1958OLDSMOBILE Automobile

19 Фев 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 1958OLDSMOBILE Automobile отключены
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Oldsmobile Alero Review

Following a string of truly forgettable small-car efforts in the 1980s and 90s, Oldsmobile celebrated its centennial anniversary by introducing the all-new Alero to compete with the popular and well-established import competition of the day. While it failed to truly capture the hearts and minds of consumers or chalk up many conquest sales, Olds small car story ended on an upbeat note with a stylish and decently designed effort.

Available as a sedan or coupe, the Oldsmobile Alero was considered by most to be a sporty-looking car thanks to its bulging wheelwells, sleek greenhouse, fluted side panels and large jewellike taillights. The front-drive Alero was also relatively entertaining to drive. Buyers could choose four-cylinder or V6 power.

Initially, the Alero came with an automatic transmission only, but a five-speed manual eventually made an appearance.

Handling was nicely balanced and braking was strong. Inside, an artfully designed two-tone dash faced comfortable front seats that were firm and supportive. All controls were easy to see and use, with large knobs and buttons.

Unfortunately, all-around refinement didn t match that of the leading imports.

The phase-out of the Oldsmobile brand spelled the end for the Alero. For a shopper interested in an affordable used coupe or sedan from the early 2000s, the Oldsmobile Alero should do nicely as long as one is aware of the car s faults and lame-duck heritage. Service can be handled at select GM dealerships you might want to focus on Pontiac, as the Alero was mechanically similar to the Grand Am.

Most Recent Oldsmobile Alero

The Oldsmobile Alero debuted in 1999 as a replacement for the slow-selling Achieva. Coupe and sedan body styles were offered, as were three main trim levels: entry-level GX, midgrade GL and top-line GLS. GX and GL models came standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that made 150 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque.

Optional on GL and standard on GLS was a 3.4-liter V6 that made 170 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission choice at the time was a four-speed automatic.

Incremental improvements saw it through the next several years. A year after the car s debut, Olds offered a sport-tuned suspension package for the GL. For 2001, an optional five-speed manual transmission became available on four-cylinder models, and the car s antilock braking system was updated. If you re looking at four-cylinder Aleros, take note that for 2002 Oldsmobile replaced the 2.4-liter engine with a quieter and more fuel-efficient 2.2-liter engine.

It made 140 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque.

Inside, we found the Oldsmobile Alero offered a user-friendly control layout and seats that were generally comfortable though materials quality throughout was a step or two behind that of competing imports; even the leather in the GLS looked and felt too much like vinyl. For those with lots to carry, though, both the coupe and sedan offered a generous 14.6 cubic feet of trunk capacity.

Although neither engine was particularly quiet, the four-cylinder provided adequate power in most situations while the V6 delivered spirited performance. The Alero s suspension tuning was firm and allowed some fun around twists and turns, yet ride quality remained smooth enough to make the Olds suitable for weekday commuting. The steering offered little in the way of road feel, however, and the brakes were strong but could be difficult to modulate due to an overly stiff pedal.

Hurst Hairy Olds

Hurst Hairy Olds is the name given to a pair of exhibition funny cars  campaigned by Hurst Performance  in 1966 and 1967.

Developed with help from General Motors  engineer John Beltz. the Hurst Hairy Olds was built to be a showcase for the then-new chain-driven automatic transaxle of the 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado  as well as a rival to the Hurst Hemi Under Glass. There were doubts in the automotive press as to the strength of such a system; the Hairy Olds was designed to dispel these doubts.

The car debuted at a meet in Bakersfield, California  on March 4, 1966. Driven by Joe Schubeck. the Hurst Hairy Olds began as a fully trimmed and later upholstered Oldsmobile 442  in body in white (BIW)  form. Hurst installed not one but two 425 in³ (7 L) Oldsmobile engines and Toronado transaxles both front and rear; a pair of drag parachutes were mounted in the stock taillight positions and four-wheel disc brakes were fitted as well. Two engines meant two of virtually everything in the cockpit related to the operation of the car, including two cable-operated shifters, two tachometers, two sets of oil pressure and temperature gauges and even two accelerator pedals. Additional power was provided via a Cragar Equipment -modified 6-71 GMC  supercharger atop each engine, each burning a blend of nitromethane  and alcohol.

Weight was reduced through the use of aluminum body components and plexiglass  windows. The result was a 2400-horsepower, four-wheel-drive exhibition drag racer which smoked its front and rear tires down the length of the race track with times in the eleven-second range.

Although the drive chains held up admirably, the car was not without its problems. The tremendous amount of power at the front wheels caused massive torque steer. resulting in difficulty in keeping the car in a straight line. The rear engine contributed to unloading of the front wheels, which in turn caused the front engine to overspeed.

Visibility was poor as well due to tire smoke from both ends of the car. This coupled with engine oil spray out of the valve cover breathers because of the pressure of the superchargers.

A second Hurst Hairy Olds was built in 1967, but was wrecked during an exhibition race in Niagara, New York .

The 1967 car was the subject of one of the most popular model kits  of the 1960s, a 1/24 version produced by Monogram. [1]

The 1966 car presently resides at the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum  in Lansing, Michigan ; [2]  the wrecked 1967 car was shipped back to Hurst Performance and dismantled.

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