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Jeff Smith's Blog

Obscure Cars
Posted November 2 2008 06:00 AM by CarCraft 
Filed under: Editorials

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Build a ’62 Olds F-85

I was just surfing the web the other day, when I ran across a reference to a ’63 Olds F-85 sedan that looked like it could be turned into a righteous little street machine that is downright rare. This was the unibodied precursor to the midsize A-body Cutlass that appeared in ’64, but for these three years this car, along with the Buick Special and the Pontiac Tempest, were little cars with V-8 engines. An optional engine included the 215ci all-aluminum V-8 engine that is still around today as the Rover V-8 engine. If you think turbocharging is something new, be advised that Olds put a factory turbo on a carbureted 215 V-8 and called it the Jet Fire in ’62 and ’63. If you're searching for something different, you could easily start with one of these cruisers. Even stranger was the Pontiac four-cylinder-powered Tempest that was basically half of a 389 V-8. If you really wanted to be weird, stuff a Pontiac OHC inline-six in a ’63 Tempest sedan, add a four-speed, and call it a factory experimental vehicle. How cool would that be?  


I like it!Rover stopped making the 215-based V-8 a couple of years ago, after 40 years of production and increasing the displacement to 242 cid (4.0L)! Not bad for an engine that GM brass said had no future and canceled!I've always been curious abotu the Pontiac 250 SOHC I-6. In the late 60s there was an option for the motor in the Firebird that got you a 4bbl carb and some other performance improvements. The motor made 250 HP from the factory, not bad at all.

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Car Craft
Car Craft