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Biggest mistake I still think about that automobile. Bore was increased to 3.875in (98.4mm) (same as the later 283 Chevy) and stroke remained the same at 3.4375in (87.31mm). $200.00. They may persist for up to two years. As an aside, the Oldsmobile was bought by doctors, lawyers, bank managers, shop owners, construction entrepreneurs and the like. The difficulty presented by an OHV layout is finding a way to operate the valves. Additionally, the 403 had windowed main webs, which reduced the internal strength of the block in the crankcase area. A smaller 260cuin (4.3L) V8 was created for the new Oldsmobile Omega in 1975 by decreasing the bore to 3.5in (89mm). ), Diagram of a typical pushrod/rocker-arm layout of an overhead-valve engine. 6 (July 1962), pp. You shared that mileage ranged from 12 MPG 18 MPG depending on the year. After logging in, the wp-settings-UID cookies store the logged-in user's configuration settings, while the wp-settings-time-UID cookies record the time those configuration settings were last set; again, there may be multiple iterations of each of these cookies, which normally expire after about one year. Get a Oldsmobile crate engine for cars like the cutlass, 88, 98, or the 442.GTO. This car has the pushbutton radio, which cost about $96. Set an alert to be notified of new listings. The Olds Rocket 88 engine went through modifications during the 1950's For the 1955 model year Oldsmobile increased the compression ratio which helped put out 185 horsepower for the Olds 88 model. Note the quadrant for the Hydra-Matic atop the steering column. Thanks for the great write up on the history of one of the most influential engines in the automobile industry! Your wording in the flathead section (acts directly) suggest the valve stem tip rides the cam lobe in a flathead. The 260 was designed for economy, and was the first engine option above the 4.1 ChevroletI-6, then later the 3.8L Buick V6, which was standard fitment in many Oldsmobile models by the late 1970s. Being ahead of your time or having a short season is not the same as being overhyped, and since the muscle car category in general is as much about hype and point of view as substance, I think thats an important consideration. The first generation of Oldsmobile V8s ranged from 1949-1964. As far as Im aware, it was basically similar to the parking pawls of Dynaflow or Ultramatic, although those transmissions had a separate position on the quadrant for it. Free shipping for many products! In an OHV engine, by contrast, the valves are a fair distance away from the crankshaft, which makes operating them far more complicated. Nice Article thank you for preserving our history. Olds were very popular in Brazil but I can t give you any numbers. Since the valves of a flathead are also in the block, the camshaft can actuate the valves directly. Coincidentally, Cadillac had been working since 1936 on a very similar OHV engine to replace its familiar monoblock flathead V8. The main qualities that make an engine attractive to hot-rodders are how much it costs, how easily it can be hopped up, and how much power you can get out of it without blowing it up. The second generation of Oldsmobile V8s was produced from 1964-1990. If we have enabled multi-factor authentication (which requires an authentication code as well as a password to log into the administrative dashboard), the iThemes Security plugin may also set the itsec_interstitial_browser cookie during the login process. Oldsmobile 1949 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight History Gallery Valuation Rocket 88 (1949 - 1953) 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 These are standard specifications - not necessarily specifications for the vehicle (s) in the photo (s). $300.00. The Oldsmobile 350s made from 1968-1976 have heavy castings, beefier crankshafts, and better flowing heads. . 15-16 MPG is great even by modern standards, for a 300+ HP engine. Diagram of a typical pushrod/rocker-arm layout of an overhead-valve engine. The engine had 10.25:1 compression and a single-barrel carburetor. So, its not particularly surprising that a highly tuned flathead Ford would be stronger than a stock 1950 Olds 303. The 1955 model upped the compression to 8.5:1 for 185hp (138kW) and 320lbft (430Nm) in the 88 and 202hp (151kW) and 332lbft (450Nm) in the Super 88 and 98. Oldsmobile engineers originally wanted to call this the Kettering Engine, after GM research vice president Charles Kettering, whose work on high-compression engines helped to inspire it. In a 1972 interview with Michael Lamm, then editor of Special Interest Autos, former Cadillac chief engineer Jack Gordon lamented the trend to ever bigger and thirstier engines, noting that he had tried unsuccessfully to convince oil companies to develop ultra-high-octane fuels so that Cadillac could adopt more fuel-efficient high-compression, small-displacement engines. Oldsmobile was basically offering three full-size vehicles in 1949, but the 88 was a little bit special. Barr believed the Oldsmobile engine was a direct derivative of Cadillacs design, although he conceded that Cadillac also benefited from some of Oldsmobiles work. I would assume a postwar Olds V-8 would have been a real high-rollers car. C. G. Simplified diagram of the cylinder of a flathead (L-head) engine. The "Rocket" name disappeared from the air cleaner identification decal after 1974. Since the advance design group envisioned a 1949 introduction for their new engine, the project was dubbed SV-49. Its tempting to speculate what might have happened had the the U.S. industrys push in the fifties been for efficiency rather than the (ultimately Pyrrhic) horsepower race, although that would admittedly have been unlikely. Thank you! At the risk of shameless self promotion, you might also be interested in the recently revamped article on the early Hydra-Matic, which most Oldsmobiles of that vintage had. That never happened; by the fifties, the industry was far more interested in advertised horsepower than gas mileage. I have a pretty good handle on Ford Design evolution, but not so much on GM, especially OHV. It was used in most Oldsmobile models, as well as those from Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and Pontiac. The cylinder head is little more than a cover for the top of the cylinder, which is why L-head engines are commonly called flatheads. Cadillacs OHV V8, released around the same time as the new Oldsmobiles, was itself an important and influential engine that earned Motor Trends first Car of the Year Award, but it was the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 that started an avalanche. Oh, and lets not forget the Bonneville speed merchants. The starting gun of that race was sounded by Oldsmobile, with its advanced new overhead-valve V8 and the new mid-size model that shared its name: the 1949-1950 Oldsmobile Rocket 88. ), When you list the OHV Detroit engines that came along after the Rocket, the DeSoto Hemi of 1952 and Plymouth Poly of 1956 may merit mentioncant recall if the 1955 Packard V8 got its curtain call. Most commonly available premium fuels had an octane rating of only 80 RON, not nearly enough for the ultra-high compression ratios Kettering proposed. While the 260s were not very powerful compared to the larger 350 and 403 V8s, fuel economy was almost as good as the base V6. Some consider Rocket 88, recorded by Jackie Brenston in 1951, to be the first rock and roll song. The typeface used for the labels in the author-created diagrams is Liberation Sans, one of the Liberation Fonts (version 2.00.1 or later), which are copyright 2012 Red Hat, Inc., used under the SIL Open Font License, Version 1.1. [citation needed], Introduced in the middle of the 1957 model year,[6] the 1957 and 1958 J-2 Golden Rocket had three two-barrel (twin choke) carburetors with a vacuum-operated linkage. Sending my 53 olds to Dallas for overhaul. (We should note, however, that Packards final L-head eight of 1954 used an 8.7:1 compression ratio with no apparent loss of refinement, although the fact that the 359 cu. When it comes to Oldsmobiles from 1957, the hardtop was the second-most-popular body style, with 49,187 units produced. Thanks Weldon, [quote=Administrator]Unless youre building a rod, its often worth it to spend more upfront for a car thats in better condition. The Oldsmobile Rocket 88 is a full-size automobile produced and marketed by Oldsmobile from 1949 to 1999. Trim Rocket 88 1951 Oldsmobile 88 Futuramic 88 Rocket 303 V8 Hydramatic custom $16,900 An outstanding 350 Oldsmobile engine for sale would be perfect in a Cutlass convertible. Yes, the Hydra-Matic had a parking pawl, which was engaged by selecting reverse with the engine off. The Rocket, along with the 1949 Cadillac V8, were the first post-war OHV crossflow cylinder head V8 engines produced by General Motors. at 1,800 RPM Transmission: Three-speed manual standard, Hydra-Matic optional Wheelbase: 119.5 inches The practice of keeping model names alive even though applied to a vehicle with little in common with the original seems to annoy no one but me, [example Impala], why not keep division names alive and apply them to selected models. Instead, influenced by the Space Race between the United States and the USSR, the legendary Rocket was born, available in Oldsmobile's 88, Super 88, and 98 models. I would have said, Your Father knew cars and I would have played up that heritage. The first generation of Oldsmobile 88 was introduced in 1949. An Ultra High Compression Toronado Rocket version of the 425cuin (7.0L) V8 was made for the 1966 Toronado. The Olds 88 was also one of the fastest automobiles in America at the dawn of the 1950s, and it was the car to beat in NASCAR racing, winning 10 out of 19 races in the 1950 season. (4,977 cc). The optional heater-defroster cost $85 that year, the optional base radio $96. If the engine is thrashed and you just plan to swap in a later crate motor and a modern transmission, it may not matter, but if you want to restore, thats another matter. Particularly enjoyed your succinct descriptions of the engineering factors behind certain design choices. The Olds 403 was used by Buick and Pontiac in addition to Oldsmobile until its discontinuation after 1979. To learn more about what information the Vimeo platform collects and how that information may be used, see the Vimeo Privacy Policy. The heavily domed hood would continue through 1953. I think current brand-management logic would probably consider Oldsmobile rather hopeless. Call me a square,[I am a square], I say you dont denigrate a proud heritage. Such cookies and/or stored data items may be set by various domains (such as, though not necessarily limited to, youtube.com; youtube-nocookie.com; googlevideo.com; ytimg.com; google.com; accounts.google.com; www.googleadservices.com; and/or doubleclick.net, which is part of the DoubleClick advertising service, also owned by Google LLC). I forgot this on one occasion when I was attempting to jump start my 55 Olds; after getting the car rolling backwards, I was rewarded with nothing more than a ratcheting sound when I shifted from N to R. The engine did not rotate and the car did not start. Ate Up With Motor's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy may be revised from time to time. Have a 47 98 custom cruiser. Now heres the rub vis-a-vis this article: granted that the Rocket 88 gained a reputation as something of a factory hot rod in its day (helped, no doubt, by Ike Turner aka Jackie Brenston and the Delta Cats little ditty of the same name), nonetheless in my research I have been hard-pressed to find anyone who used it as a performance powerplant. By 1952, the 88 was growing inexorably bigger and although Oldsmobile engineers had little trouble getting more power out of the Rocket engine by 1955, it boasted 202 gross horsepower (151 kW) newer, lighter cars soon surpassed its performance. 1956 Oldsmobile 88 45,891 mi 324 Rocket V8 $ 39,995 or $576/mo Oldsmobiles now-famous OHV Rocket V8 engine was in its the beginning when this 1956 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday hardtop emerged. The Vimeo Cookie Policy also provides information about how Vimeo users can control the use of third-party analytics and/or advertising cookies in connection with embedded Vimeo video players. Most 425s were painted red, though the 1966 and 1967 Toronado units were light blue. The J-2 engine also had a slightly thinner head gasket, raising compression to 10.0:1. One or more wp-saving-post cookies may be set while creating and/or editing posts or pages, to help manage version control and the autosave feature; these cookies normally expire after about 24 hours. The 455 big block Olds V8 was replaced in 1977 with the 403cuin (6.6L) small block, which used a 4.351in (110.5mm) bore, the largest ever used in a small-block V8, with the Olds small-block standard deck and 3.385in (86.0mm) stroke. Then in 1955 Chevrolet introduced their ohv V8 (as did Packard, Plymouth and Pontiac) and changed the game again. It also used the .921in lifter bore size of the Toronado Rocket. The 324 was shared with GMC trucks. 26-33. Oldsmobiles first OHV V8, dubbed the Rocket engine, had a 3.75-inch (95.3mm) bore and a 3.44-inch (87.3mm) stroke, compared to 3.25 inches (82.6mm) and 3.88 inches (98.4mm) respectively for the straight eight the Rocket replaced. 15 results per page. [19] The 403 was never featured with a manual transmission and the crank was never manufactured for a pilot bearing. Classifieds for Classic Oldsmobile Rocket 88. Its a super 88 sedan 4 door. The 303 was produced from 1949-1953. It has been purported that there is a 403 Oldsmobile block and cast that has solid main webs that may have been equipped in vehicles such as the Pontiac Firebird equipped with a towing package, but there are currently no clearly documented surviving examples. (2,969 cc) six with a compression ratio of 12.5:1, where most contemporary engines had ratios of no more than 7.0:1. The prototypes, which first ran in November 1946, were 287 cu. We are largest vintage car website with the. 1951 Oldsmobile Rocket 88. Early Hydra-Matics had no Park position (although there was a parking pawl if you engaged reverse), and unlike later versions, theres no way to keep the transmission in third gear, which can be inconvenient. The 1950 Oldsmobile Rocket 88s were considerably cheaper than the 49s, although that was largely because Hydra-Matic, which had been standard equipment on all 1949 V8-powered cars, reverted to being a $185 option. Produced from 19681980, the Rocket 350 was entirely different from the other GM divisions' 350s. [5], This engine was used in GMC heavy trucks as the "370" of 232 gross HP at 4200 RPM and torque 355 gross lbs-ft at 2600 RPM from 1957 to 1959.It had hardened valve seats and other features for heavy duty usage. The second issue was that the practical limit for L-head engines was a compression ratio of about 7.0:1; above that threshold, it became difficult to control combustion roughness. The wild rocket hood ornament was technically a $5 option. The 394 replaced the 371 in Super 88 and 98 cars for 1959 and 1960 and a detuned version was used in the 88 for 1961 and the Dynamic 88 for 1962-1964. Oldsmobile might be gone, but the Rocket brand hasn't been forgotten by collectors shopping for a 1950s American automotive icon. As the diagram below illustrates, an L-head engine has its valves in the side(s) of the block. Popular price guides put Lansing's mid-1950s cars at an average of $16,500 for a four-door all the way up to $72,900 for a two-door convertible. In certain cases, multiple iterations of either or both of these cookies may be set. You must be at least 18 to comment. Concern about diminishing oil reserves is nothing new in the twenties, some engineers feared the U.S. would be out of oil within 30 years but it was not until the seventies that those fears entered the public consciousness. This is a session cookie that verifies that the user has entered valid user credentials pending receipt of the correct authentication code; the cookie normally expires when the user closes their browser (or other user agent). Displacement was 259.5 cubic inches, with almost square bore and stroke. Many were shared among other divisions, but each design was unique: GM later standardized on the later generations of the Chevrolet design: Northway sourced Oldsmobile Flathead V8 (1916-1923). Akamai is a registered trademark or service mark of Akamai Technologies, Inc. in the United States (Reg. Change Background Color (Note: This option sets cookies on your device to manage your color settings; see the Cookie Notice for details. Many customers did not keep the reservoir filled, or had mechanical problems with the turbocharger system which resulted in many of the turbo-charger installations being removed and a conventional 4 barrel carburetor and manifold installed in its place. The 400cuin (6.6L) version was the second tall-deck "big-block" Olds. ), If one was trying to tally how many Rocket engines were built in Olds cars in 1949-50, do you have those numbers? All full-size 1962 Oldsmobiles had the 394. The Generation II V8 ended production in 1990. The difference is that many of the things earlier generations feared (such as heavy dependence on foreign oil and its associated political ramifications) are now familiar reality rather than speculation. . For all the administrative and login cookies described here, "xx" will be a cryptographic hash while "UID" will be the administrative user's user ID number in this website's WordPress database. They had long since lost genuine autonomy anyhow. The wahFontColor and wahBgColor cookies, which are set if you alter the site's color scheme, normally expire after about 14 days, but you can remove them immediately by clicking the "Restore Defaults" button on the sidebar. The engine built in the 1955 Super 88 and 98 models delivered 295 horsepower. [22] This was the first engine to use the smaller Rochester Dualjet two-barrel carburetor, the only carburetor used on the 260. Hours of Operation. What these activities have most in common was that there was an awful lot of engine-swapping going on. 1955 Oldsmobile 88 gasoline blue manual This is a 1955 Olds 88 with its original 324 V-8, automatic, power steering and brakes, tinted glass (all windows), factory wheel covers, wide whitewalls and&. Following the Automobile Manufacturer Association ban on factory supported racing, power ratings went down for the 1959 and 1960 88 models: 270hp (200kW) and 390lbft (530Nm) for 1959 and 240hp (180kW) and 375lbft (508Nm) for 1960. If you use the buttons to make a payment or donation, the PayPal services will set additional cookies (not listed here) to manage your PayPal login and transaction data (and potentially also for various other purposes, e.g., user analytics and/or advertising). Thank you so much for further refining my understanding of my 52 Super 88 Holiday Coupe.I love this car for its rich history, and the fact that I inherited it from a dear, tragically taken friend. Google, Google Analytics, and other related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC.). Compression ratios of 9.0:1 at 310hp (230kW) or 10.25:1 at 360hp (270kW) were available in the U.S. A special 1965-1967 425cuin (7.0L) V8 was the Starfire engine. Particularly by 50s standards, the flathead Ford wasnt an outstanding engine, which I think even a lot of loyalists would have readily admitted, but you could get them by the cartload and there was a huge, well-entrenched aftermarket for them. Most contemporary road tests at least mentioned fuel consumption. (These cookies may not be set at all for administrative users unless they access the publicly visible portions of the website and/or update their consent settings e.g., by accepting an updated version of the Privacy Policy. Accessing the login page sets the wordpress_test_cookie, a session cookie that tests whether the user's browser (or other user agent) will allow the cookies needed to log in to the administrative dashboard; this cookie normally expires when the user closes their browser (or other user agent). New brakes, wide Whitewall tires and classic stereo and speaker. Every 307 used a four-barrel carburetor, which was a variant of the Rochester Quadrajet, usually the CCC (Computer Command Control) Quadrajet. In shape and size, the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 is not much different from the Pontiac Streamline and Chevrolet Fleetline whose body shell it shares. But it DID have a fairly illustrious season on the track and in road racing. So my question is, was there any substance to the Olds Rocket 88 legend or has nostalgia given it a bigger place in musclecar legend than it deserves, much like the original 1936 Buick Century? Output was 185hp (138kW) and 320lbft (430Nm). They were criticized at the time as being unsafe in city traffic because they picked up their air too close to the tail pipes of cars ahead. For anyone interested the 1950 Mexican road race where 12 Olds 88s entered and 10 finished, eight of the 10 were beaten by a flathead Nash. I have a 62 olds super 88. The FirePower, Buick Nailhead, and Chevrolet V-8s didnt exist yet. Call 800.979.0122, 7am-10pm, everyday. Terry Ehrich and Richard Lentinello (Bennington, VT: Hemmings Motor News, 2001), pp. If anyone at GM had had doubts about offering the big engine in the smaller body, the sales alone would have been enough to convince them. I never had one apart to that extent, but my understanding from the theory of operation is that there is a pivoting pawl that will engage a toothed wheel when the engine is stopped with reverse selected. (. You can hide the "Support Ate Up With Motor" box and prevent the loading of its embedded content by going to the "Consent Management" tab and switching the "Allow PayPal Button" toggle to "OFF." The Buick version of the 215 V8 went on to become the well known Rover V8, which still remains in limited production, utilizing the Buick-style pistons, heads, and valve train gear. As mentioned earlier, the Rocket V8 was initially offered only in Oldsmobiles flagship 98, a big luxury car that gave away little to Cadillac in size or appointments. The first second-generation Oldmobile V8 330cuin (5.4L) "Jetfire Rocket" introduced in 1964 and produced through 1967. On that level, the Oldsmobile Rocket engine didnt make it, but thats with the benefit of hindsight. in. Comments may be moderated. 78-79; and Josiah Work, 1949 Rocket 88: This Is Not Your Grandpas Oldsmobile, Special Interest Autos #139 (January-February 1994), reprinted in The Hemmings Book of Oldsmobiles, pp. The Oldsmobile Cutlass, Rocket 88, and other classic models remain very popular among car collectors and Oldsmobile fans. These photos were taken outside the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, California (a few blocks south of LAX). To learn more about what information the YouTube platform and other Google services may collect through and/or in connection with embedded video players and how Google may use that information, see their "How Google uses information from sites or apps that use our services" page and the Google Privacy Policy. The output of the 307cuin (5.0L) wasn't particularly high in terms of horsepower. A very significant and, at this point, often misunderstood transmission that had a big influence on the character of the cars that used it. Apart from the Oldsmobile Aurora, the Aurora V8 was also used in the Shelby Series 1.