The Virginia Muscle Car

George's Cars of the 60/70s




(53 Merc, 55 Chevy)

My high school 12 grade car was that 53 Merc w/ 54 Olds 324 inch engine, w/ 280degree Cam, 6 carb , AL flywheel, dual Coil (2 coils & 2 points) dist., 3.70 diff. and 3 sp trans.   After 1st year college, I had engine rebuilt at Sykes Machine in Alex. (used his reground cam), bored 1/8 to 348-in AND custom ported, and with later year  (w/ larger valves) Olds heads (bought from wash post custom car parts add - were hand ported, not commercially made).

Then put engine in 55 Chev 2-dr w/ 4sp Olds hydro-matic trans (was the hot trans then - think/recall B&M Trans); had 4.56! diff.  Engine mounted 12 in (~ 10% wheel base) back - adjusted dist. thru glove box. (not much of a firewall!) Had Angela bucket seats, bare metal floor, battery behind passenger seat, Sun tach sheet--metal screwed to dash, 2"  gauges in vertical flat part of dash.  Car did ~ 30 mph @ 6k rpm in first gear, and with throttle linkage to trans shift pressure lever set high, car would leap when 1-2 shift and 2-3 shift. I sold car about 1 yr later to unknown (to me)  friend of cousin (knew a good deal - rebuilt engine w/ maybe < 5k miles)

Now back to this manifold (similar to the one pictured above). Olds stock heads had ~ 1/2 in divider between pairs of intake ports. My ported heads had this divider ground down to knife edge. My original 6 carb log manifold (bought new) had this 1/2 in divider on the intake ports. I removed the divider to better fit the modified heads. Now - look at the pic of manifold intake port - no divider and can see faint remainder of divider. What are the odds that this is the same manifold-carb setup I once owned? It is for 49-58 Olds with custom ported heads (i.e no divider)  How many 6 carb 54 Olds  engines w/ custom ported heads w/o divider were there?  kinda unique.

More to this story later about car fire/explosion when carb drain plug came loose and insurance co. looked at car.) ~George


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