No Limits Magazine from the Auto History Preservation Society
We Bring Automotive History to Life!
- "Preserving the past for the Future". Resources for the Historian, Researcher, and the Enthusiast -
Tuesday September 2, 2014
Oldsmobile's Twin Turbo Aluminum 455 '68 Hemi Dart Exposed, '69 GTO Judge Ads, '67-68 Olds Turnpike Cruiser, '29 Duesenberg Ads, '66 Jaguar XK-E 2+2 Test, 1 Millionth '66 Mustangs Ad, & More!

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1959 Ramchargers High 7 Mighty

Ramchargers Stories - Part 04
The "High & Mighty"


1963 Pontiac 421 GP


Big Bad Boys - Muscle Cars
did not start with the 1964 GTO!


Shelby Then and Now

Shelby Cobras - the History
and Development


1963 Ford-Mercury 427

Ford's FE Big Block Story
Part 1 - 1958 through 1965


1972 44s W-30 Test

The Big Sleep: Performance in the
In-Between Years 1971-1982


1962 Max wedge 413

Chrysler's"RB" Wedge Development Through the Years

1970 Chevelle LS6



1970 - Screaming the loudest
before you die!

 

Hot Stuff from the Automotive History Preservation Society's Digital Library
Oldsmobile's Twin Turbo Can-Am Aluminum 455!

Cro-Sal Olds 455

The Can Am Giant in blazing color!
This Oldsmobile PR photo graced the July 1969 issue
of Hot Rod Magazine.

Cro-Sal in Can Am

This may be the only known picture of the Mk14 at the track. Gene Crow, the man responsible for the 455 is bending over the car & Mike McKee is adjusting something. Joe Leonard, the driver, sits on the Armco in the white driver's suit.

Olds Cro-Sal Today width=

The car as raced in vintage races today.
Note that the front sports a conventional air intake.
It is running the original engine - a testament to its durability.

 

by the Auto History Society Staff -
reprint with permission only

Oldsmobile in road racing? Oldsmobile designing a purpose built race motor? Come on, stop pulling my leg, you say. Well, nope, we're not - this mill was built, it did run in anger (it still does), and it is as rare as the famous W-43 - but one is still firing shots in anger - really.

First: Oldsmobile's History in Can -Am - why the aluminum 455 was built.

Oldsmobile was no exception to the "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" trend - even in road racing. And their start in Can Am began all the way back in 1966 with the famous McLaren team's M1B cars. A Small Block Olds was even found in a Lola chassis. Considering the over-abundance of Chevy and then Ford racing engines in the field, the Olds engined cars accounted well for themselves in 1966, finishing in the money 5 times and qualifying for most races.

Toward the end of the '66 year, Olds and chassis designer Mike McKee got together with the idea of a joint effort (under the table, of course) and the McKee 6B6 chassis was built and raced, but the car was too new and did not finish.

In 1967, McKee built a new chassis car (7/2) and it was fitted with a more professionally built small block Olds engine. In the first race of the season, it finished 10th - very respectable, when all other cars ahead of it were either Chevy powered McLarens or Lolas raced by the likes of Bruce McLaren, Mark Donohue, John Surtees, John Hall and Skip Barber. Next out it qualified 11th but dropped a valve. At Mosport, it was disabled in practice, and at Laguna Seca, it was being repaired so it did not run. Back in action at Riverside, it finished 7th, beating the likes of Chris Amon and Sam Posey and finishing just behind George Follmer, and at Las Vegas, it reached the pinnacle - running 4th!

Oldsmobile and McKee/Salyer had high hopes for an even better year in 1968 and they stroked the new 350 to 389 cubes. McKee modified the Mk7/2 chassis and rechristened it the Mk10. The body had a wedge look (see picture at right). In its first outing at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, it finished 7th, beating a host of Chevy powered Lolas and McLarens. The future looked bright. Strangely, it did not race at Bridgehampton, the second race of the season, and it stalled on the grid at Laguna Seca. It ran 30th at Riverside due to vapor lock, and had an accident at Las Vegas.

Enter the 455

For all the expectations, the 1968 season was a big disappointment, but Olds and McKee/Salyer has big plans or 1969. The Mk 10 chassis would become AWD and be powered by an all aluminum, twin turbo 455! Oldsmobile modified a Jetaway variable pitch transmission allowing it to have 4 forward speeds using the two gears and the pitch fixed in either high or low. (Strange that they chose the more flimsy Jetaway rather than the T400 switch pitch, which would have allowed six forward speeds (and we know would have been bullet-proof). Space may have been the issue.

The engine was quite a masterpiece and is the subject of this story. When Olds came up with the engine plan, they did not know if Can Am was going to allow unlimited engine sizes, so they had the foundry cast both 350 and 455 aluminum blocks for testing. The small block was again stroked to 389 cubes and the 455 was left at 455, though it is rumored that a 4.3" bore version was tried with both a 455 and 425 crank . . .


To read the rest of the story - Click HERE

To see the expose on the Cro-Sal 455 in Hot Rod Magazine - Click HERE


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1968 Hemi dart Exposed
1968 Hemi Dart Exposed

The super stock wars had really heated up by 1968. Ford and Mopar were going head to head which GM sat on the sidelines - preferring to put 427s in Camaros and go race in AFX. When Ford released the Cobra Jet, the caught Chrysler flat-footed as their bad boy energies had been in the mid-size Plymouths and Dodges, now running all-steel bodies. Not to worry, the guys at Mopar had the answer - shoehorning the Hemi into Barracudas and Dart GTs. Yowza! Check out this expo of the combo from Motor Trend Magazine.

Click Here to read the Hemi Dart Expose

1969 Pontiac GTO Judge Ads
  1969 Pontiac GTO Judge Ads

GM was doing a slow burn, and none more than Pontiac - because Ford and Chrysler Corp were getting all the magazine press due to their hot 428 CJs and 440s. Meanwhile the biggest of the big three was stuck with a 400 CID mandate. Well, Pontiac decided that their RA IV 400 could get the job done, but that they needed to add some pizzazz to get the public to notice. The answer? "Here come de Judge"! Their ad campaign was brilliant and their execution of the car was awesome - and a legend was created.

To see the Pontiac GTO "Judge Ads - Click HERE!

1967-68 Turnpike Cruisers Compared
  1967 vs 1968 Oldsmobile Turnpike Cruiser Comparison & Road Test 

The 1967 Olds Cutlass Turnpike Cruiser was a unique idea of using a larger engine with a small carburetor and tall gears to deliver great fuel economy - especially on the highway. It was such a great success, that Olds brought it back for 1968 as a 442 option and as a D-88 option as well. This comparison shows what happened. Check it out.

To see the 1967-68 Olds Turnpike Cruiser Comparison - click HERE!

1929 Duesenberg Ads
  1929 Model J Duesenberg Ads

Duesenberg had a reputation for super fast cars in the mid twenties, but as far as looks and luxury went, they were pretty mundane. In 1926 E.L. Cord bought the Company from Fred and Augie, but retained them - he challenged fred to build the fastest, most luxurious car possible - and the 1929-35 Model J was the result. "It's a doozy" comes from that car reputation and legend. 265 HP unsupercharged in 1929 - and 90-94 mph in 2nd gear!

To see the 1929 Duesenberg Ads - click HERE

1966 Jag 2+2 Test
  1966 Jaguar 2+2 Road Test

Today we take 2+2 seating in sports cars for granted, but back then 4-passengers sporty cars were, at best called GTs and were compromised more toward high speed cruising than true sports car agility. Jaguar broke the mold back in 1966 with their stretched XK-E with 4-place seating. Car and Driver Magazine said it best ". . . the 2+2 version of the XK-E has retained the best qualities of its smaller sister . . . ". See what else they had to say.

Click HERE to read/download the 1966 Jaguar 2+2 Road Test!

1 Million Mustangs Milestone
1966 One Million Mustangs Ad

By any standard, selling one million cars in less than 18 months was incredible - and Mustang, a car that some were sure was only a "niche auto" did it - and continued to sell in high numbers for years to come, even in the face of serious competition beginning in 1967 from Camaro, Firebird, and Barracuda. There were a lot of Baby Boomers coming of age and they wanted a smaller car with plenty of style and pep and Mustang and its ponycar pals filled the gap.

Click HERE to see this and all the 1966 Mustang Ads!

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