Car Collector Chronicles
Volume VI, Issue 3 Ca s March 2013

• Car Collecting Today • Classic Rides • Reports From the Field • Oldsmobile (1897-2004) • Cadillac (1902- ) • Allanté (1987-1993)

High RPMs
Last month I referenced the “dog days of winter.” It sure seemed like I was shoveling snow daily in early Feb. Hopefully, for those who live in the northern tier of states that is now behind us? Did you notice the clickable link symbol (◄) introduced last month? I hope you will find it useful? It points to a link for some of my meanderings, or at the very least, access to more info on topics that may be of interest to you. Staying on the subject of the internet, let’s talk about the The loved/hated Facebook®. plain truth of the matter is, I do not understand what the big deal is here? I must be missing something? CCC® does have a Facebook page. ◄ It has been online for a while. Even so, it has received all of 2 likes? What I see on Facebook® is the younger generation posting trite comments on just about anything and everthing. I also see a boatload of advertising via use of this social medium. Evidently, my attempts there to spread the word and attract prospective readers has widely missed the mark? Or, could it be that the car colector crowd is not big on using Facebook®?” Notwithstanding the PR failure via Facebook, I am able to report that our monthly readership figures seem to be steadily on the increase. That is good, nay vital as it gives me incentive to keep plugging away. I have to tell you, some months it is hard to put an issue together. I will also tell you that this is one of those months. Ordinarily, I try to have the newsletter put to bed well in advance of the publishing deadline. Well, I am here typing on 28 Feb! A new Cadillac site has surfaced on the net. The focus here is on 1949-1960 wintage Cadillac. You will find the site at Mid Century Cadillacs. ◄

• Corvair (1960-1969)

◄ = Clickable Link


GDYNets On the Web Olds Toro Tales


The site is run by Lou Commisso. Lou is a Cad fanatic, a member of the Cadillac-LaSalle Club, the Cadill-Ikes Chapter and also the blog master of a 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz blog site. ◄ Check his offerings out. - Stay warm & enjoy your ride(s)!




GDYNets® on the Web
Find GDYNets on the web:
SAVED 62: A website devoted
CCC® -THE FORUM ◄-A web site to discuss the newsletter, the hobby and our cars. Car Collector Chronicles ◄ Saved 62 ◄-Our 1962 Olds convertible, Ransom Eli Olds and things Oldsmobile related web site. The Gray Lady ◄-1955 Cadillac Coupé de Ville web site. to our 1962 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 convertible. The site also has a lot of information on Oldsmobile cars and the company founder, Ransom Eli Olds. DAVE’S DEN: ◄-A site devoted to a myriad of interests. Foremost is extensive information on the “Steel City” of Gary, IN. There are also offerings on steel making, U.S. Steel-Gary Works, U.S. Marine Corps, M14 assault rifle, of course Oldsmobile, and the tragic story of the murder of Gary, IN Police Lt. George Yaros.

Humor on Wheels


CCC® Forum EMail:

THE GRAY LADY: This website features our 1955 Cadillac Coupé de Ville, lots of Caddy information and an extensive repair library.

OldsD88@gmail.com ◄

Car Collector Chronicles

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Olds Toronado Tales
When I stumbled upon this item, it came as an interesting surprise to me. When I made mention of it on a forum I frequent folks brushed me off with a “Don’t bother me with old news/ancient history” type of statement. In the hopes that it may not be “old news” to those who are not Oldsmobile diehards, I present the following: Grant MacCoon, the owner of Grant Piston Rings, because he had the money, wanted to and was able to do so, commissioned the building of a twin engine 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado. ◄ The car has two side by side gas pedals to control both engines. It also has two ignition switches and two ignition keys. The two engines had a combined 850 c.i. and 770 h,p. It appears that this car was sold in 2007 for the sum of $75K? The cost to build it in 1966 was $40K. Evidently, Grant Piston Ring Co. was not the only one to acquire a unique Toro. John Gorman, a mechanic for Indy car racer Jerry Grant and a member of the build team for the Grant Piston Ring car, decided to build one for himself. Outward appearance wise, it looked like a factory built Toro. Gorman incorporated a few tweaks and refinements, learned whille building the Grant Piston Ring car. The second verson did not have sidebyside gas pedals or dual ignition switches. What it did have was more horsepower, getting 850 h.p. out of the same 850 cubic inches of engine capacity. It also sports a functional trunk, which the Grant Piston Ring car did not It gets a little mind boggling when one starts to think about the engineering involved in the creation of such a monster. There are 2 engines and two transmissions, but only 1 gas tank. See and hear this car run on YouTube®. ◄ The two drivetrains may be operated independently of one another, if so desired. How do the two engines and transmissions work together, instead of fighting one another? Drag racer Tommy Ivo proved it could be done with is multi-engine dragsters. That it is possible does not mean it is easy to do. It appears the Gorman car is available for purchase. Evidently, it was offered on and did not sell. Now a gent by the name of Run Susser is offering it for $64K. http://www.ronsusser.com/inventory.htm?id=1530. ◄ Last, but by no means least is the “Terrifying Toronado,” owned and driven by John Smyser. It too is a 1966 vintage Toro. It once turned 183 M.P.H. in the quarter mile. The key word in that last sentence being “once.” The front supercharged engine delivered power to the front 10-inch-wide Casler slicks on Halibrand wheels through the conventional Toronado automatic transmission and differential. The rear-seat-mounted second engine used a dual-disc clutch and a Schiefer aluminum flywheel to funnel power via direct drive to a conventional Olds rear end. For race purposes it was classified as an “Exhibition” vehicle. Sanctioning bodies had no idea what it was, or where to place it,

“[T]he ‘Terrifying Toronado,’ … once turned 183 M.P.H. in the quarter mile. The key word in that last sentence being “once.”

Car Collector Chronicles

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Olds Toronado Tales—Cont’d.

The “Terrifying Toronado” lived up to its name, scaring the bejeebes out of both spectators and the driver. Smyser took her for its maiden run at Irwindale (CA) Speedway. Smyser lost control early, with the car first darting left for the centerline, then hooking up hard and plunging back to the right, into and over the guardrail. As the photos show, it didn’t make it much farther than the guardrail and fell comfortably short of the chain-link fence separating the fans from the track. A rather auspicious first outing, to say the least! But this turn of events was not enough to deter Smyser. He did, sometime in 1967, manage to keep the wheels on the paved asphalt for the length of a run and turn the aforementioned 183 M.P.H. quarter mile speed. After the successful run, the “Terrifying Toronado” went into retirement.

“Think of it as the Augusta National Golf Club of auto restorers and you will not be far off.”

SITEings is a literary vehicle I shall use to bring you interesting finds off the net. What is unique or interesting about the site shall be discussed. Of course, a link shall be provided. For our first offering we present the American Classic Professional Restorers Organiztion (ACPRO) web site. ◄ Unique because it is not a mere web site. It is a club. But it is not just any club. It is an exclusive club for automobile restorers. Unlike most clubs, the cost of membership is up there. Think of it as the Augusta National Golf Club for auto restorers and you will not be far off. Operating on the theory of “if you have to ask how much, you probably cannot afford to be a member,” references are to membership “levels,” not fees. Three tiers of membership are offered. The intermediate level may be the Continental. This is for the individual with the requisite knowledge and skills to perform their own restoration work. -If I have all that, why do I need to become a member of ACPRO, I wonder? At any rate, here is the official characterization of this level membership:

Car Collector Chronicles

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The Continental: Is an ideal level for those who are hands on, have a good income, and could afford to pay for most of the benefits, however, since they are capable of performing certain aspects of the process ACPRO offers to the Continental Level the ability to barter with the club labor for benefits. In this category you can present a proposal of competency in a specific area or in several, the club has a compensation chart exchange which enables the member to acquire certain benefits from The Imperial level, while extracts the satisfaction of the Sport Level, by participating in the building process of all cars restored. For more details go to Members and click on The Continental One may presume that the intended use of the phrase “have a good income” is to fend off potential inquiries from shade tree mechanic types? Even if you have the bucks, that alone is not sufficient to assure admittance to the club. What can you do for the club is the question to be answered here. You answer that with your “proposal of competency.” There is a Sport level of membership. It is presented as being ideal for members who are limited with discretionary income. Nonetheless, they posses a great level of mechanical abilities and would love to take on a second job to afford the cost of a classic car. Such individuals are graciously extended the privilege of “exchanging production for club benefits;” viz. contribute to all members’ projects in the capacity that you demonstrate a high skill. I read that to say you do our dirty work, and we will let you mingle with the high and the mighty? The membership level descriptions are so artfully crafted that I am having trouble ascertaining which is entry level and which is intermediate. It seems to me that the Sport level would be the entry level for this group. It does appear that the top of the pecking order is the Imperial level? Admittance to this level confers the right to “enjoy all aspect of the club.” Imperial members may participate in management decisions, at his/her election. It is also the only level where one may purchase ACPRO bonds at a minimum of $10,000.00. Another provided explanation of membership levels states: We currently have a limited 500 car registrations available for 2013 at this time The first level lets you restore your car with the tools and equipment that we have in our warehouse/shop. The second level is for our members to have their cars restored by our remanufacturing facility The third level is for members to learn while they participate in one of the craftsman 'Training Certification Program' as a collaborator in the project. The ACPRO mission statement proclaims that it is “an exclusive car club for members only.” -Gee, aren’t most car clubs limited to members only? It claims it strives to “provide a friendly environment for members to work on project cars.” It also host meetings and gatherings for members to “meet up and network.” Lastly, per the mission statement, the organization furnishes “access to our shop which houses tools and equipment needed for the restoration of cars.” The total absence in the mission statement of any reference to an educational purpose of the organization tells me this is indeed intended to be a profit making enterprise. From what I am able to learn, the organization is located in Marietta, GA. It is going to hold its grand opening in May of this year. It is not listed with the BBB. All-in-all, it makes for an interesting enterprise. It is definitely worth your time in terms of taking an online look. Should anyone know, or learn, more about the ACPRO, do share it with your fellow CCC® readers. Thanks!

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Humor on Wheels

– Ok, I’ve had my say for the month. Now it’s your turn! I invite/encourage submission of your comments, opinions and article contributions. I also ask that you please help spread the word about our publication. Everything sent shall indeed be reviewed by me. Submissions should be sent to CCC® at OldsD88@gmail.com. –– Now that you have finished reading this month’s issue of the newsletter, come start/ join an ongoing dialog with other CCC® readers and like-minded car collector folk on the CCC® Forum. Stop by, check us out and share your views … . ______________________________________


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Who knows? It has been a rough February and I need to rest and recharge my battery!

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