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I spotted an (insert obscure car name here) classic car today!



  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,890
    edited December 2012
    I used to really dislike the funky midrange cars like the Polara, but I don't mind the design so much now. It was original, if anything. The 1962 versions are the weirdest, but also the coolest, for what they are.

    To me, this looks very 1960-61 which for a 1964 domestic wasn't a good thing:

  • omarmanomarman Posts: 674
    That story reminds me of something posted regarding the issue of what makes a SBC 327/250 hp a unique "Corvette engine" compared to a 327/250 hp V8 in a Biscayne. I missed the response to that but I think the answer lies in both the parts and part numbers.

    There were some unique engine blocks, heads, etc available exclusively for Corvettes plus there were specific stampings and codes on all engines used for Corvette production. Regardless of hp ratings a 327 from another Chevy model really couldn't pass for a numbers matching classic Corvette engine could it? I mean not unless there was some kind of restamping trickery going on.

    Isn't that where all this numbers matching biz began?
  • berriberri Posts: 4,000
    I liked the 64 Plymouth and Dodge coupe C pillar treatment. They moved it over to the intermediates in 65. Very clean looking to me.
  • jljacjljac Posts: 649
    Was anything actually changed on the Studebaker 6-cyl during that timeframe, or did Stude (along with other manufacturers no doubt) simply get loose and sloppy with their hp figures, and inflate them in later years?

    Studebaker actually did the opposite of what you said. I checked the specifications and although the Studebaker 6 was originally rated at 75 hp, by 1951 it was up to 85 hp. By 1955 the displacement was increased from 169.6 to 185.6 with 101 hp and remained that way until 1959 when Studebaker wanted the best economy for the Lark, so it reduced the displacement back to 169.6 (same bore & stroke as 1946-1954) and it then had 90 hp. The difference was in the engine compression ratio and gasoline, although I think it had a different camshaft.

    Engine compession makes a big difference in peformance. For example, Packard sold its V-8 to AMC to put in the the 1955-56 Hudson, but they sold it with thicker head gaskets so it did not have as much horsepower. This made the people at AMC upset. I do not recall what the exact difference (I think it was 10 hp) was but if anyone compares the 1955-56 Hudson to the same size Packard engine, there is a difference although the engines are the same.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,444
    edited December 2012
    Race on Sunday, sell on Monday! or in the case of Lemans, Race on Saturday starting @ 3pm through Sunday.
  • jljacjljac Posts: 649
    edited December 2012
    283 and 327 Chevys used to beat my '55 Studebaker all the time (racing in the mid 1960s).

    This is the type of unfair comparison I spoke of earlier. Of course a 283 Chevrolet engine that was built between 1957 to 1967 or a 327 Chevy that was built between 1962-69 can beat a 1955 Studebaker V-8 with only 259 I have owned both a 1955 Studebaker and a 1963 R-1 Avanti. I never considered the 1955 to be a fast because I owned the Avanti first and found that the 1955 Commander was a slug compared to the Avanti.

    The 1955 is not considered to be a great performer when compared to later Studebakers which had moved up to 289 ci. in. by 1957 when the 283 Chevy motor first appeared. The R-series Larks and Avantis are considered to be the performers. Those are the cars that show up at the annual Muscle Car Drags in the video clips that Uplanderguy posted earlier at the Studebaker forum. All Hawk-type bodies are considered low and slow, as they were when Andy Granatelli was setting speed records.

    At the same time, I consider a stock 1955 Chevy to be a slug compared to a stock 1963 R-1 Avanti The Avanti has a 60 hp advantage on the ‘55 power pack Chevy and a weight advantage as well. I know this because I raced in the NHRA K-stock stick class at Island Drag Raceway at Hacketstown New Jersey in the mid 70's when I was stationed at Ft. Dix and was happy to find that stock 1955 Chevys were present and hoped that nothing fast would show up in my class.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    edited December 2012
    An R-1 Avanti is not very fast either, but displacement gives you more torque, and that counts in drag racing.

    My GT Hawk was kind of a slug, too, but once it got rolling, it was pretty okay. ('63). It was an automatic, and a heavy car. I wouldn't dare race a 327 but I could pick off a 283 with turboglide (I know, not fair).

    The very early Chevy motors could really rev and on a short track, that really mattered in the 50s--most V8s back then then were oversquare weren't they?---and not great breathers.

    is that you in the picture? Cool! :shades:

    I actually went so far as to buy a used supercharger but when I learned what was involved in rebuilding it, I blanched. This was pretty much a "back to the factory" proposition then, and it cost something like $1000 in 1968 dollars---it seemed like a fortune at the time. My idea was to use the blower in a Lark convertible--white with red interior. I had a thing for those stubby little cars.

    Now of course a Mini Cooper water pump would probably cost close to $1000.
  • jljacjljac Posts: 649
    For example, Packard sold its V-8 to AMC to put in the the 1955-56 Hudson, but they sold it with thicker head gaskets so it did not have as much horsepower. This made the people at AMC upset.

    I looked up the specs and the situation was worse than I said. The 1955 Packard V-8 of 320 was rated at 225 hp but the same engine sold to AMC was only rated at 208 hp.

    In 1956 the Packard V-8 of 352 (also used in the Golden Hawk) was rated at 275 hp. but the same engine sold to AMC for the Hudson was only rated at 220 hp. That must have caused some hard feelings at AMC and probably did not help the proposed merger of the two companies.

    I can find Internet references to the 1955-56 Hudson engine being a "detuned" Packard motor but no reference to the reason for that being the use of thicker head gaskets, although I am sure that was the reason. Higher compression and higher octane gas make a big difference in performance.

    I had my Avanti motor rebuilt with dish pistons instead of the flat top R-1 pistons because I wanted the option of supercharging it in the future and I did notice reduced power.

    The Stude V-8 designed in 1949-50 was heavy because it was designed to handle compession ratios of 12 to 1 or more. It took until 1964 and the R-4 get to get there, but it did the job. Only the Oldsmobile Rocket V-8 of 1949 had a longer production life, which also lasted until 1964.
  • small block Chevy is still being made by Mercury Marine!

    You can put the cylinder heads from a 1990 Chevy truck vortec engine right on a '55 Chevy motor!

    so you had the 265, 283, 327, 302, 350 and 400. After that the block did change with the LT1

    The Packard motor of 55-56 was highly flawed, with poor lubrication to the rocker arms.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,067
    ...beautiful light blue and white 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 two-door hardtop on Welsh Road in Montgomery County, PA.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,627
    Volvo Penta Marine still uses the SB to as does PCM and Ilmor marine.

    We bought a new boat last year and it's powered by a mercruiser 350mag which is a chevy 300hp 350 vortec.
  • Easily the longest-surviving engine in history, in one form or another. Probably along with the Ford flathead V8 and the "Hemi", (which is actually many different engines) the most famous automobile engine in American culture.

    You'll also find that block in some rather obscure exotics, the "hybrids" of the 50s and 60s that were built in Europe mostly.

    I wonder if the Russians ever copied it? :confuse:
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,578
    I've heard that a lot of Chrysler 392 Hemis were used to power air raid sirens, and the sirens at fire stations and such.

    Can you get a crate version of the original Hemi, or only the 426? For all the lure and mystique, the 426 Hemi was good mainly as a racecar engine, and wasn't all that well-suited to everyday street use, whereas the old Dodge, DeSoto, and Chrysler Hemis were designed mainly as street engines, and had high-performance setups developed later on.

    I guess with modern technology though, a 426 could be made a lot more "streetable" than it was back in the day.
  • You can buy various types of Mopar crate engines--340 strokers, etc, but they ain't cheap! :cry:
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,023
    Easily the longest-surviving engine in history, in one form or another

    Is the Ford Windsor block still being manufactured? It's been around a long time too. I know Ford stopped putting them in anything past 2001.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • another long running engine, the Ford 'small block" Windsor---I think it had about a 40 years run, not bad. These were also used in marine applications, but I don't think anymore, since the mid 1990s it looks like from what I've read.

    The Windsor engine was introduced in 1962.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,627
    edited December 2012
    As far as I know the Ford Windsor is done. I know Ford hasn't supplied any engines to the marine industry since about '96 or so. PCM used the 351and Volvo Penta used to use 302 and 351. But since the '96 IIRC all inboard and inboard/outboard gas marine drivetrains are GM. Currently they are 3.0 4cyl (which I haven't a clue what it's based on but is a OHV inline 4), 4.3 v6, 5.0, 5.7, 6.0, 6.2 (stroked 350), and possibly still the 8.1 BB. But it looks like the big block is about done. I Know volvo is done with the BB. I think Mercury Racing still uses the BB, but I'm not sure as it's a 8.2l 502. Which at minimum, I'm sure is based on a GM architecture.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    "Can you get a crate version of the original Hemi, or only the 426?"

    While I guess you could get replacement parts for most of them, if by 'crate engine' you mean something fully assembled, ready to go, I'd be surprised. 99.9% of the time when somebody wants a 'hemi', they want THE hemi, the 426 (or bigger, lots of larger versions available).

    And the rough running was more a result of the wild cams used for max hp, wasn't it? I would think you could put in a mild cam, but then what's the point?
  • jljacjljac Posts: 649
    The Packard motor of 55-56 was highly flawed, with poor lubrication to the rocker arms.

    I thought that the 1954 Ford V-8 "Y-Block" had the problems getting oil to the rocker arms while Packard covered broken oil pump shafts. I should have specified that the first ohv V-8s prior to 1956 had problems increasing their displacement and that includes the first Chevrolet small block. It is possible to bolt a 1964 V-8 cylinder head for an R-3 Avanti on a 224 V-8 of early 1955 too but there are many differences between the two engines.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,000
    How did it survive the tin worm???
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