a company that sold cranes. The car ran in the 10-second bracket back in the day. A man from Florida purchased the car and turned it into a street legal car
The 355-cid small-block Chevy V-8 in the car is built up, but Rich doesn’t race the car and didn’t have “355” lettered on the hood scoop. That call-out just wouldn’t look old enough for the car,” says Rich. “So, I put 331 on the scoop. I think it originally had either a 301 or a 331.. It has an Olds or Pontiac rear end with 5.58:1 gearing and old Cadillac disc brakes.
The Austin has lights and all the stuff needed to make it street legal. Rich takes it to shows and drives it on the street. He’s been told that it’s one of only three or four Austin drag racers built with rear seat steering. Rich bought the all-steel car several tears ago.
“Basically, I left the motor and rear end the way they were, but I put in a new front axle from Speedway Motors,” says Rich. The body is finished in two eye-catching shades of green with “Pure Acid” gold leafed on the doors.
Rich is kind of a straight-axle type of guy. He also owns an Anglia gasser (another ‘60s build), an all-steel ’41 Willys coupe, an all-steel ’33 Willys pickup, a Henry J, a British Prefect dragster and an Econoline van that’s also ready for the “gasser wars.” A body man by trade, he works at Car Crafter Collision.