My good old days
Always called my car a 442, because when a was saying W32 Cutlass S everybody where saying what is it? I had to reply a small block r... Show moreace 442! The reason must be that like me they never ever saw or heard of a W32 Cutlass S.
Try to picture that in your mind, it�s the summer of 1975 you are 16 years old with licence in your pocket, your birthday is coming and you want to rule the streets.
So I spotted the car of my dreams, a 1970-71 (I don�t really remember the year) convertible Pontiac Firebird Formula, it�s midnight blue, white leather interior with white top, it has a 326HO four barrel, 4 speeds on the floor with Hurst shifter, dual exhaust, functional Ram Air, front and rear spoilers and rally wheels, and the best of all only for a mere $2000.00 any teenagers dream. Being minor I went and plead my case to my father, to get him to sign for me. The answer, as could be expected was: NOT A FAT CHANCE IN HELL that I will sign for a used sports car so that you could loose your drivers licence or worst that you end up in a ditch or a tree somewhere, you should get a good reliable new car that will last for years to come like an OLDSMOBILE.
There it was, my dream was forever lost, and I had to bye my grandfather�s Olds 98 Regency.
A month or so later on my birthday my dad drove me to the biggest eastern Montreal CHEV/OLDS dealer to pick my new car. He dropped me in front of the showroom and said �you should have a look at the little Cutlass they are good cars, I�ll be back in two hours to sign if you have made your choice�. Entering the showroom there they where; Corvette, Camaro, Chevelle SS and Nova SS and on the other side of the room Oldsmobiles. Getting on Oldsmobile side of the showroom took a wile but after browsing Chevy�s there was a nice example of Olds BADBOY, a black fully loaded W30 442 with a 455 and all the go fast goodies, no way my dad would let me bye that after the lecture he gave me. Then I met �Gerard� a mid thirties single salesman, a weekend drag racer that could understand my father�s concerns but know what I wanted. We sat, talk and went trough the options list for a Cutlass. By the time my dad arrived, all the papers where done, just needing a signature.
He sat and went � so, found something?! � Then a miracle append, Gerard said �you have a very serious and reasonable son, I�m sure you know that by now. He could have gone for the Monster 442 with a 455HO engine, 4 on the floor but instead he went for the SPORTY LOOK of a Cutlass S with a 350 four barrel automatic� �����. the deal was done, my father never understood what he had just signed for nor did I know exactly what I would get for my $6300.
All paper work is long gone, long before I even sold the car, so here is as far as my memory can remember what that option list was:
�Body style: landau without vinyl top
�Colour: orange with beige side stripes and Cutlass S name
�Interior: tan with swivel bucket seats, console
�W32 fenders emblems
�Engine: W32 package, witch was a 350cid block with 12:1 compression, high flow big valves heads, racing cam, solid lifters, 850cfm Rochester carburetor, trough the bumper Ram Air system, factory cast headers, dual 2 and 1/2 inch exhaust system without catalytic converter, special hybrid HEI / Mallory ignition all of that was rated 400HP at 5700RPM with a 5800RPM red line. But anytime anywhere you could put that engine on a dyno and it would produce between 475 and 550HP, and it would roar it�s way from idle to 6200RPM before dying out. It was a factory race engine and I think that 1975 was it�s fazing out year.
�Transmission: Heavy Duty TH400 with console shifter and remote oil cooler
�Rear end: posi-traction with a ratio of 2. Something to 1 for economy (no overdrive) I wanted to drive the thing not just race it.
�Suspension: Sport Heavy Duty F41 package, witch was Heavy duty coils spring and shocks, front 1.25 inch sway bar, rear 7/8 inch sway bar, 15 inch rally wheels, G70-15 polyglass tires.
�Gauges: rally 4 pack witch included a round 130MPH speedo, a round 7000RPM tach, a round temperature and a round fuel.
�Power windows, electric doors locks, electric trunk release.
�Heavy Duty package: including radiator, battery and brakes.
�Stereo AM/FM radio with 4 speakers
At the end of October (3 weeks later) my salesman called me, the car could not be delivered as ordered, if I wanted to keep the W32 package things such as AC, cruise control, power brakes and steering had to be deleted or I could get a 350cid HO (300HP) and keep power brakes and steering or I could get a 225HP 350cid and keep it all. I kept my engine! Did you know that the W30 455cid was rated at only 392HP and had a weigh penalty of nearly 200 pounds over the W32, ok torque was maybe twice as high as the 350 but woo cared.
First weekend of May 1976 I finally went to take delivery of my car, by then I had bought another car (second hand Vega GT 72) to go around.
For seven years I never could street race anyone, my car and I where cop magnets, if there was a police car in one mile radius you could bet it would end up on my rear bumper, making sure I did not go over 30 MPH or change lanes without my flashers, even then I would get pull over for ID or mechanical check ups. Whenever I got the need for speed I had to go to a racetrack or use a backcountry side road, I got used to it!
The first four years Sanair and Napierreville saw us 5 to 6 times a year. We where very consistent on our time cards: not so impressive on trap time (because of high gear) but always coming back strong, times where 12.48 to 12.6 with speed of 108 to 113 MPH the most common was 12.5 at 112 MPH forget the occasional stray of 13s 100 MPH for bad reaction time or wheel spin, very good for factory stock!
In first gear you would reach 63 MPH before hitting redline, second was good for 125 MPH and third the rest I never had the guts to go all the way, 145 MPH (calculated wheel size gear RPM) was my fastest ever with plenty left, scary!
In 1982 being sick of the unwanted attention (COPS) and temptations (anyone wanting to race) I had the car camouflage: repainted brownish bronze colour removing all stripes and logos putting Cutlass Supreme name tags I finally got to drive my car. This car became a blast to drive, punching the gas to the floor on a green light was about 60 feet of black tracks on cold tires and half of that on warms, but the best was to drive about 35 to 40 MPH on DRIVE then mash the pedal to the metal; the car would kick down in first and produce 65 feet of sideways black tracks before launching forward, cool to see those punks faces with jap cars.
In 1984 I change the aging suspension and installed dual rate coil spring with Monroe Sensatrack gas shocks and finally converted to radial tires Goodyear GT 245/60R15 at all corners my car was new again and had very good manners on the road.
In late September 1986 it would be the last time the car hit the track, showing 156000 miles on the clock still running strong, still starting on a � turn I was thinking of changing, we produced our best ever time card!
It was one of those very cool but sunny Saturday morning, dew and fog was slowly lifting on my way to Sanair. On the old road just before getting to the track there is a 2 miles long straight stretch between cornfields ending with a mountain where on the downhill usually are COPS with radar guns awaiting us. Entering that stretch cruising at 75 MPH it was time to get rid of all that carbon deposits in the chambers so I mash the pedal not realising someone coming from behind at speed would try to pass me, when I heard it, it was by my side downshifting his brand new Camaro HiRock Z�..he never passed me! Waiting in line to register at the track that guy came to me asking what the hell did I done to my car? I reply, �notin it�s my stock old beater� I saw disbelieve in is face.
Later we met at the tree, this guy was a wreck, he was to start early posting 13s and I was posting my usual 12.4s on my windshield, it was obvious he remembered our road encounter. On his green he digged a hole in the box followed by wheel spin at each shifts.
When my light came I had never tough those dual rate spring would get the car to squat and hook so fine. I got my best ever and got disqualified because of it 12.02s@117MPH.
I took that time card and went home.
This is the only photo I have of my car, and the car was 10 years old an undergone a camouflage paint job complete with enblems and stripes removal.
My car remained stock it�s entire life, it got regular maintenance, oil and filter every 2000 miles and except for Accel cables and other brands of tires or shocks that car never been modified and I replaced it in 1987 by (ho my God) a Jetta! Show Less
Page 1 Intro
Page 2 Modifications ? venir
Page 3 Progres
mise ? jour de l'?volution
Vu le probl?me connu de refroidissement, j'ai fait des vent sur ... Show morele capot
j'ai enlev? le rack sur le capot arri?re et installer un spoiler
j'ai install? ma radio
j'ai install? un vrai RPM pr?cis
Chaque pi?ce que je touche est soit ? reconditionner, ? r?parer ou ? changer.
J?ai chang? les disques et les plaquettes de freins avant, seulement pour me rendre compte que les caliper ?taient finis ainsi que les lignes ? freins. Du m?me coup j?ai constat? que les balljoints ?taient dangereusement us?es. Show Less