OLDSMOBILE 455 W-43 EXPERIMENTAL HEMI AND OTHER EXOTIC ENGINES - THE JOHN BELTZ YEARS PHOTO TRIBUTE
John Beltz was Oldsmobile's chief engineer in 1964 and one of the prime
movers of the Toronado and 442 project. Beltz was promoted to Oldsmobile
general manager at age 43 in 1969 when Harold N. Metzel retired. Beltz
passed away in May of 1972 from cancer at the age of 46.
John Beltz is leaning on a dual fan 455 Olds and posing with other
experimental Olds engines that never saw production.
Here are descriptions of these engines:
1. The 0W-43 all aluminum 455 with 4 valve per cylinders, four overhead cam
Weber engine. With a redline of just under 8,500rpm it was originally
conceived for CAN AM racing. At 3,000rpm it put out 300hp and at 6,000rpm
registered over 600hp. The top output recorded for this engine in the
Lansing Dyno facility
was 700 real hp at 6,800rpm. Tests were run with both carbueration and fuel
injection. The block was cast from Reynolds 356 alloy and fitted with
pressed-in dry steel cylinder liners for the Forged-True 12.20to 1 pistons.
Billet steel connecting rods by Carillo was used along with a forged steel
crank. The engine weighed in at 50 pounds lighter than the production 455
motor! It was developed at the same time as the ZL-1 Chevy 427 motor.
2. The W-43 4 valve per cylinder 455 developed by JOHN BELTZ , LLOYD GILL ,
JOE JONES AND FRANK BALL. Rated at 500-550hp with a single Rochester
Quadrajet on an aluminum manifold. Constructed with both cast iron heads
and block and with aluminum-alloy block and heads 75 pounds lighter than
the conventional 455 production engine. Engine featured four valves per
cylinder with narrowed angles for a super efficient combustion chamber
design, central spark plugs and could easily be adapted for chain for gear
driven overhead camshafts. 455 engine had 4.625inch cylinder centers, a
4.125 bore and 4.250 stroke. Making use of the 3inch main bearings and 2.50
inch rod journals, the engine was fitted with a specially prepared cast
crank fitted with SAE-1140 forged steel rods, forged 10.20-to-1 pistons
which rode on Morraine 400 bearings. Four bolt main block boasted 2
additional 5/8inch drain holes. Four valve heads featured 1.750inch intake
valves (SAE-8640 steel) with 22 degree stems and 1.375 Exhaust (214-N stainless steel) with 15 degree
stems, special Stellite seats, bronze alloy guides, o ring plug tubes, 14mm
spark plugs, 3/8 inch pushrods and aluminum rocker arms. (Of all the
experimental Olds engines, this one came the closest to production and
there are photos of this engine in street gear. MAY 71 HOT ROD MAGAZINE
features some of these engines and the sadness of the Olds engineers of
that time of how they would never be released.)
3. 455 dual turbocharged CAN AM ROCKET
CHALLENGE. 659hp @ 6250rpm. 554lbs torque @ 6,250 rpm. Alloy block with 4
bolt mains. Forged steel crankshaft. Forged True pistons with 8.5 to 1
compression. 3inch main journals. 2.499inch rod journals. Carillo billet
steel rods. alloy heads. 2inch intake valves. 1.625inch Exhaust valves. Crower roller camshaft with
555inch lift and 320 degrees duration. Dual TRW-375-E-10 turbochargers with Boost Wastegate 10and 1/2psi. Lucas fuel
injection. Olds alloy intake.
Competed with big block Chevy Mclarens and Porsche Panzers in CAN AM racing
This video is merely a couple of old magazine pages strung together with
the exception of that blue 455 hemi which was found on the internet. Thats
BRUCE MCLAREN in that green can am race car which is Olds powered. AT THE
BEGINNING OF THE VIDEO JOHN BELTZ IS POSING WITH SOME ENGINES FEATURED IN
THE JULY 1969 ISSUE OF HOT ROD MAGAZINE AND THE BLUE OLDSMOBILE 455 HEMI
WAS FEATURED IN THE MAY 1971 ISSUE OF HOT ROD MAGAZINE. The incidental
music I overlayed onto this video was muted by youtube.
1972 Street Strip Oldsmobile 442 takes its fastest pass ever 10.92@121
Well this was shot at the Olds Fall Nationals at Byron
Dragstrip......Probley the last Nitrous
pass this ole low compression 455 will ever take........I will allways be
impressed with the beating this 455 took over the last 6
years.........Countless drag strip passes ( at least 40 Nitrous passes) along with the car shows,parts
runs and street racing I did with it........Ole 455 you get a
AAAAAAAAAAA+++++++++++! Thanks for the memories and I hope the new mill
lasts half as long as you did........Iam going to freshen this ole motor up
and keep it as a back up to the new mill going toghter that should be ready
to drop in this spring sometime......
The Grabber Olds 442 Takes on the XO250 Off-Road Event in Reno, Nevada
This video montage shows the Grabber Oldsmobile 442 preparing for the
staging lanes, then documents the historic off-road vehicle as it makes its
very first start into real race competition since the very early 70's.
For those who may not yet be aware of it, the Grabber Olds (formerly known
as the "Goodyear Grabber") was originally run back in the late 60's early
70's. Even runn ing the NORRA 1000, which was the predecessor of the Baja
The car was originally built by Hickey Racing for racer/actor James Garner.
Garner raced this vehicle until race technology moved forward and a new
racer was built to keep up with the competition. The Goodyear Grabber was
retired and sent to pasture, vanishing from site until recent years. The
car was unknowingly purchased by vintage race car collector/restorer Ron
Johnson. After doing a little research, Ron realized that he had a rare gem
on his hands.
After several years of restoration work, the Olds 442 is looking as good as
ever, and sure pretty enough to appear on the start/finish line at the
famous Mustang Ranch, just
outside Reno, Nevada.
As if the car itself was not a media draw in itself, the car was going to
make its anticipated debut driven by hall of fame off-road driver Rod Hall.
The music video's finale shows the 442 taking the green flag for the first
time in over 30 years, and our camera had a prime spot to document the
car's first turns in competition.
home-made 425 Oldsmobile powered death trap
Don't laugh to hard at this. My buddy's dad build himself a rail job
(death trap) race car, powered by a Oldsmobile 425 big block. Once again I
don't have all the info but it does have an Edelbrock intake and a Holley
carb. The Exhaust is running out open
manifolds. Also has airbag suspension in the back and some fat Mickey T's.
Check out the HUGE steering wheel, it's bigger than the actual wheels.
Gets crazy going down the road. Thankfully he never actually took it to
the track. It became doner parts for other projects. Have fun!!!!
Information about Oldsmobile V8 engines
In this video I talk about the "late" Oldsmobile V8 and offer tips on how
to identify them by number.
"Late" in this instance means 1964-1990. Early('49-64) Olds engines are an
entirely different block, etc.
Sometimes my info gets a bit twisted when it stays inside my head for a
while, so a correction is that '77-80 heads are 3A, not 4A. 4A heads are
Also, to clarify and avoid confusion, this...7 A is a 350 head, this...7A
is a later 307 head. You can also tell the difference easily by the ports.
Late 307 and 260 ports are half the size of any other versions.
Trivia: The Olds 403 was used in 1977-79 Pontiac Trans-Am's, but not all of
Of note...the engine in the video is painted the incorrect shade of gold,
which appears to be the Krylon generic gold. The proper shade is slightly
darker and less "glitzy"
PART 6 OLDSMOBILE FACTORY SPONSORED DRAG RACING
VOLUME 6 OF OLDSMOBILE FACTORY SPONSORED DRAG RACING. PHOTOS ARE GETTING
INCREASING HARDER TO FIND BUT I MANAGED TO SCROUNGE UP ANOTHER 6 MINUTES OF
PHOTOS. MANY OF THE SAME CARS BUT A DIFFERENT PHOTO OF THE CAR. A FEW
CARS HERE NOT FEATURED ON PREVIOUS FIVE VIDEOS.