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Old June 30th, 2012, 06:45 AM   #1
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Oldsmobile W-43

I saw this artical and thought Wow! what IF. I never heard of this Motor before and thought you guys would also find it interesting.. Who new....click here for full story of Olds W-43 HERE. .
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Old June 30th, 2012, 08:59 AM   #2
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Oldsmobile had a lot of intriguing "what ifs" about that time that could have rewritten a lot of things. GM internal politics and EPA foolishness conspired to keep them from happening.
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Old June 30th, 2012, 09:04 AM   #3
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I saw one of them in Lansing for the 100th Anniversary. There were parts numbers and everything so they were serious about building it. Oldsmobile's answer, just in case the musclecar wars really got serious.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 05:02 AM   #4
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Glad you guys liked this article. This month we will be publishing an article on the Cam-Am Aluminum 455, that boasted twin turbos.

Lots of photos and the car survives and is raced in Vintage events. Stay tuned.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 05:29 AM   #5
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I'm just guessing here, but I'd bet if Oldsmobile were owned by someone other than GM, that engine would have been released to the public. I'm sure the head honchos at GM did not want to see Olds have something more attractive than their beloved Chevy product. I always felt that Oldsmobile was always kept down by GM.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 05:45 AM   #6
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The head design lived on.

The Quad 4 was a direct decendant of the W-43 and OW43 (overhead cam version). Thye even built a Quad 8 (we have a photo which we will share in the followup story).

The Northstar/Aurora V8 can trace it's lineage back to the W-43. These engines used the port configuration valve layout and even the combustion chamber design from the original W-43.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 07:12 AM   #7
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Makes you wonder Why GM didn't take this Motor futher back then, Even with the Politics and th EPA Bulls***. Theres always away aroud it if they wanted to.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 07:36 AM   #8
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I don't want to start the "ball rolling" here, but "there's always a way around it" is incorrect.

We need to understand not only GM politics, but also how the corporation worked to understand that there was "no way around it".

First, GM corporate approved all projects of this nature into production. They said "No" and that usually ended it. They said "no" in this case. Thus no corporate funding.

Second, at that point, (1971) the INSURANCE COMPANIES killed almost all muscle car development by placing huge surcharges on cars with 300 HP or better that even if the cars were made, few would be able to purchase them.

Third, all of GM shifted away from HP development to emissions development, effectively killing projects of this nature. It is said that emissions pushed GM to move away from the 5 divisions and divisional motors to "GM" branded engines, just because of the "certification" costs.

So when Corporates said no, that was it. It didn't help that John Beltz passed away in the same year, and he was replaced by a guy from Chevrolet.

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Old July 1st, 2012, 08:07 AM   #9
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" I always felt that Oldsmobile was always kept down by GM."

Kept down, and ultimately killed...

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 08:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 442much View Post
I saw one of them in Lansing for the 100th Anniversary. There were parts numbers and everything so they were serious about building it. Oldsmobile's answer, just in case the musclecar wars really got serious.
This engine is no longer in the RE Olds museum. Neither is the other experimental engine that only had one head on it. Does anybody know where they went? I'm pretty sure they have found their way into private ownership. Would anybody have a guess where they are?
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Old July 1st, 2012, 09:28 AM   #11
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It's an interesting story. I have probably 10 articles on this engine (hence my name "What If"), most have been posted on the web.

The author is in error though. He states the reason the engine was not produced was; "Many later blamed the death of John Beltz, Oldsmobile's then pro-racing General Manager, but what killed the engine were two things, the recognition of the upcoming EPA rules that this gas guzzler couldn't meet; and the consternation (read screaming) from Chevrolet."

There isn't one shred of documentation, not one memo, not one interview, not even a note written on a napkin, that says Chevrolet "screamed" about Olds producing the W-43. That's a myth, another case of Oldsmobile fans crying "it's all Chevy's fault".

The truth as to why the engine was cancelled is stated at the end of the article, "It is a shame that both the new regulations from Washington and the public's outcry on the horsepower race forced Olds to abandon this engine.


Had NOTHING to do with Chevrolet.

I would have loved to have seen this engine produced, but it was killed because high-performance engines were rapidly declining in popularity, and the W-43 was not seen as cost effective by 1971.

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Old July 1st, 2012, 11:05 AM   #12
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Talk to some of the folks who were in Lansing or even the Zone offices at the time. They will tell you Chevrolet (specifically the Corvette program) had a lot of input when other Divisions were trying to put special projects into production- especially high-horsepower, high-performance machinery. It is no secret why Buick repeatedly got its hand smacked over the Stage 1 and later the GNX- they were treading in Corvette territory. Cadillac would have been the only one who could have gotten away with it, and they were not interested in that market at the time.

I'll go one further on "public outcry" forcing the carmakers' hands on performance. It was ACTIVISTS and LAWYERS who were doing the "public outcry" much as they do with things today- they will try to legislate things they don't like or appreciate out of existence. Makes me wonder where they are now with all the decidedly high-performance machinery coming out of EVERY automaker. Oh, that's right- alternate-fuel vehicles and green energy production are their new cause du jour, and the lawyers themselves are probably driving some of these cars as they are among the few who can afford such- paid for by the proceeds and percentages of the lawsuits they file. A settlement often translates into 25% for the plaintiff, and 75% for the lawyer.

Add in insurance companies who claimed to be losing money insuring high-performance cars (bull-effing-shyt, they were and are making money hand over fist) and the die was cast.

Anyway, it's all in the past, GM will never be held accountable for its stupidity, arrogance, and mistakes, and we will soldier on best we can trying to maintain and restore our pieces of automotive history. Remember- GM doesn't want us to keep our old iron. They want to sell us a new vehicle, but they will wait till hell freezes over before I buy any GM vehicle produced in the last 15 years, much less a new one.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 12:34 PM   #13
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Well, I respectfully disagree. People love to rewrite history, and Buick, Olds, and Pontiac people always blame Chevrolet for everything. Whenever one of the divisions has an engine, model, or package that was successful, then discontinued, fans of that make like to cry "Chevrolet killed it".

Chevrolet was the driving force behind most of GM's designs. All the A-body, F-body, G-body, X-body (obviously not the Toro), and many other designs started at Chevrolet. Once the basic chassis, layout, and engineering equations were done, those designs were given to the other divisions for their own styling cues. Because of that, many engineers and stylists of other divisions were incredibly jealous of Chevrolet. Think about it, what engineer or stylist WOULDN'T want a clean sheet of paper to start with, verses being handed guidelines and parameters they have to design around? Chevrolet had the most sales, the biggest budget, the largest design studio, and the biggest engineering department.

Incidentally, the Grand National and GNX were NOT slapped down by Chevrolet or the Corvette crew. Another myth perpetrated by Buick owners. It's simply not true. It was the MEDIA that loved to compare the GN with Corvette. General Motors was about selling cars, not settling little bench racing feuds between owners. The GN and GNX had NO impact on Corvette marketing. Totally different cars, totally different market.

Does anyone honestly believe that the president of Chevrolet would walk into Pete Estes's office (GM president) and say, "Pete, this Buick Grand National thing is faster than our Corvette by .015 seconds, according to this one magazine, so can you have Buick halt production of the GN and GNX?"

Seriously?

The GN and GNX were discontinued because the 1988 models were FWD, and the Buick engineers knew that the FWD platform would not work the GN powerplant. That's all there is to it. Chevrolet had nothing to do with killing the Grand National. Sales of Corvette remained strong from 1984-1987 (over 30,000 each year), finally dropping in 1988, a year AFTER the GN was discontinued, so that dispels the myth that Chevrolet killed the Grand National.

And if Chevrolet cried whenever one of the other divisions made a car with more horsepower, how does that explain:

The 1973-1979 Trans Am's that could walk a Corvette at the dragstrip and the road course, while outselling Corvette 2 to 1?

In 1993, why did Chevrolet allow their beloved Corvette LT1 engine to be installed in Firebirds and Camaros, with 6-speed manual transmissions?

How did Pontiac manage to produce the 1989 Turbo Trans Am, which outhandled and outperformed the 1987 Buick Grand National, if Chevrolet supposedly killed the Grand National?

How did Chevrolet allow lowly GMC, a truck division, to produce a turbocharged AWD pickup called the Syclone that could beat a Corvette, then repeat that feat with the Typhoon?

Now, back to Oldsmobile.

I loved the W-43 concept, and I would have loved to see that engine under the hood of a 1971-1972 442 or a Toronado. I would imagine Olds would have had little W-43 emblems in place of W-30 badges.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 01:21 PM   #14
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WhatIf, I like what you have to say.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 07:47 PM   #15
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The exhaust manifolds on the Corvette LT1 could be fit into a F body , But Corvette DIDN'T allow it so said our GM rep @ the dealership I worked in when the Firebird got the LT1 .
F body Exhaust manifolds were restrictive and knocked the HP down . only way rep said the LT1 could be used .
But as I say , only believe half of what you see and none of what you hear .
Then there was the aluminum small block slated for the Vega , but killed ... again by Vette . Then came the Monza ( a revamped Vega ) with a V8 , SO .... what ever !
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 02:58 AM   #16
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I guess all those engineers I interviewed in 1983 were full of crap (including Dale Smith) Lots of corporate decisions don't happen in the board room, they happen on th e golf course
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 09:52 AM   #17
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Chevrolet was the driving force behind most of GM's designs. All the A-body, F-body, G-body, X-body (obviously not the Toro), and many other designs started at Chevrolet. Once the basic chassis, layout, and engineering equations were done, those designs were given to the other divisions for their own styling cues. Because of that, many engineers and stylists of other divisions were incredibly jealous of Chevrolet. Think about it, what engineer or stylist WOULDN'T want a clean sheet of paper to start with, verses being handed guidelines and parameters they have to design around? Chevrolet had the most sales, the biggest budget, the largest design studio, and the biggest engineering department.
Okay, since your beliefs are based purely on documented history, you should be able to provide documentation that is is true. I'd like to see the '60s Chevy chassis designs you refer to. I think your characterization of the other divisions being "incredibly jealous" of Chevy makes you guilty of the pot calling the kettle black here. When Chevy developed the Corvette, Olds developed the F88, *not* just as a concept car, but as a pre-production car. Big difference there. Olds had nothing to be jealous of in the Corvette. Far from it. Chevy killed the F88. Don't believe it? What do you think it was? Do you think something like that would be documented? The fallout from the death of the F88 was far reaching, and it was no secret.

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Does anyone honestly believe that the president of Chevrolet would walk into Pete Estes's office (GM president) and say, "Pete, this Buick Grand National thing is faster than our Corvette by .015 seconds, according to this one magazine, so can you have Buick halt production of the GN and GNX?"
Seriously?
Absolutely yes, seriously, this type of thing did happen. Sure there is a lot of hearsay and sour grapes expressed in the form of rumors. But to think nothing of the sort ever happened because you've never seen it "documented" doesn't mean it didn't happen.
There was a huge change in the '80s when the divisions all "went corporate" What was done in and with the divisions changed dramatically. So what you refer to greatly depends on *when* you are referring to. So being prior to this (as the OP is) means that anything after this is not germane to the situations that existed back then.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 11:56 AM   #18
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Wmachine......I like what you have to say!
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 12:06 PM   #19
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I think some of you know this but the patterns for the hemi heads are still out there. They were on ebay for a few days then the auction was pulled. I have been trying to locate the patterns and a few other olds related patterns in the auction.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 12:42 PM   #20
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I think some of you know this but the patterns for the hemi heads are still out there. They were on ebay for a few days then the auction was pulled. I have been trying to locate the patterns and a few other olds related patterns in the auction.
No matter how wrong it is, you just had to say hemi, didn't ya?

Please email me about the patterns.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 08:49 PM   #21
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Okay, since your beliefs are based purely on documented history, you should be able to provide documentation that is is true. I'd like to see the '60s Chevy chassis designs you refer to. I think your characterization of the other divisions being "incredibly jealous" of Chevy makes you guilty of the pot calling the kettle black here. When Chevy developed the Corvette, Olds developed the F88, *not* just as a concept car, but as a pre-production car. Big difference there. Olds had nothing to be jealous of in the Corvette. Far from it. Chevy killed the F88. Don't believe it? What do you think it was? Do you think something like that would be documented? The fallout from the death of the F88 was far reaching, and it was no secret.

The 1953-1954 GM Motorama show cars were based on Chevrolet Corvette, the body design of Corvette, and the chassis dimensions of Corvette. ALL divisions had a Motorama show car based on a fiberglass 2-seater. They weren't production proposals, they were dream cars. Now, Harley Earl DID take a liking to the Olds F-88, that's why there were a few different versions (3) made, but the car was never considered for production. Like the 54 Pontiac Bonneville, Buick Wildcat II, and a host of other GM Motorama show cars, they were built to as dream cars.

By the way, read up on the 1964 Pontiac Banshee, a 2-seat sports car that DeLorean fought to have produced. Pontiac guys say Chevrolet "killed that one" too, but the fact was that GM saw no financial gains in having two fiberglass sports cars in GM's lineup. If GM thought they could make money, believe me, they would have built it. GM doesn't care about bruising egos, hurting feelings, cry babies saying "Chevrolet won't let us have this!", they're a corporation, they're in it for money, they make decisions based on sound financial and marketing research, period.


Examples where GM had Chevrolet lay down the foundation for the chassis and body dimensions? Really?


1955 Chevrolet, which the Olds, Buick, and Pontiac were based.

1958 Chevrolet, which the Olds, Buick, and Pontiac were based.
1959 Chevrolet, which the Olds, Buick, and Pontiac were based.
1960 Chevrolet, which the Olds, Buick, and Pontiac were based.
1961 Chevrolet, which the Olds, Buick, and Pontiac were based.
1964 Chevrolet A-body, which the Skylark, Tempest, and Cutlass were based.
1967 Chevrolet F-body, where body and chassis were used by Pontiac.
1968 Chevrolet A-body, that the Skylark, Tempest, and Cutlass were based.
1973 Chevrolet A-body, that the Skylark, Tempest, and Cutlass were based.
1978 Chevrolet A-body, that the Century, Cutlass, and Grand Prix were based.
1968 Chevrolet X-body, where the Ventura, Omega, and Apollo came from.
1975 Chevrolet H-body Monza, where the Skyhawk, Starfire, and Sunbird came from.

I could list nearly every redesign in GM history, but I think you get the point.


I mean seriously, didn't you wonder why all the A-bodies had the same wheelbase and chassis design? Why the basic suspension components of a Chevelle fit a Cutlass? The designs started from the Chevrolet drawing boards.


I didn't mean to get into all this, my main point was that many of you guys have a "blame Chevrolet" attitude whenever you need an excuse for why Oldsmobile failed with a certain model or a technical achievement.

Back to the original topic of this thread, the W-43. Chevrolet had NOTHING to do with the decision to cancel the W-43. It was General Motors that saw no reason to introduce a new high horsepower engine, an expensive one at that, when the trend by 1971-1972 was towards small, fuel efficient cars. If GM thought it was a money maker, they would have produced it. And Oldsmobile engineers weren't ready to commit suicide over the decision, it was just another project that got pulled due to cost concerns, EPA regulations, and changing American tastes.

There are dozens of other "wild" engines that were slated for production by various GM divisions throughout the 60's and 70's that were killed due to cost concerns or lack of marketability. None of those projects were killed because Chevrolet lobbied on the 14th floor of GM's headquarters, claiming they would overpower Corvette.

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Old July 2nd, 2012, 09:41 PM   #22
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Examples where GM had Chevrolet lay down the foundation for the chassis and body dimensions? Really?

1955 Chevrolet, which the Olds, Buick, and Pontiac were based.

1958 Chevrolet, which the Olds, Buick, and Pontiac were based.
1959 Chevrolet, which the Olds, Buick, and Pontiac were based.
1960 Chevrolet, which the Olds, Buick, and Pontiac were based.
1961 Chevrolet, which the Olds, Buick, and Pontiac were based.
1964 Chevrolet A-body, which the Skylark, Tempest, and Cutlass were based.
1967 Chevrolet F-body, where body and chassis were used by Pontiac.
1968 Chevrolet A-body, that the Skylark, Tempest, and Cutlass were based.
1973 Chevrolet A-body, that the Skylark, Tempest, and Cutlass were based.
1978 Chevrolet A-body, that the Century, Cutlass, and Grand Prix were based.
1968 Chevrolet X-body, where the Ventura, Omega, and Apollo came from.
1975 Chevrolet H-body Monza, where the Skyhawk, Starfire, and Sunbird came from.
Like Wmachine said, document it. Your opinion is no better that anyone else's, without documentation. Prove that these platforms were Chevy 1st, and then handed out to every one else. Oldsmobile was the engineering division at GM.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 06:13 AM   #23
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[FONT=&quot]
[SIZE=3]........ Now, Harley Earl DID take a liking to the Olds F-88, that's why there were a few different versions (3) made, but the car was never considered for production. Like the 54 Pontiac Bonneville, Buick Wildcat II, and a host of other GM Motorama show cars, they were built to as dream cars.
Talk about rewriting history! No, the F88 was not a "couple different versions" of a "dream"/concept car. Unlike the others, it was not a mocked up concept, it was a complete streetable car. "Never considered for production"? That couldn't be further from the truth. You obviously do not know what Harley Earl was doing. And you don't want to believe why the F88 didn't make it to production. Believe what you want, but Harley Earl make it quite clear. I think I'll believe him.

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If GM thought they could make money, believe me, they would have built it. GM doesn't care about bruising egos, hurting feelings, cry babies saying "Chevrolet won't let us have this!", they're a corporation, they're in it for money, they make decisions based on sound financial and marketing research, period.
That has nothing to do with this. You don't understand the independence of the divisions at the time. Period.


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I mean seriously, didn't you wonder why all the A-bodies had the same wheelbase and chassis design? Why the basic suspension components of a Chevelle fit a Cutlass? The designs started from the Chevrolet drawing boards.
I mean seriously, have you wondered why the Cutlass components fit a Chevelle?
Again, offer up some proof and I'll listen. In the mean time, please understand that I'm way past wondering about these things. If you plan on educating me, come armed.[/QUOTE]
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 08:52 AM   #24
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Hmm. 1955 Buick and Olds were based on the Fisher B&C bodies introduced for them in 1954. Chevy/Pontiac were using the newly updated 1955 A-body.

1959 was the year GM redesigned everything in a *****-out effort to catch Chrysler. To do that and save costs, the mandate was that all five Divisions from Chevrolet to Cadillac would share a common body shell.

Olds and Buick were always longer wheelbase cars than Chevy and Pontiac, with different chassis and suspension engineering. 58-64 Chevy hung onto an X-frame while the others used perimeter frames or combination perimeter/X-frames.

Not saying Chevy didn't have some influence on the platforms, but saying Chevrolet did all the design and dimension work for all Divisions is not realistic.

GM hasn't made a decision based on sound financial and marketing research in nearly 40 years. Their lackluster product and forays into Saturn and Hummer prove that.

But, as said before we can hash this out to oblivion. Truth is there are internal politics present in any corporation and those can often sabotage competing work groups within that corporation. GM would be no exception- it would probably be the rule.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 09:45 AM   #25
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This engine is no longer in the RE Olds museum. Neither is the other experimental engine that only had one head on it. Does anybody know where they went? I'm pretty sure they have found their way into private ownership. Would anybody have a guess where they are?

Inline? I heard they have one of em. How did those engines ever leave the museum?
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 09:52 AM   #26
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The 1953-55 Corvette was a sales flop. Underpowered, two-speed auto, and no roll up windows. It was easy on the eyes but was a car that was not practical even to those looking for a sports car. Faced with the sales numbers, why would GM ever let the other divisions come out with a two seat sports car? They already had a flop in the Corvette, they didnt need three more.

If the Vette was a hit you better beleive that the other divisions would have had the Bonneville Special, the F-88 and a Buick version. Dont believe it? Why do we have 442s, SS396s, and GS's Because the GTO was a sales sensation.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 10:14 AM   #27
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Makes you wonder Why GM didn't take this Motor futher back then, Even with the Politics and th EPA Bulls***. Theres always away aroud it if they wanted to.
You gotta recall what the climate was like back then, as many parts of the country, were simply not being able to get gas, rationing it, ext. Recall taking my moms car for the limit of $5.00 worth of gas, before going to school in the morning. It was common for people to have BB's swapped out for smaller engines. Recall an article of a guy recently passing away, that had 10 semi trailers full of BB's that had been totally forgotten about. Somehow don't think his estate had any problem getting rid of them.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 10:26 AM   #28
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I recall a $3 limit on gas when I was a teenager, and cars lined up into the street, sometimes being pushed becaused they ran out of gas (and frequently so did the stations). High horsepower was on it's way out, and was being demonized by the insurance companies. I had an insurance agent ask if my '70 SX had a 455....uh, no, it's a 350! Couldn't tell by looking at it, unless you were an Olds guy. One of my best friends bought his '70 442 in 1976, and his insurance was canceled on the spot, he has never to this day had a ticket of any kind.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 02:52 PM   #29
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The 1953-55 Corvette was a sales flop. Underpowered, two-speed auto, and no roll up windows. It was easy on the eyes but was a car that was not practical even to those looking for a sports car. Faced with the sales numbers, why would GM ever let the other divisions come out with a two seat sports car? They already had a flop in the Corvette, they didnt need three more.

If the Vette was a hit you better beleive that the other divisions would have had the Bonneville Special, the F-88 and a Buick version. Dont believe it? Why do we have 442s, SS396s, and GS's Because the GTO was a sales sensation.
Bingo! That's exactly what I said earlier. There were NO plans to produce the Olds F-88. It was a Dream Car. It was never scheduled for production, there were no parts produced, and "Corvette" didn't kill it.

wmachine, you DO realize that the 1953 Corvette was Harley Earl's design, right? So you're saying that Corvette killed the F-88? That would be like saying John DeLorean blamed the 1964 GTO for not being able to produce his 1964 Banshee.

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I mean seriously, have you wondered why the Cutlass components fit a Chevelle? Again, offer up some proof and I'll listen. In the mean time, please understand that I'm way past wondering about these things. If you plan on educating me, come armed.
Do you believe the 1964 Chevelle was based on the 1964 Cutlass?

The 1964 A-Body was started in 1961 in Chevrolet Engineering, with full knowledge that their chassis and body dimensions (wheelbase, track) would be used by all 4 divisions in 1964.

rocketraider, the 1964-1967 A-bodies all had a 115" wheelbase, the 1968-1972 all had a 112" wheelbase. How were the Buicks and Oldsmobiles "always longer wheelbase cars than Chevy and Pontiac, with different chassis and suspension engineering"?

The divisions had "tweaks" they did to the suspensions. I was talking about the DESIGN of the chassis, the FRAME, and the DIMENSIONS dictated by GM. Chevrolet had the biggest engineering department, nearly limitless funding, and since they were by far the best seller, it was only natural that they dictated the initial design shared across all divisions.

Chevrolet had far more engineering advancements than Oldsmobile ever did.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 08:24 AM   #30
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You gotta recall what the climate was like back then, as many parts of the country, were simply not being able to get gas, rationing it, ext. Recall taking my moms car for the limit of $5.00 worth of gas, before going to school in the morning. It was common for people to have BB's swapped out for smaller engines. Recall an article of a guy recently passing away, that had 10 semi trailers full of BB's that had been totally forgotten about. Somehow don't think his estate had any problem getting rid of them.
Well that anwsers that... I had forgotten that was the same time frame as the gas shotage. But I do remember the gas lines and the insurance companies not wanting to insure any high perfomace cars.And I also recall the story with the guy with the trailers of big blocks. Like you I'm sure they had no problem finding homes for them.. LOL
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Old July 4th, 2012, 10:43 AM   #31
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The article states the engine was targeted for 71 or 72. The Oil embargo started in 73. The engine was dead before the gas crisis.

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Well that anwsers that... I had forgotten that was the same time frame as the gas shotage. But I do remember the gas lines and the insurance companies not wanting to insure any high perfomace cars.And I also recall the story with the guy with the trailers of big blocks. Like you I'm sure they had no problem finding homes for them.. LOL
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Old July 4th, 2012, 10:47 AM   #32
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I would be willing to bet some people combine the events of a declining performance market/lower compression for unleaded gas/emissions with the oil embargo. In the end, 1971 was not the right time to be introducing a ultra-high performance motor. Oldsmobile is not alone in scrapping their engine plans.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 11:25 AM   #33
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The engine was dead before the gas crisis
True, but the assault on performance cars was already on, and the car companies were scaling back performance to meet the no lead gas that was upcoming, plus as they generally planned a few years in advance, it just would not have made sense to build it.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 01:43 PM   #34
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Agree, it was not the right time. If the engine had been a couple of years sooner, it may have made it to production.

My point was, the talk of gas shortages had nothing to do with killing the engine as gasoline was still plentiful and cheap in 71 and 72.

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I would be willing to bet some people combine the events of a declining performance market/lower compression for unleaded gas/emissions with the oil embargo. In the end, 1971 was not the right time to be introducing a ultra-high performance motor. Oldsmobile is not alone in scrapping their engine plans.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 07:34 PM   #35
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rocketraider, the 1964-1967 A-bodies all had a 115" wheelbase, the 1968-1972 all had a 112" wheelbase. How were the Buicks and Oldsmobiles "always longer wheelbase cars than Chevy and Pontiac, with different chassis and suspension engineering"?
Because, believe it or not, GM DID build cars other than A-bodies. I keep forgetting some people do not believe that


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Chevrolet had far more engineering advancements than Oldsmobile ever did.
List them. Oldsmobile Engineering was widely recognized as GM's best, and was considered second only to Chrysler Engineering.

Chevrolet was GM's best selling carline only because it was the entry-level car and overall most affordable. That was by design- Sloan Hierarchy said put 'em in a Chevrolet when they were young and starting out, and have 'em in a Cadillac when they were set for retirement. Didn't always work that way, some people stuck with one brand of car their entire lives, which is fine.

I read a period interview with Beltz, Metzel, DeLorean and Wangers nearly twenty years ago in which they stated point blank that they did not consider Mercury or Dodge to be Olds/Pontiac competition. They considered Chevrolet their competition and sales enemy.

We can hash this out forever, but bottom line is that there was infighting and backstabbing within GM, same as any large corporation. I can only assume you have never worked for one.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 07:43 PM   #36
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True, but the assault on performance cars was already on, and the car companies were scaling back performance to meet the no lead gas that was upcoming, plus as they generally planned a few years in advance, it just would not have made sense to build it.
They still built the 455 Super Duty after all this.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 08:42 PM   #37
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Wink

One thing for sure, none of us can change history. Here is my what if...What is somebody actually could replicate the head design and valve train. What do you think it would cost? Would you buy the package to put on your 455? And would you go looking for a LS?
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Old July 4th, 2012, 10:07 PM   #38
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They still built the 455 Super Duty after all this.
They sure did, and remarkable performance for a low compression smog motor! One of my favorites.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 11:56 PM   #39
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Nice article. That engine should have been released to public.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 07:21 PM   #40
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They sure did, and remarkable performance for a low compression smog motor! One of my favorites.
Mine too. I have a buddy who has one in a 1981 Trans Am. Uses a lot of gas, but it also uses a lot of rear tires too!
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Old July 6th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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