No Limits Magazine from Wild About Cars
Profiling High Performance Cars and the Golden Era of Detroit Iron
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Friday April 4, 2014
Fast Friday: Ken Pilidis 1976 442, '68 2 'Vettes, '69 Cyclone 428 CJ, '62 Lancer A/FX, '86 Petty Poster, Goodguys in Pleasanton - and Much More!

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Ken Pilidis 1976 Oldsmobile 442 - "They built one for me" . . . not quite.
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Ken Pilidis Oldsmobile 442

Ken's 1976 442 sports an OAI hood and a honkin' 455 -
not quite what the factory had in mind in 1976.

Grand Prix with a 4-Speed

Ken's engine compartment now. Looks "factory" doesn't it?.
Ken made the car a true OAI 455.

Can we byuild one for you

This composite from the 1976 Oldsmobile Brochure carries the theme - "can we build one for you?" Well, sorta.
Check out what Ken did to make the 442 what Olds should have.

by Wild About Cars staff - reprint with permission only

Have One Built For You? No Easy Task in 1976

Detroit was struggling with the mandated crash and emissions regulations in the mid 70's and they were not fairing well. They had designed big heavy cars with styling that did not meld well with 5 mph impact bumpers. They were working with engines brought to life before the thought of controlling hydrocarbon and nitrous oxide output. And then along came the gas crunch!

400+ cubic inch V-8s suddenly seemed archaic; 3800 pound cars seemed slothful; performance began to slant toward gas mileage & smaller vehicles. Oldsmobile was caught up in this conundrum - as a luxury car maker, they wanted to put medium and large size vehicles in the hands of their buyers, but the bigwigs at GM were folding under the pressure to deliver cars to compete with the newly emerging Japanese manufacturers.

What to do? Olds product planners pressed for the abolition of the B and C Body, with the A-Body being renamed as the 88 and 98 and the X Body taking on the Cutlass Moniker. The Omega nameplate would be dropped, and the new Starfire would slot in as the entry Oldsmobile.

Marketing was ready to go forward and Styling was on board too. In fact, the Omega's "SX" graphics had been replaced with the "442" This is why the 76 Omega SX had such similar body paint). All was a "go" until the NOVA X-Body plant told Olds that there was no way they could meet the expected "new" Cutlass production needs.

But the handwriting was on the wall - 1976 and 77 would be a holding battle while the new, smaller cars were finalized and made ready for production.

Considering the pressure, it is a wonder that the 442 existed at all. Each year from 1971, the car had been dwindling in Oldsmobile's product line and in its advertising. The Cutlass/442 restyle actually came off quite well, with the 2-door cars receiving the new sloped front fascia and quad headlights and a more racy rear deck and taillight housing.

Initially the 442 was going to be graphics and that would be it. That was not exactly going to a hell-raiser and this 1976 PR photo does well to be in grayscale, because it was pretty bland.

But something happened, and perhaps we'll never even know why - Olds decided to let the buyer option a 442 anywhere from a putt-putt grocery getter to a real performance piece. And most interestingly, they let the buyer select from a quite extensive list of options. - including a 455 big block - option L-74.

Right away we want to say that the L-74 442 was a rare bird in 1976, with only 143 built, period. When you couple that with the fact that Ken's car was imported into Canada, that makes it even more rare. Ken has information that his car is the only one left of 6 cars that were sent there in 1976. To his knowledge, only 13 of the original total 143 cars exist in the US today, making this car as rare as the 1966 W-30!

When Ken acquired the car it had some neat, dealer installed options. In order to sell the car, the dealer added GU-6 anti-spin axle ratio 3.42, W-26 Hurst Dual Gate Shifter, and W-30 W455 aluminum intake and W exhaust manifolds Code "X" and "Z". Surprisingly, it retained the single pipe sans cat-con (Canada cars could be fitted this way in 1976, option N-95).

To read more about the Ken Pilidis 1976 Oldsmobile 442 - Click HERE!


More Stories at Wild About Cars and the Auto History Preservation Society
New Materials in the Auto History Digital Documents Library
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1968 2 Corvette Test

1968 Corvette 327 300 HP & 427 435 HP Road Test!

Car Life Magazine tested two Corvettes in their June 1968 issue. The bombshell was that they said: "The 300 BHP Coupe was probably the most impressive vehicle of the two." Why? Because it handled well, accelerated and drove superbly. They concluded the testing with: "We can't remember testing a more enjoyable pair of excitement machines."!

Click here to read more about the 1968 2 Corvette Test!

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1969 Cyclone GT 428 Test 1969 Mercury Cyclone 428 CJ Road Test!

Cars Magazine called it: "The Electric Orange." As we now know the 428 Cobra Jet engine was a sweet performance piece - somehow a terrific achiever made up of not that sexy parts. Cars, echoed that - saying the CJ is a strong-running, super-breathing well-cammed wedge engine that has Super/Stock record breaking potential." And they concluded that it's 13.90 quarter mile times proved it to be no slouch - even though it weighed a ton (more like 2 tons).

Click Here to read about the 1968 Cyclone 428 CJ Test

1962 Dodge Lancer AFX 1962 Dodge Lancer A/FX Exposed.

One of the big deals in NHRA drag racing was the development of "Factory Experimental" classes - where the intent was to encourage the manufacturers to put together their race engines in smaller lighter cars - to "see what they's do". The classes were quite popular, and eventually morphed into match racers and what became "Pro Stock a few years later. The Dragmasters, famous for their Fuel dragsters, decided to use their expertise in this new class - and the article takes you through their development.

To read more about 1962 AFX Dodge Lancer - Click HERE!

Hot Stuff from Wild About Cars!
1986 Richard Petty Poster Modern Muscle - 1986 Richard Petty & Pontiac Poster.

We all know that Richard won his 200th race in 1984, but it should be remembered that he raced all the way into the 1991 season. During those late 80s you could usually find him behind the wheel of a Pontiac. This poster commemorates that in 1986 he would reach his 1,000th race. It's a memorable shot and includes the NASCAR schedule for that year.

To download the 1986 Richard Petty Poster - Click HERE!

Buick Indy Car Exposed 1962 Mickey Thompson Buick Indy Car Exposed!

There was a time when sanctioning bodies - even USAC encouraged the use of "stock block" racing engines - to encourage the development of more sophisticated passenger car power plants. Rules were in place to allow these "stock block" engines to be competitive with Offys and such. Mickey Thompson felt that the new Buick Aluminum V8 had potential, and he set out to prove it . . .

Click here to read about Mickey Thompson's 1962 Buick Indy Car!

Goodguys Black Pearl show winner
2014 Goodguys All-American Get Together in Pleasanton CA!

The Goodguys All-American Get-together is an auto enthusiast feast. Held on the grounds of the vast Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton CA, this event brings together virtually all facets of the enthusiast’s world. There is something there for everyone. The highlight of the awards was the selection of the 2014 Mother’s Custom of the Year. That award went to the incredible “custom built” Black Pearl fastback sedan.

CLICK HERE to read about the Goodguys Pleasanton Show!

Check Out the Latest Uploads Library Listings - What's Hot in the Auto History Library.

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