1967- Oldsmobile and Buick Divisions

 While the Pontiac Division was trying to make its mark against the General Motors flagship franchise of Chevrolet, Oldsmobile was working on capturing a piece of the Muscle Car game as well.  Their shot into the midsize Muscle Car battle was of course the 442.  They further upped the ante by producing a version with an option called the W30 motor.  This started what would become somewhat of a legend in “Muscle” circles as the lexicon would now include “W-Machines”.  Some W30’s were made in 1966 as well but there were 502 built for the 1967 model year.

The trademark thing to spot on a genuine W30 is its front fender liners which would be red in color.  All also came with “Outside Air Intake”, which is known as OAI in “Muscle” jargon.  For the 1967 model they brought the air into the hoses feeding the carburetor from around the headlights.  In the following couple years it was a rough cut hole down under the bumper area.

The W30 got less sound and body insulation and all were built in Lansing Michigan which would be a “M” in the 7th place of the VIN.  VIN means “Vehicle Identification Number” which means the serial number that is displayed on a metal tag riveted to the car.

If you find the build sheet or a window sticker with the vehicles options it should say the vehicle has the L78 engine option, to be genuine as a W30.

Here is a photo of the engine compartment.

Notice the chrome air cleaner.

The Oldsmobile Toronado continued on with a fair amount of changes to its front appearance. It was still a front wheel drive car as it would continue to be going forward.  The 425 engine was rated as 385 horsepower which was not bad for a luxury model at the time.

For those who read my post about the Pontiac Banshee prototype here is a rear view photo of the Toronado so you know what I was referring to.

The styling of vehicles may have evolved slowly but rarely did cars merely change just the tail lights for an upgrade from year to year.  Modern styling seems to keep a body design around well past the time when manufacturers need to change a vehicles personality.

 Then we come to the Buick Division of General Motors.

 The Buick GS400 got freshened as well as the rest of the intermediates at GM.  Buick was not then, nor in future years a division to build overly flashy cars.  Almost everything about the Buick Muscle Cars was understated with the exception of the future GSX model.  But that is for another day. 

 The one oddity with Buick was their futuristic air cleaner however.  Today it is called the “Star Wars” air cleaner and you can see why, but in the time when it was made, it was just a fancy way of getting air to the carb to feed the 400 cubic inch engine.

Davey Boy


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One Response to “1967- Oldsmobile and Buick Divisions”

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