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Technical Early Olds Engine Colors

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Rusk, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. I dug around the net and didn't find much....wondering what colors were offered for the early Olds engines? I'm familiar with the greens for the 303 and 324 and the gold for the 371, but I've seen a bunch of others. Were they all just repainted?

    I've seen a lot of red ones. My '54 324...

    [​IMG]

    I'm also wondering what the correct rocker cover colors are for the '49/50 303's. Most I've seen are green, silver, or gold...like this pair I have...

    [​IMG]

    And what about the plug wire separators and lettering?

    If there isn't already a thread like this somewhere, maybe this will become a guide for the Rocketeers out there. Please post up whatever info you have...pics would be great too.
     
  2. 60rftc
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 75

    60rftc
    Member
    from LBC

    Can't help you with the lettering and rocker covers but check out Bill Hirsch engine enamels. The drop down lists a few of the Olds colors starting at 1928 I think. I would guess you are correct in thinking your 324 is a repaint. My 64' 394 is red but Hirsch doesn't list red for some reason even though I know it was an original color for the Starfire that year.

    From Olds F.A.Q. website="These engines were produced between 1949 to 1964 in 303, 324, 371, 394 CID. On 1959-1963 engines, the 371 has gold valve covers, and the 394 has green valve covers."

    CID Years Bore Stroke Series Color
    303 '49 - '53 3.750 3.4375
    324 '54 - '56 3.875 3.4375 7, 8, 9
    371 '57 - '58 4.000 3.6875 7, 8, 9
    371 '59 - '60 4.000 3.6875 7 Gold
    371 '61 - '63 4.000 3.6875
    394 '59 - '60 4.125 3.6875 8, 9 Green
    394 '61 - '63 4.125 3.6875 2, 5, 8 Hi-comp Red; Lo-comp Green
    394 '64 4.125 3.6875 4
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  3. GOATROPER02
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,059

    GOATROPER02
    Member
    from OHIO

    They used a red on the 59-60 2 barrel 371's

    Rusk....

    The green engines with gold covers and alum looms were 1949 only......
    Green engine with green covers and gold looms 1950 only


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
    Paul likes this.
  4. spacecowboy81
    Joined: Dec 9, 2012
    Posts: 68

    spacecowboy81
    Member

    I can help you with this! I went through it over a year ago on my '49 by doing CSI like investigating. I settled on Bill Hirsch paint for the engine and transmission block and heads and intake. Its all supposed to be green. Bill Hirsch website has a guide that tells you which green to get and you can get it in single stage in a quart can or a spray can. : ) The difference on the valve covers from 49 to 50 is the 1949s are gold with natural metal color wire holddowns and red lettering just like in your picture. The 1950s are the same green color as the engine with gold painted wire holddowns and red lettering. I did enough digging to be certain of this and if you find pictures of other combinations on the web its because someone else mixed and matched! By the way, the '49 valve covers in your photo look to be the exact shade of gold that I ended up using. I bought a can of gold from Bill Hirsch but it wasn't the right one - way too tan. So I went to Pep Boys and bought a can of gold metallic high heat paint and it came out so close the correct color no one would know. I'll have to post a photo of my finished engine so you can see. Glad someone else is doing theirs original. : )
     
    Jim the Sweep likes this.
  5. Thanks for all the info!

    It's details like these that a lot of those sites, even the ones with the paint codes, seem to miss.

    Here's color I see a lot on 303's...

    [​IMG]

    That's pretty much the plan for the 324 going in my '36. The idea is to try to emulate those guys that went to the junkyards and pulled the Caddy and Olds motors out of new wrecked cars for their hotrods and customs. It might get my 4-barrell intake or the 4x2, but I want the color to look right. This is the rattle can from Fusick...

    [​IMG]

    I'm not a stickler though...here's a couple obvious repaints that I dig...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Spacecowboy....post yours when you have a chance. If anyone else has some for reference or just to show off, don't be shy!
     
    Jim the Sweep and LOU WELLS like this.
  6. Koz
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,729

    Koz
    Member

    Fryguy on here, who is really up on these told me the valve covers on '56 324's were silver. The only year they did that.

    Just thought I'd add that to the fray.
     
  7. GOATROPER02
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,059

    GOATROPER02
    Member
    from OHIO


    Ive had at least 15 untouched 56 engines in here and all of them had green covers
     
  8. Both my 55 and 56 Olds 324s were green from the factory.
     
  9. spacecowboy81
    Joined: Dec 9, 2012
    Posts: 68

    spacecowboy81
    Member

    Here it is as far as I've gotten so far. It's got some dust on it too.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Price Barton
    Joined: Sep 28, 2015
    Posts: 5

    Price Barton

    My 53 has a blue motor with no emblems on the valve covers
     
  11. GOATROPER02
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,059

    GOATROPER02
    Member
    from OHIO

    1959 had light greenish blue............NEVER in 53........... also 53 covers are die stamped with "Oldsmobile Rocket" with 3 ribs on each end

    Maybe someone has put a later engine in your car..... does it have center bolt valve covers or perimeter bolts?
     
  12. Is there any way to tell around what years this olds engine is? ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1454350265.656287.jpg this is the only picture i could take unfortunately and its 5 hours away. I ask because its in a family members barn and he said its mine for the taking.
     
    Marty Strode likes this.
  13. spacecowboy81
    Joined: Dec 9, 2012
    Posts: 68

    spacecowboy81
    Member

    I think I'm seeing that dark green on the valve cover like a 1950..
     
  14. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 10,082

    BJR
    Member

    Ever wonder why there are fake valve covers to make a 350 look like an Olds, but no fake 350 covers to make an Olds look like a 350?
     
    oldandjaded likes this.
  15. could be 49-50 303 if someone has not changed the covers over the years.
     
  16. Ok so if the valve covers are infact original to this motor then its the early 303. Just the answer i wanted to hear, thanks guys!!
     
  17. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 9,228

    mgtstumpy
    Member

  18. Dago 88
    Joined: Mar 4, 2006
    Posts: 2,318

    Dago 88
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I believe this is a '49 engine. 1571_1.jpeg
     
  19. Old post, I know. But is that a Carter 714s carb on top of that motor?
     
  20. spacecowboy81
    Joined: Dec 9, 2012
    Posts: 68

    spacecowboy81
    Member

  21. Hmm. Not sure on those numbers. It looks like this, right?

    CarterWGD-49Rocket-200.jpg
     
  22. Stephen McGovern
    Joined: Jun 6, 2022
    Posts: 13

    Stephen McGovern
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

     
  23. ROADSTER1927
    Joined: Feb 14, 2009
    Posts: 3,166

    ROADSTER1927
    Member

    I prefer Purple and chrome LOL Gary cold or wet.jpg
     
  24. Supposedly the 303 I have came out of an original restored '50 Olds.
    IMG_4392.JPG
     
  25. Early Olds must be green, just like early SBC must be Chevy orangish red.
     

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