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Sturgeon's House

American muscle cars, 64-73, and other American cars, like race cars


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In regards to Huge engines in GM products-

 

I used to own a '72 Olds Vista Cruiser wagon. This thing left the factory with tiny 14" wheels, and had a 455 CID engine under the hood.

 

One of the first things done to it was fitting a set of the larger SSII Olds wheels to it, then eventually settling on a wheel-well filling P235-75-15" tire.

"For looks"? one might ask.

 

No..

 

 

It was to keep from doing one of two things at a light. Either looking like an utter asshat as I spin and smoke  in a woograin sided wagon, or looking like a bigger asshat as I gently feather that twitchy mill to not melt the rubber and s l o w l y bring it up to 35 MPH.

 

Image related- A pic of the beastie.

bcAFif8.jpg

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65sewz.jpg

 

My dad's LS6 Chevelle. Runs like a banshee, but the Boss 429 is faster.

 

 

Very nice, stock restoration?

 

The 429 should be faster since Ford really only put the Boss 429s in just enough producion cars to get it certified for NASCAR, if I recall right. 

 

Also, there are some flaws in the OP's narrative, but overall it is a good synopsis.

 

And I would like to add that plenty of mustangs came with big blocks.

 

 

Help me out with my flaws.

On the mustang and big blocks, only after 1967 and the redesign of the car could they fit. Then the 390 and 428 CJ became options, if I remember right. The 428 was a pretty good mill, but the 390 sucked, and the 428 was in limited supply and even some Shelby GT500s didn't get real 428s.  This is also when the mustang went from boring and ugly to cool and decently fast.  The perfect cars for hot chicks... 

 

As far as mustangs go, the Boss 302 has always been my favorite. I really dig Trans Am racing though. 

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In regards to Huge engines in GM products-

 

I used to own a '72 Olds Vista Cruiser wagon. This thing left the factory with tiny 14" wheels, and had a 455 CID engine under the hood.

 

One of the first things done to it was fitting a set of the larger SSII Olds wheels to it, then eventually settling on a wheel-well filling P235-75-15" tire.

"For looks"? one might ask.

 

No..

 

 

It was to keep from doing one of two things at a light. Either looking like an utter asshat as I spin and smoke  in a woograin sided wagon, or looking like a bigger asshat as I gently feather that twitchy mill to not melt the rubber and s l o w l y bring it up to 35 MPH.

 

Image related- A pic of the beastie.

bcAFif8.jpg

 

I always wanted to get a 68 Lemans wagon and put a GTO hood and bumper on it and a 455.   I also wanted to put a Pontiac 455 in a K5 Blazer, but I never did either, when I got interested, large pontiac motors had gotten expensive. 

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Very nice, stock restoration?

 

The 429 should be faster since Ford really only put the Boss 429s in just enough producion cars to get it certified for NASCAR, if I recall right. 

 

 

Help me out with my flaws.

On the mustang and big blocks, only after 1967 and the redesign of the car could they fit. Then the 390 and 428 CJ became options, if I remember right. The 428 was a pretty good mill, but the 390 sucked, and the 428 was in limited supply and even some Shelby GT500s didn't get real 428s.  This is also when the mustang went from boring and ugly to cool and decently fast.  The perfect cars for hot chicks... 

 

As far as mustangs go, the Boss 302 has always been my favorite. I really dig Trans Am racing though. 

 

The car is restored (as should be obvious by looking at the paint: these cars looked horrid from the factory) but is matching and NOS parts were used.

The 454s were conservatively rated in the HP department, but a flywheel dyno will shot 600+. Same deal with Ford's 429 hemi, but the engine made 30 or so more.

 

But I could be very pedantic and pick apart your narrative a bit. I wish I was at the shop so I could take a post some photos (Sturgeon can vouch/has been there).

 

Anyways, while the GTO is generally accepted as the first muscle car, Ford and the boys under the Mopar umbrella had been selling what you could call "muscle cars" before 1964. The Ford Galaxie lightweight cars and the Max Wedge Super Stock were very impressive and could cut 12.5 second quarter miles off the showroom floor. While availability was limited, a consumer could purchase them... and they did. We have an unraced factory lightweight spec 427cid R Code 425hp Galaxie 500 and a race alternate '63 Plymouth Savoy max wedge 2 door post w/ the 426/415hp engine.

 

Also you emphasized GM cars in your narrative, but you failed to state that while in 1964 when GM was playing around with their cute powerplants, Chrysler was destroying everyone with their 426ci Hemi, and Ford's Cammer was the engine that, had Chrysler not complained and moaned, would have set the new gold standard for power (which it did in drag racing).

You also dogged on Chrysler/Mopar stuff, but the 440s and especially the street hemis run like scalded apes. We have a 1966 Satellite, unrestored that is a factory hemi car, and with a tank full of leaded go juice it is mind blowingly fast relative to other cars of the period.

 

But yes, the Mustang was not intended to be a performance car from the get go. It just so happened that a man realized that the platform would be suitable to put in an oversized engine and that the chassis were strong enough to support ungodly amounts of power. As a result, monstrosities like the Boss 429 (the fastest car of the era I have driven) and even some of the more powerful FE powered cars came to dominate at the strip. Stiffened up, even the 302s performed well on in the corners.

 

As for the GN reviving the muscle car scene, I am not sure I agree. It has its place, but it was the other G body cars as well that brought back solid, stout chassis to modify. We also have to give due credit to the pony cars of the 80s for injecting some new life into the hobby. The fox body mustangs were cheap, strong as hell with factory 4 link suspension, forged pistons, and absurdly light weight, while GM lagged behind with the turd gens. Even the C4 revived the Corvette after years of being regarded as a flashy dog.

 

As for the Pontiac, Buick, and Olds 455s, well, all I can say is that they are very overrated. We have the trifecta including a 1970 W30 Olds 442 and it is a dog. The 68 Hurst Olds probably comes in second with the Buick GS stage 1 being close to the Olds 442.

 

But yes, I am fortunate to have experience with as many vehicles as I do. I was raised at the racetrack and am even related to a professional top fuel driver.

I will post some photos up tomorrow that are relevant to this thread.

 

That said I am a Ford guy, so be warned!

 

But for posterity, here are some crumby bone stock mustangs that will cut a decent E/T:

 

1zlrl34.jpg

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Alex = Alexandra?

 

Cause you know what they say about mustangs...  :D

 

 

Anyway, a lot of that was tongue in cheek, and am planing on expanding it when I feel like it. I only really bagged on Ford, cause I am not a Ford guy, and I did cover why Ford and Chrysler stuff didn't kick off the musclecar thing, they were fast, no doubt, but they were ugly. Ford produced ugly cars, the mustang is the only exception. I was glad every time they crashed a Torino in starsky and hutch the things are so god awful ugly.  

 

Chrysler was even worse until 68, they did get it right after that though, to their credit, and then they had a good combo, but they were still not considered classy cars. Mopar people are like slightly lower class Ford people, you just have to have that weird desire to like weird looking off brand cars. Granted they had awesome engines, and what's not to love about the 426? They also produced the coolest tank motor ever, the A57, but until 1968 to normal people, their cars looked weird. Like the early barracudas What the hell?

 

Anyway, other than having the Ford/mustang taint, you probably know more about the subject than I do heh. 

 

So an LS6 Chevelle and a Boss 429 Mustang? What other goodies are lurking in your collection? You're the machine gun guy right?

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I knew since the moment this thread went up, that it was only a matter of time before Alex threw up a bunch of photos of his dad's garage. :)

If I were at all a car person, I am sure I would have majorly geeked out, but everything I know about automobiles comes from either the used car lot, or stuff that's common with AFVs and piston-engined aircraft.

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I don't think any muscle cars were considered "classy". They were all just moderately priced American sedans.

 

It really wasn't even until the 1990s that people thought "hey, these old beaters from our youth are cool" and started collecting them. Who would have ever thought that a freaking Nova could bring what they do?

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My Mom, if she were astill around would have geeked out hard over your Dad's garage Alex.  My Mom had a thing for fast cars.  She had a 87 or 88 Monte Carlo SS and later, a 92 5.0L Mustang.  Both were amazingly fun rides when Mom cut loose on the highway or out on country roads.

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Alright, here are a pair of racecars that were available to the public that ran 12.5s-12.6s right off the showroom floor in 1963. Ford and Chrysler were in an arms race to see who could scoot down the track fastest.

These cars have no seatbelts, and the oldtimers I have talked to who were racers in the early-mid 60s said that in order to properly race, you had to clinch your beer firmly between your legs. My how times have changed.

 

First up is a car that was designed to defend the blue oval:

 

IMG_5877_zps7djpcnee.jpg

 

The 1963 Ford Galaxie 500s were offered with a factory lightweight option (aluminum bumpers, fiberglass hood and trunk lid) and R code cars were fitted with the 425 horse 427ci big block mated to a Borg-Warner T-10. They featured a 9 inch rear end with 4.11 gears. To reduce weight, the following were deleted: radio, heater, clock, trunk, sound deadening material, roof cross support, courtesy lights, dome lights, arm rests, insulation, mirrors, trunk mat, and more. These had one purpose, and that was to kick ass:

 

IMG_5878_zps4e7zcn7d.jpg

 

Mopar's pride on the strip was much the same:

 

IMG_5880_zpsc5rgjbwx.jpg

 

While not a hemi, the 426ci max wedge engines still put out 425hp, although interestingly they came with a borg-warner T85 3-speed. Comparable to the Ford, these would run mid to high 12s and trap 110-113. And indeed, they were proud of the max wedge:

 

IMG_5882_zpsj7h98syp.jpg

 

 

IMG_5889_zpssc4dhgqk.jpg

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But back to 455s, as I stated they are all very different engines. You would think that all engines under the GM umbrella with the same displacement would have a lot of parts commonality, but this is not the case at all. GM actually had each brand competing against one another! In fact, it wasn't until recently that they merged fleet sales of all brands.

 

A '67 GTO's 455:

 

IMG_5890_zpse0wvsknz.jpg

 

Hurst Olds:

 

IMG_5891_zpsuphazemo.jpg

 

Buick GS stage 1:

 

IMG_5892_zpsu1sbdyl8.jpg

 

And the 442 W30 for some olds redundancy:

 

IMG_5893_zps6beakxte.jpg

 

 

 

Lastly, to break the combo, we have the holy grail of engines of the era (Ford's cammer disqualified), an engine to which only Chevy's LS6 454 comes close (the Ford 429 will show over 600 hp on a flywheel dyno!):

 

IMG_5896_zpspc4e8e9t.jpg

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While not in the date range the OP specified, there is perhaps nothing more American than a good ole American girl with an M1 Garand and '57 Chevy:

 

2zjdzb8.jpg

 

 

But in the date range is the same girl in an American bikini top in front of a 1967 Mustang fastback sporting a Roush Racing 427 putting out about 600 to the tires:

 

 

212z3v9.jpg

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