Long gone are the days when Pontiac meant power.
As a just turned 30 man, I had a bought a 1978 Old's 88 with the 350 diesel. I loved that diesel if for no other reason than for a full sized boat it got 30 MPG highway. It had all the perks for the day...power everything, stereo, and A/C. With Two kids and a penchant for travel it was perfect. As it is with everything in the world; that old diesel's accelerator pump crapped out, and the cost of replacing it was 300 bucks. Back then while my dad was still alive I figured correctly that I could get a used motor have him rebuild it and put it in.
I was blessed to find a 1978 Olds 350 at a shop in a nearby city. While I was there paying for it and getting it put in my trunk I noticed a transmission laying on the floor nearby. Since I had thought to get another transmission for the car, it is always recommendable to do it all at once. The guy says; no he was going to put that in his car since it came out of a 1978 Pontiac Firebird TransAm......... 6.6 liter all up power. I smiled; it was an ahhh moment. Couldn't blame the guy. Transmission built to take on that kind of power would be good. Anyway I paid the man 150 bucks, they loaded up the engine and I went my way. I called dad, made arrangements to get the car and motor hauled up to my dads garage in northern Wisconsin.
Two days into the work He calls me up and says what size motor did you say that was. I said it was an Old's 350. He says no it isn't, it's a Old's 403...... Uh ok, well, uh will it still fit? He says of course, it will bolt right in. Ok....Cool then. If your going to get lied to better to get mor'n you bargained for, right? A couple of days later he calls me up again and asks what kind of car did I get from? I said it was from a station wagon. He says oh...Cause he was having trouble finding parts for an Oldsmobile engine with that block number on it....????? However he said; if it came out of a Firbird TransAm he could get all kinds of parts for it..... You know? I said; it makes sense because there was a transmission the guy had sitting on the floor he wouldn't sell to me because it came out of a Firebird, and he was going to put it in his car.
BOOYA! My dad says Pontiac ran out of motors in 1978 and Olds had some 403 HO's sitting around they gave to Pontiac to install in there Firebirds. I asked if he could make it work? He said he could. Cool.
The run down on the old car was it had a 350 diesel coupled to a 2.11 rearend with a 4 speed locking automatic transmission. In essence, with the with the locking ability of the transmission I had 8 pseudo gears(it could lock in any gear at a certain vacuum level)making it very economical to operate. The 2.11 rearend was meant as well for fuel economy, in comparison with a racing 4.11 rearend. I was happy. I knew that the car would be a dog from a standing start but I was really about fuel economy. Still there is this one little kid in me that loved the idea of raw power. I was not disappointed. The rearend allowed the car to hang on to the road and there was not to much squalling the tires but get it up to 20-30 mph and it turned into a rocket. It didn't hurt that it had been in a hail storm and the steel hood and trunk lid had been replaced with aluminum losing a couple hundred pounds in the process, and I had, had the opportunity to install all knew heavy duty suspension system, new brakes, front end with top of the line Moog parts, including Moog variable rate heavy duty rear cargo coils. The Car was nearly the perfect stealth mobile.
No more than a couple of weeks after I got the car I had a chance to test it out against one of those dumb***** morons on the freeway that decide they need to be ahead of you. You know the kind? Your tooling along just fine and they speed up putting you in their blind spot. Not a place you want to be in. Idiots like that could change lanes causing all kinds of dangerous issues. You speed up a little to get out of there and they speed up, you slow down and the idiot slows down with you. I could have kicked his ass for that. I had had enough of that **** after about 5 miles. It weren't rush hour that time of day in Minnapopulis, and with four clear lanes going my way and no one in front, I put the peddle to the ....carpet....Momentary lag...... while the engine spools up and the Rochester quadrachoke kicks in aaaand heeeeer we go. I shot past that dumb SOB like he was standing still. Went from 45 to ninety in bout 2 seconds flat and left is ass. Of course the moron took the challenge and tried to keep up. Waste of time. Three months later I did it again. Had a Air Force bud riding along at the time, and was bragging on the car. We had just left the base and I said to this sceptic; watch this, as we headed down an on ramp. I punched it. Talk about heads slappin the rests, the moment Mr Rochester kicked in... Pegged the odometer at (apprx)135 from 30 in one block. Don't know for sure cause there there no numbers up there. Assuming the ratio remains the same, and the speed indicators were printed for show(economics of manufacturing) and there was (there wasn't) no difference from the one I had in my Cutlass, the speedo would peg at about that speed. Scary thing; the car was no where near it's top speed, and still accelerating at the same x-squared(velocity for those of you that don't know what that means). I estimate that with that particular package I probably could have hit 160+ max depending on conditions. Nuther day I was trying to keep up with some other buds as we headed over to a party. Must of been a little dirt on the pavement because the tires cut loose from a standin start...daaamn I was allover the road.... whup...whup...whup...I can't fully describe it...I was whippin the wheel back and fourth in the one or two seconds it took me to stamp on the gas, let off, and stand on the brakes. I came to a stop in the street facing a freeking mail box. A 'whoa', escaped my lips. Another time I got to test the suspension real good. You know that the yellow light's mean go faster right? Well I was quarter block away from a traffic light when it turned yellow. Had a girlfriend in the car. Great big grinning PUNCH! Head slap! Down the grade into the upslope.....off the ground "whhhooooeee"! Bawhoomp! No bottoming out, landing accross the street with a YOU SONOVABICTH from the woman next to me..... Nothing but giddy laughter from me.....
I still brag about that car..... What a ride... Olds is gone and Pontiac is gone now....That's what you get when you let beancounters and pencil pushers make decisions for you. Jobs lost.....another piece of culture gone, all for the sake of a few bucks....gone... Idiots...
Need to hear a song about how white collar wimps screw up society when they start thinking that they rule; instead of just being one of the cogs that make things work. They're not the big wheel, they're just apart of the whole, not even the biggest; important yes, necessary yes, but not the main one. They're easily replaced; because everyone is taught to do math now ain't they?