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The Oldsmobile Sound

Old September 11th, 2011, 08:28 PM
  #41  
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I might also add that, when I was a brand new ensign in the USCG in 1973-1974 on a ship out of Long Beach, CA, the local CG boat station had these real fast boats, manufactured by a company called "Spectra", and these boats had Olds 455ci engines in them. They could go as fast as 70mph, according to data sheets that I saw. Every once in awhile when the ship was in port and I had duty, I would hear a steady "thrum, thrum, thrum" of an idling engine. I'd go to the outboard side of the ship only to see a boat crew in one of those Spectra boats idling by in Long Beach harbor. Those were exciting boats and I understand they used them primarily on the fresh water lakes (like Lake Havasu and Lake Powell) where the USCG would actually have a chance a chasing down one of the fast boats on the lakes. They would trailer those boats out to the lakes, especially on weekends and times when there would be a lot of boat traffic on the lakes. The CG used these boats for only 5-6 years, though. As I recall, those engines were pretty high strung and it took a lot of detailed expertise to keep them in top condition. For such a small fleet of boats (I remember that they were only in SoCal and there were only 5-6 of them), the CG just didn't have the money to train mechanics to that specific engine and drive train.

I wonder where those boats all went. They were probably sold at government auction in the 1979-1980 time frame.

Randy C.
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Old September 11th, 2011, 09:08 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by TK-65 View Post
LOVE it!! Awesome car too.
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Old September 12th, 2011, 11:59 AM
  #43  
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It seems like the Olds motors cam a lot better than comparable motors. Just like how they like a bigger carb than say a 454, they also enjoy more cam. And those factory cams were MONSTER huge if you've ever seen the grinds (modern cams have much better grinds but are smaller). I always joked with my friend "you could stick a small block crank in if your cam ever goes out" xD All that said ive never noticed a huge difference in exhaust note except that they cam better than most and their "lops" seem to be spaced out more from other similarly cammed motors (in 455s this may be a result of the huge emphasis on stroke rather than bore, i dont find myself listening to much other than the 455s haha)

The biggest V8 sound differences ive ever heard were in Mopars and the GM LS series motors. Mopars have crazy wicked cam sound, they dont "lope" quite as much as Olds but they crack and bang like someone just dropped a bucket of M80s into the exhaust. They sound amazing. The LS motors are at the opposite end of the spectrum in my oppinion, they sound extremely tinny and hollow and as much as i love their design, power, efficiency, etc, i just hate their sound, the larger ones (like the LS7s and LSX454s) sound okay but the LS1,2,3, etc sound terrible in my oppinion. Other than that the only noteable difference ive heard was in Pontiacs. Pontiacs tend to have a much "meatier" exhaust note at throttle, idle i never heard much difference but there's a definate deep toned roar that comes from those.
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Old September 12th, 2011, 12:26 PM
  #44  
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My friend bought a low mileage '70 Buick GS455 in 1981 from the original owner (an older woman). It was all original and COMPLETELY stock including exhaust and I always loved how that sounded. It had that inboard motor sound that many have described but it had this unbelievable 'cackle' like, "BLATT, BLATT, BLATT, BLATT...". He would leave school in the afternoon and just slowly drive away and that sound still resonates with me. We are still close friends to this day and, yes, he STILL has the car in his garage!
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Old September 12th, 2011, 12:43 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by mmurphy77 View Post
My friend bought a low mileage '70 Buick GS455 in 1981 from the original owner (an older woman). It was all original and COMPLETELY stock including exhaust and I always loved how that sounded. It had that inboard motor sound that many have described but it had this unbelievable 'cackle' like, "BLATT, BLATT, BLATT, BLATT...". He would leave school in the afternoon and just slowly drive away and that sound still resonates with me. We are still close friends to this day and, yes, he STILL has the car in his garage!
Ha. Thats awesome, reminds me of a similar story of my own. When i was in High School my friend had a 72' Chevelle with a 454, cam, and straight duals with cherry bombs. I was in traffic trying to leave and this truck in front of my was revving his motor trying to sound mean, i was just starting to get annoyed when the truck started moving and it sounded nooothing like what i was hearing. It was actually my friend revving his Chevelle on the compleeeete other end of the parking lot...and i mistook it for the truck in front of me xD it was crazy loud. He said that for fun he'd drive through parking lots setting off car alarms LOL
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Old September 12th, 2011, 01:44 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Jetstar 88 View Post
It's the high-nickel content...
gotta be
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Old September 12th, 2011, 03:54 PM
  #47  
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Naw. Not the nickel content. I don't have 2 nickels to rub together and my car sounds badass... Actually reminds me back in the day, I have always been one to try to fill up with gas. Even when money was tight. Once I was filling up and this guy came in with a MEAN sounding 70 Chevelle SS 454. Nice wheels, paint, etc... He had a lot of cash into it. When I got done filling up, I went in to pay and the guy with the Chevelle was in front of me to pay for his gas too. I was a bit surprised he was done filling up so quickly. He gets to the counter and paid like 2 dollars and 81 cents. Plus he went a couple cents over so he grabbed a couple pennies from the little cup. I laughed out loud at this putz...
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Old September 12th, 2011, 03:58 PM
  #48  
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Yeah i read a thread on here where a guy tested 455 blocks and they had really low nickel content no matter what year they were from. They did however have an abnormally large Chromium content
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