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Build Your Own 50s-60s Dream Car

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  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,405
    Yeah it does remind me of the XK-150 Coupe my freind had.
  • argentargent Posts: 176
    I've been intrigued at reports that in the early-to-mid sixties Cadillac was playing around with the possibility of a new V-12 engine to replace the venerable OHV V-8. They eventually gave up and developed the 472/500 instead, but they apparently had at least tentative plans for a _SOHC_ V-12. It would've been a 90-degree engine with an uneven firing interval (90 degrees is not optimal for a V-12), presumably so it could share at least part of the existing tooling.

    So let's imagine what that might have been like. Take the redesigned thinwall 390/429 V-8 of 1963-1967 with its existing bore centers (which I believe were 4.59"), letting the new engine share some of the basic V-8 tooling lines and components. As Ford did in converting the 427 to SOHC, replace the original cam with a plain shaft driving the oil pump. Reduce the stroke from 4.00" to 3.50" and shorten the block height to compensate for the taller heads. With the 429's 4.13" bore, that gives you a short-stroke engine with relatively light reciprocating weight, but 562 cubic inches displacement! Because the 429 was not very heavy to begin with (595 pounds), even though a V-12 would be heavier than the V-8, it probably wouldn't be any heavier than a Lincoln 462 or 426 Hemi, while trumping them mightily on cylinder count, power, and torque.

    Although it'd be adequate enough, a paltry four-barrel carb somehow seems out of place, so why not top it with an aluminum manifold with three two-barrel carburetors with a progressive linkage (something like the tri-power 1967 Corvette engines)?

    Where to put such an engine? It would be no wider than the V-8, just longer. So how about the 60s Cadillac most noted for its long hood--the Eldorado? What if rather than being a Toronado-based FWD coupe, the slick 1967 Eldorado was actually a RWD "luxury GT" powered by the new engine, a sort of Grand Lux Cadillac Grand Prix?

    It's not hard to imagine a V-12 engine beneath this massive hood:
    image

    ...and I've always thought the original '67 Eldorado was the best looking of all.

    image

    So going even further than that...what if Cadillac designed to break the mold a little further? For starters, fitting the Eldo with the big 11.75-in discs (ala Corvette Sting Ray) and rally wheels, rather than the Eldo's totally inadequate drums or so-so optional front discs. And how about an IRS Caddy? Something analogous to the Sting Ray suspension (i.e., using the differential half-shafts as the upper control arms, adding separate lower control arms and a locating link to make it a multi-link IRS), but with Cadillac coils rather than the Corvette's transverse leaf, and a modest rear anti-roll bar to reduce some of that traditional plowing understeer. With some careful attention to spring and shock tuning, it could've produced vastly better handling without a jittery ride.

    Stylistically, there's not much to be said about the exterior, although the creased rear window does nothing goood for rear vision. Inside, I'd prefer a proper gauge cluster and a console shifter to the standard Cadillac ribbon speedo and warning lights (even the dash from a '67 Impala Super Sport would've been an improvement, although its egregious fake wood was not so pleasant).
  • wq59bwq59b Posts: 61
    Apparently Cadillac Engineering built 6 SOHC all-aluminum V-12s in the early 60s. Split distributors were mounted horizontally on the cam ends, and all sorts of different induction set-ups were experimented with: 3x2, 2x4 and FI. I've seen a number of the sketches/models of the V-12/V-16 revival side project (1959-1966) and some were pretty cool looking, like a rakish 2-seat roadster with wrap-around flying buttress windshield and 16 intake pipes rising just above the hoodline.

    The 1967-68 Eldorados are unsung designs, beautiful from every angle, a tour de force. I love that peaked backlight, the way the windsplit carries thru the glass all the way down thru the bumper. I don't think there's a 1960s design that can make me walk around & around it like this one does. I spend 20 minutes circling a tired but willing '68 at a local gas station a few months back (for sale but a little too much bondo). So classy- it'll always look great. Some day I will own one.
  • argentargent Posts: 176
    1965-vintage model of Cadillac coupe (XP840) --
    image
    image

    ...and the recent Cadillac Sixteen showcar.

    image
  • wq59bwq59b Posts: 61
    Right- the XP-840 was supposedly the final V-16 concept. 'They say' when a concept gets an "XP" number & reaches the fiberglas stage- it's under consideration, but Chuck Jordan contended it was never a serious candidate for production- but more a statement recognizing Cadillac's heritage. I think it's 'non-Cadillac' styling supports that pretty well.

    I too thought of the XP-840 when I saw the Sixteen! The C-pillar/rear quarters have a similar feel, the way the glass is flush-mounted & well-integrated and of course they share the long hood look. I wonder if indeed anyone working on the Sixteen was aware of the long-forgotten XP-840.
  • 1960 dodge town panel, installing 1967 truck 383 4bbl with 727, four captian chairs from a dodge van 19??, and pushbutton shifter, going to remove bumpers to give a slicker look.
  • Sounds nice. I drove a similar truck all the way to Guatemala one time. No problems, and handled those awful roads easily.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,606
    Is that one of these beasts?
    image
    I always thought they were kinda cool...beefy and rugged looking. Someone in my Granddad's neighborhood has two of them.
  • Yep, very similar. Very rugged truck.
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