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Projects Lap The World in a 1950 Olds 88

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Erik Andersen, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome to "Lap the World", a project to acquire a 1950 Olds 88 - chosen because of its iconic history and proven long distrance raceworthiness - and to restore/modify it as some amalgam of a period custom, a 1950-53 Carrera Panamericana competitor, and a 1949-55 NASCAR racer. Some of my inspirations are in my album called (unbelievably) 'Inspirations'.
    All that is for the purpose of doing a series of endurance rallies taking it and pilots from NYC to LA in August 2017 ('Dustball 3000' ), then Melbourne, Australia and up the East Coast to Cape York (just cruising), Singapore to Mandalay in early 2018, then finally Peking to Paris along the Silk Road in 2019 (both Endurance Rally Association events). Join the dots and its a Lap of the World.

    Step one is to get the base vehicle, which I have recently done in Florida, and the car is waiting transport to Texas where it will be torn down and blasted to see what we are working with - cue nervous pucker! The 'as is' photos are also in an album.
    Hopefully I will be able to call on lots of help and information in HAMB to get the car we are going to need, in the state it needs to be in.
  2. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 28,580

    Jalopy Joker

    Wow! quite the adventure - have seen other posts from previous years
  3. Thanks.
    Long long way to go in every sense - but if we keep taking enough baby steps, for long enough, then we'll make it!
    Pinstriper40 likes this.
  4. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,862


    Epic plan. Hope you can pull it off.

  5. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,286


    :D Is this gonna be one of those around the world in 90 days type of adventure?I`m in.Head em up and move em out.;)
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
  6. Willy_P
    Joined: Mar 19, 2011
    Posts: 762


    My brother (R.I.P. ) was a huge early fifties Olds fan - the body was like art deco, so sculpured.
    This is a cool one, and a video from inside to get your adrenalin pumping.

    View attachment 3238032

    Attached Files:

  7. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,306

    from Quincy, IL

    ^^^^^^^^^WOW!! Just WOW!! :eek: Thanks for posting this video :D

  8. Willy_P
    Joined: Mar 19, 2011
    Posts: 762


    I forgot to add the car description.

    Pinstriper40 and phantompjcoupe like this.
  9. donno
    Joined: Feb 28, 2015
    Posts: 425


    I have lusted for a 50 Old's my entire life.
    Pinstriper40 and mkebaird like this.
  10. That was one fun ride!
  11. Thanks everyone:
    That particular car is incredbile, but not the direction I'm going. The current iteration of the Carrera allows basically full-on race cars with full race modern chassis from people like Art Morrison or even space-frames, and then modern full-race engines. I think I read somewhere that that particular car has something like 650 hp or about 5 times the original! Fantastic, but not for me.

    I'm aiming for period-correct and for me I will only have Olds major components unless they were used by Olds racers at the time like the Caddy/Lasalle manual box; and I'll probably have some sort of arbitrary cut-off such as only using the series one block that ran from '49 1/2 to '53 - though I do rather hanker after the J-2 setup that was an option in '57 & '58 on basically the same block. The ERA warns that chasing horsepower for their events is a mistake because it is reliability in no-where land which counts. The very poor fuel in many places I'll pass through is a limiting factor and I don't want to be parked on the side of the Gobi Desert wishing I'd listened to their warning that compression should be limited to around 7:1 or tops 8:1 only if we can retard the ignition because the fuel has such a low octane rating. For the ERA events there are some raced sections but they aren't the main game.

    A '50 88 NASCAR/Panamericana/HotRod is going to kill it!
    jakespeed63, Willy_P and Hnstray like this.
  12. I think you're right on about the Cad LaSalle gear box. I'd be a little afraid of an old 4 speed hydro on that trip.
    Moondog13 likes this.
  13. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,688

    from vail az

    That's a long drive through some vacant desolate property.
    I'm in.
  14. ugliefrance
    Joined: Jan 25, 2009
    Posts: 64


    Hi Erik.
    Its not as hard as you think. Fuel wasn't a scarce as you are told and for me seemed to be ok. But I did fit a 35 gallon tank,plus a Jerry can and I was running a diesel motor. Thats said I went through fuel and air filters at a crazy rate. But may have just changed them more regularly to be on the safe side. Roads where ok but if it rained that changed fast. Went through a few tyres as well. It was a long time ago since I did it, 20 years. So loads will have changed. But good luck and have fun. Christ I know I did
    firstinsteele and jakespeed63 like this.
  15. Don't know about this driving round the world thing, I'm having enough trouble trying to get the car from Florida to Dallas on the back of a truck!
    I spoke with our driver, Dennis, and he informed me that on Wednesday he called to schedule loading of the car for Thursday. He was informed by the gentleman at [Some Place That Will Remain Nameless] that the car was having some electrical problems but should have the car for Dennis later on Thursday. Dennis called to arrange pickup for Thursday but was told that Friday would be better. Dennis then called on Friday to set up loading for later that day and was told that the car was running, but ran out of gas while on test drive. They set up to load that afternoon around 3:00 and 4:00. Dennis gets there at 3:30 and the gentleman at [SPTWRN] was not there. Dennis waited till after 4:00 until the gentleman arrived and then the gentleman had o turn and get gas for the car. Once car had gas, the car would not start. They thought it had something to do with the fuel pump after looking at the car for an hour or so. The gentleman at [SPTWRN] told Dennis sorry and that car would not load until the car is running. So our driver left.
  16. kiwijeff and jakespeed63 like this.
  17. A bit about Lap the World. About 19,000 miles.
    Stage 1 -America: NYC to LA with Dustball 3000
    Stage 2 -Australia: Most is just a cruise from the Southern tip up the East Coast of the continent on a good but boring highway system. The last 600 miles will be after another round of prepping for tougher conditions. Plenty of videos on the net about the road from Cairns to Cape York, the Northern tip of Australia and here's a random one.
    Stage 3 -South East Asia: Early 2018 the ERA 'Singapore to Saigon' rally. The ERA's video for the 2015 Road to Mandalay event
    Stage 4 - The Big One; "Peking to Paris" across Eurasia: Probably 2019, but whenever ERA decides to do it next! Follow the 2016 rally on ERA'swebsite , and here's another random YouTube video; this time from 2010 ;

    If the vision is fulfilled we will end with champagne on the Arc de Triumphe!

    P.S. If any of the Internet vids are yours and you object to them being linked let me know and I'll swap it out.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
    jakespeed63, Moondog13 and Hnstray like this.
  18. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,613

    Rusty O'Toole

    If you are going for a completely stock chassis and suspension, one weak point was the front spindles or spindle supports. In early stock car racing they often failed, with the front wheel breaking completely off the car.

    Not sure when this was corrected but pretty sure it was before 1951. Early Olds experts should be aware of this. If they changed to a heavier front suspension between 1949 and 1951, this is why.
  19. BORA
    Joined: Mar 11, 2012
    Posts: 1

    from Austria

    Great Plan to take a 50 Olds to lap the world !
    I am in progress to finish one of my 2 54 Olds 88 coupes to attend the Mile Miglia, probably in 2017 or 2018.
    I bought the first of them in 1988 and drove it > 150.000 miles. Now it´s undergoing a frame off resto.
    Super reliable and strong cars. Even when stock.
    Attached some "related" pictures. A 1949 Olds "Buck Baker" recreation built in Austria at the largest Austrian vintage rallye, the "Ennstal-Classic" in 2014. I attended with my 50 Pontiac.
    And a picture of starting number 1 at the Ennstal-Classic 2015. An 1917 American La France which. The team completed the Peking to Paris in 2013 with the same car. In 2016 I have been there with my 39 Lincoln.
    Good luck for your project !
    Otto 1949 Olds Buck Baker recreation at Ennstal Classic 2014 kompr.jpg 1950 Pontiac Otto  Ennstal Classic 2014 1.jpg American La France Tourer  1917 at Ennstal-Classic 2015.jpg 1939 Lincoln K Otto Ennstal-Classic 2015.jpg
  20. Asphalt Outlaw Hero
    Joined: Dec 9, 2006
    Posts: 973

    Asphalt Outlaw Hero
    from Dixie

    I've always been enamored with this type of rallying. Years ago there was a TV special on Bejing-Paris rally. Real variety of cars. Volvos are the real tickets but that's not the subject here.
    Engines, simple is better. I try to set up everything to run on regular. Multi carbs? Multi headaches! 3 speed manual is wise. Suspension will get the best work out. I'd put a lot of focus here. In some third world countries, you'll see some very innovative wrenches. I've been following Team Xena on Facebook. They flipped in Mongolia. A day and some locals with jacks and you could barely tell the difference! Big engines are good (except for fuel). No substitute for cubic inches ! Great idea for a trip!
  21. Wayne67vert
    Joined: Feb 23, 2012
    Posts: 121


    I saw this thread referenced in Hemmings today. Great story. Following.
  22. speedster47
    Joined: Dec 4, 2010
    Posts: 5

    from california

  23. speedster47
    Joined: Dec 4, 2010
    Posts: 5

    from california

    Hi Eric, I have been building a 1950 88 Coupe in Berkeley Ca. for a few years now. It has a1957 Olds Posi, 4 speed muncie on the column, a 303 with 1956 #10 heads and edmunds 2/2 carbs. Tube shocks, all around etc. speedster47
  24. cr
    Joined: Mar 7, 2006
    Posts: 64

    from scottsdale

    Small World, All the best, know the Rockets, will help any way I can.
    My Rocket, track, rallies, cruising.

    Photos of my Rocket have just be uploaded.

    Attached Files:

  25. Thanks everyone, I'm pretty blown away by the fact that Hemmings has picked up our little story - thanks for that.
    There's a few things I've got out of people's different comments and I'll take them on board, and may be back with questions.

    Rusty, thanks for the tip on the spindles - I've seen some photos of various cars with their noses plowed into the sand at Daytona though I can't remember if they were 88s. I've just received my members directory from National Antique Oldsmobile Club and I'll definitely be asking guys with the same model if they have had the problem. cr, speedster or bora - have you come across or heard of this or have any other suggestions as to weak points. My thinking had been to box the chassis if it doesn't take too much metal or add too much weight, and maybe strengthen the X-member or replace the c-section there with an I-beam as I believe is in the convertible. Having a roll cage will also give a bit more stiffness. Cr - with your cage do you have any that?

    Bora, you weren't the '54 owner trying to get into MM featured in the Fantomworks episode were you? Weirdly a friend told me yesterday about the episode and I found it is airing on a cable channel at 2.30 tomorrow morning so I'll record it but won't get a chance to watch it for a week or two. Getting into the MM is a really tough gig and I don't think the '49.5-'52 series are eligible and chapeau to you for having a go. The replica of the 87 Buck Baker car is also interesting because I've been really confused if the original was a fastback (as the Austrian one appears to be) or a coupe. I've seen a number of pictures of the supposedly 'genuine' original but some are fastback and some are not (including 2 different versions apparently in the museum at Darlington!!! The Austrian version just adds to my confusion because it isn't the same as either of the so-called Darlington cars because of the round vents in the hood. Aaarrgghh

    Great to hear from all the fellow owners, and I hope you all don't mind me PMing you as I've got a zillion questionss and more every day!

    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  26. Looks like a great adventure, but I'm feeling a little left out, :D
    Why not pop over from Aussy and do a trip up the number one or two best scenic drives in the world.
    The West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand sure ain't boring, I took a cruise up there a week or so back. IMG_20160619_113912.jpg
  27. ugliefrance
    Joined: Jan 25, 2009
    Posts: 64


    Here's a picture of my old roadster when I decided I wanted to have a drive about the planet. In the middle of Siberia heading down to Mongolia and China. Probably not the beat choice of vehicle but I had a blast Scan 6.jpeg
  28. cr
    Joined: Mar 7, 2006
    Posts: 64

    from scottsdale

    Regarding spindles braking. I don't know of that happening, but I do know of the lower control arm bending or braking, easy to gusset. A neat trick is to use 55 Pontiac lower control arms and spindles. That way you get ball joints vs king pin. If you want to be sly you adapt to the stock upper nee-action to the upper ball joint. Not many would figure this out. It is easy to go to disk brakes with this setup. The idler arm tie rod set up does have some bump steer problems. A rack and pinion is the hot set up, but getting right is a challenge.
  29. Jeff
    As it happens I'm a Kiwi too. I seriously thought about fitting in a Lap of NZ as it is such a great place for car touring because of the small distances, changing scenery and great people; but the timing killed the idea. When I tried to work out shipping in to NZ and then out again, organising a carnet de passage and the general time issue between finishing the Dustball in LA in Sept '17, getting the car to Oz (and all the rego stuff) and up the coast to Cairns then the work to prep it for more rugged roads and a shakedown trip to Cape York all in time to ship it to Singapore for Jan '18 I just couldn't see how to fit NZ in :(.
    Actually its double sad face because I've got a mate in Queenstown who has both a Cobra and one of the new Mustangs with the top-level power pack addition and I was Really looking forward to playing with those!
    kiwijeff likes this.
  30. Ugliefrance - that is a killer photo!!

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