Old chrome Strombergs

It’s hard to beat the patina of old chrome Strombergs – those 97 carbs lucky enough to have felt the polisher’s hand way back when. Knowing what we do now about how hard it is to chrome passivated zinc, it’s a miracle any were done in the first place, let alone survived. But we’re glad they did. It’s like they have a life all of their own. If they could talk, what stories would they tell? Whatever their history, here’s a few examples of old chrome Strombergs that are still doing great duty in their current lives…..Click on the pics for bigger views.


Chrome 97s for Kookie car

kookie kar 1We had an enquiry from someone today who is building a T-bucket inspired by Norm Grabowski’s Kookie car. It reminded us about the time we supplied four new 97s for one of the first Kookie clones – way before we started this blog and well worth a revisit.

This new “Kookie car” clone, owned by Detroit’s Ron Kregoski and built by Reno Rods and Customs in Oklahoma City is a very accurate recreation of the original, built in the 1950’s by actor, artist and hot rod legend Norm Grabowski. Featured in hundreds of magazines and a highlight of the 1950’s television series 77 Sunset Strip, driven by Edd “Kookie” Byrnes, the original Kookie car is one of the best known hot rods of all time.

Running a hopped-up 1952 Cadillac engine with four chrome 97s, Ron’s clone is as accurate as possible to the 50+ year-old hot rod. He contacted Stromberg back in 2008 because our new and improved 97s are faithful in every detail to the original 97s Grabowski bolted to the Caddy’s rare Horne four-carb intake manifold back in the day.

The Genuine Stromberg 97 bowl and airhorn castings, stainless steel linkage and miscellaneous screws and fittings were all shipped to Advanced Plating in Nashville, TN, for chrome plating or polishing, then shipped back to Stromberg for final assembly onto new bases, specially colour matched to the red engine block. The perfectly chromed 97s are an exact copy of the original set-up, and the crowning touch to Kregoski’s Kookie clone.

Looking like it just pulled up from its April, 1957 Car Craft magazine cover shoot, Grabowski said, “It’s the closest clone done yet,” at the 2009 Detroit Autorama in March, where it took 2nd place in the Modified T-Bucket category. Owner Ron Kregoski said, “For Stromberg, Reno Rods and everyone else involved in the build, Norm’s approval is the ultimate accolade”.


Chrome Chevy 97 fuel line


Back in the summer we launched our first Big Bore 97 fuel line – 9146-BIG for Small Block Chevy intakes – backed by a range of new fittings to make installation easy. You can click the links to read more about them. This time, we’re announcing that all of these – and more – are now available in traditional chrome or hand-polished finish to complement your chrome 97s.

We’ve added pictures of the whole range below, with the new part numbers so you know what to order. All you need to remember is that the fuel block has 1/4NPT threads at both ends so you can input your fuel line (solid or hose) from front or back, and either plug the other end off or add a fuel pressure gauge.

This 97 fuel line is designed for use with our BIG 97 carburetors which have special S-jet inlet valves to accept the 5/16in line (regular 97s need 1/4in line). To use the new 9146-BIG-P with regular 97s you MUST swap the S-jets out for 9564K-BIG-C chrome S-jets. The new 9146-BIG-P line comes with special chromed Ford Nut style compression fittings to fit the bigger line and S-jet, but they are also available separately as kit 9081K-BIG-C in case you want to build your own polished 5/16in fuel lines.

Finally, while we’re looking at new polished fuel fittings, now’s a good time to mention fully polished versions of our banjo spacers (9086K-P) and ‘fuel gauge banjos’ (9082K-G-P and 9083K-G-P).

Our new Big Bore 97 fuel line and fittings are part of the Stromberg Linkage & Fuel Delivery range, available from a network of Genuine Stromberg dealers worldwide. As always, full instructions are included with the fuel line and further help is available via the Stromberg Tech Center at www.stromberg-97.com .


Nickel Stromberg 97

DSC_9889We had a special order recently for a pair of new Stromberg 97s in nickel plate. So we sent some off to our usual plater and here they are. We kept the usual polished stainless steel parts like the kicker linkage and choke parts, but the main body castings are nickel Stromberg 97, as are all the small (normally) brass plugs, S-jet, needle valves, etc.  They do have a slightly different, yellow cast compared with our usual chrome 97s, and you do see slight coloration marks over the castings that polish out once you get at it. We had heard that nickel plate is not to easy to keep looking good, but the plater said that actually, if you start with good zinc castings (like ours), they do keep their lustre. Anyway, if you fancy a set for yourself, please email us or ask your dealer.