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Technical THE most rare Pontiac intake ever?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by loudbang, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 14,837

    loudbang
    Member

    The car ain’t fancy, but it’s pretty sophisticated under the flip-up nose. It looked like a duck out of water at a Pontiac collectors’ convention in Wichita.


    Poncho-Powered-Stude-01.jpg

    A crude-looking ’53 Studebaker drag racing car from Iowa has its share of rust, dings, dents and paint flaws, but under its hood is a one-of-a-kind Pontiac intake manifold that has some very sophisticated engineering behind it.

    Davenport, IA, resident Jim Allen has owned the Studebaker Starliner Coupe since 1959.
    It was back in 1964 that he purchased the factory experimental intake to go on the 421-cid Pontiac Super-Duty V8 nestled under the Studebaker’s hood.

    Only a small number of the prototype manifolds were made. Allen’s is thought to be the only functioning system to exist.

    Allen bought the hardware from legendary drag racer Arnie “The Farmer” Beswick. At the time, changes were taking place in the sport of drag racing that favored fuel-injected cars over carbureted cars. Beswick had also lost Pontiac support for his racing efforts after GM told its divisions to get out of racing in 1963. For one or both reasons, Beswick a popular racer who Pontiac had helped out decided it was a good idea to get rid of the “bathtub” manifold.

    This manifold was designed for two four-barrel carburetors, but also had a smaller flange between the two four-barrel carburetors for mounting a third carburetor a sidedraft style Carter single-barrel unit.

    The small carburetor was supposed to be used for idling so that the “dual-quads” could be jetted for all-out racing and not utilized when the car was idling. You can just imagine the complex linkage the Pontiac technicians devised to operate the three carburetors!

    Here you see the one-barrel Carter sidedraft carb offset between the two four-barrels. The elbow coming out of it has a chrome air cleaner on its end.

    Poncho-Powered-Stude-02.jpg

    The arrangement was so complicated that Pontiac ultimately decided the system would be too unreliable if it was offered on production cars. The handful of dual quad manifolds that were already made were fitted with a block-off plate over the third and smaller carburetor flange in the center.

    Allen did not get the complete system from Beswick. For years, he had wondered about how to set up a center carburetor to work only during the car’s idling circuit. Then, he received a call from Dimitrie Toth of Oxford, MI.

    Today, Toth is a post World War II construction equipment historian and collector, but for years, he worked at Pontiac. In fact, his father and his grandfather also worked in the Pontiac foundry from 1936 on and his father was often kidded that his initial was stamped on some rare Super-Duty engine parts. Toth had once owned a lightweight Pontiac Catalina coupe with a 421 Super-Duty engine carrying a dual quad manifold.

    The two four-barrel carbs are jetted for racing and the third carb in the center is used for the idling circuit only.

    Poncho-Powered-Stude-05.jpg

    “I’ll tell you why that manifold was designed,” Toth advised us. “First of all, they had been running two-plane manifolds combined with a 180-degree firing order for years. In ’61 or ’62, they looked at these. They were good manifolds, but they were running out of plenum and manifold length with the 421.”

    Toth explained that sometime in 1961, a man named Skip McCully came to Pontiac to work with “Mac” McKellar and some other engine engineers. “They experimented with a dual HV ram type manifold,” he noted. “Then, in Dec 1962, they put together a manifold with an idling circuit as an over-the-counter street package.” (Toth noted this manifold is pictured in Pete McCarthy’s book on Pontiac performance engines.)

    The top of this manifold had a two-plane design and other goodies. “The service engineers (who approved of it) were responsible for parts sold to dealers,” Toth said. “But, the production engines were different.”

    The engineers came up with Part No. D811690, which was an adaptor to fit between two four-barrel carburetors on top of the manifold and hold a Carter sidedraft carburetor on the driver’s side. Toth said the Carter carburetor manifold had a series of bell cranks and slides in the blueprints. “It looked impressive,” he added. “Sort of like a tri-power carburetor setup with a ram-type dual-quad intake.”

    The service engineers were impressed by the manifold’s performance, but had issues with it and the linkage system. There was no provision for an air cleaner or silencer. The setup was too high to fit under the hoods of cars that were continually getting lower. There were questions about how to run cold air in. Still, the service people (many at the time were enthusiasts) were encouraged.
    Since the Pomona Winternationals drag races were coming, they selected two Carter four-barrel carburetors to use with the manifold as well as the block-off plate for the center carburetor flange. Eighteen manifolds were manufactured, but Pontiac never made the center elbows to mount the third carburetor on.



    “A month later, in mid-January 1963, they came up with a Gen II version of the manifold,” Toth revealed. “It satisfied all the issues they had with the first design. They deleted the entire idling circuit, went to different, more tractable four-barrel carburetors and lowered the manifold so air cleaners could be fitted. Even more dramatic was a change that made provision for a water jacket for cooling. Only four ‘bathtub’ manifolds with water jackets were produced.”
    At the end of January 1963, the GM racing edict came down from top management and Pontiac’s racing program came to a dead halt. There would be no more bathtub manifolds or dual-quad manifolds. “That was in ’63,” said Dimitrie Toth. “Now, fast forward to September 2013. I go online and here’s this Studebaker on my computer that was racing at Cordova Dragway. The Studebaker has a Pontiac 421 Super-Duty V8 with a bathtub manifold with three carbs, but the third one is a Stromberg.” 4 The shiny part stamped D811699 is an adaptor that fits between the two four-barrel carbs to mount the Carter sidedraft one-barrel carb.

    Poncho-Powered-Stude-06-300x201.jpg

    Toth got into the vault in the Pontiac Engineering department where the original design was on microfiche and copied the drawings. Then, he got in touch with Allen and his crew thru Cordova Dragway. “Their Studebaker was halfway there and on the right track,” Toth admitted. From that time until about April 2014, Allen and his friends got the drawings and information from Toth and were able to put a functioning system together with a Carter carburetor.

    “Pontiac never had this system in a car,” Toth pointed out. “They may have made a dyno example, but I believe this Studebaker to be the only car ever to carry this system.”

    http://www.enginebuildermag.com/2014/12/studebaker-sleeper/
     
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  2. Wow,thanks for that.
     
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  3. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 4,565

    chevy57dude
    Member

    Wild stuff! Thanks for sharing that, any Pontiac guys heard of 'em?
     
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  4. Very interesting. Thanks, I never knew such a setup existed.
     
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  5. bostonhemi
    Joined: Dec 1, 2011
    Posts: 595

    bostonhemi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Interesting article and history. ty
     
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  6. Offset
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 1,362

    Offset
    Member
    from Canada

    Don't you just love all the interesting things that turn up? Can you just imagine what is hidden away?
     
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  7. My Pontiac 400 in a 47 Ford P/U has 2x4 4GC carbs, but I don't think I need a Corvair carburetor to make it idle............LOL
     
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  9. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 2,285

    carbking
    Member

    Carter made a number of different AFB carbs for Pontiac on the SD engines, including the infamous "trap door" three barrel, part number 3636s. The three barrel flowed 939 CFM, so would have probably been rated as a 950. I have a letter from Carter stating that only 15~20 of the three barrels were produced. But they were somewhat off; as when researching these some 30 years ago, I knew of at least 24.

    Other SD carbs were rated 625, 675, and 750 CFM.

    All of these were low production, and with the exception of the three barrel, Carter simply pulled other production carbs off the shelf and modified them to Pontiac specifications. Years ago, I spent some serious dollars with Carter to acquire the drawings for most of these.

    Pontiac was familiar with the Carter type YH sidedraft, as some of the Pontiac auto show cars used as many as 4 of them. The YH was designed and in production long before the Corvair.

    Jon.
     
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  10. thanks....cool stuff....and thanks Jon/carbking for a little more info.....
     
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  11. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,070

    bobbytnm
    Member

    Very interesting history. Thanks for sharing

    Bobby
     
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  12. pontman
    Joined: Mar 18, 2011
    Posts: 368

    pontman
    Member

    I think they made more than 12, but I'm at work so can't look at my books. Later
     
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  13. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 14,837

    loudbang
    Member

    Finding things like this must run in my blood LOL. My brother is a librarian in Tacoma Washington specializing in genealogy and my nephew is a history professor at Midwest collage and we trade history stories. Believe it or not I found this article in a google search for Ford Stock Class Car photos. Found this in an article on a ford I posted yesterday
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/stock-s-s-f-x-1959-1966.247089/page-84#post-11794806
    as I was finishing it I was scrolling toward the bottom and saw the first photo of a drag racing Stude and decided to take a look and found this story.

    Here is what the manifold looks like without all the extra "Stuff".

    bathtub (1024x768).jpg

    BathtubintakeEa.jpg
     
  14. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 9,738

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Great write up! Thanks for posting.....:)

    Ray
     
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  15. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,586

    stuart in mn
    Member

    Yup, heard of it. :) The story has been around in the Pontiac community, but it's not very well known.
     
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  16. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 7,605

    belair
    Member
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Cool stuff.
     
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  17. pontman
    Joined: Mar 18, 2011
    Posts: 368

    pontman
    Member

    Had a look and couldn't find any numbers as how many were produced? There were several variations of this bathtub manifold. I thought my Pete McCarthy book had the awnser? So yes this may be one of very few running examples of this super rare Pontiac manifold. These were Pontiacs glory days no doubt!!!
     
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  18. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 14,837

    loudbang
    Member


    that it was I have a bunch of photos of 421 SDs BUT they are all in "restored" or repop cars and too new for the HAMB.:(
     
  19. Pretty cool..I'm still limping along with my trusty old Offenhauser with a couple 3300S AFBs. 370ready.JPG
     
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  20. y'sguy
    Joined: Feb 25, 2008
    Posts: 353

    y'sguy
    Member
    from Tulsa, OK

    Cool story! I miss my old Pontiac days.
     
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  21. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,148

    55chieftain
    Member

    I've got to meet the owner several times since he has had the car at the Meltdown Drags. He told me Arnie has been trying to get the intake back, it's worth a lot of money. When Arnie was there one year he was joking to watch out for Arnie he might have a 9/16 wrench in his pocket.
     
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  22. Dago 88
    Joined: Mar 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,448

    Dago 88
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just love the kinky factory experimental stuff, here is one from Oldsmobile. :) f50a81f85fcb222b4f0e9b79b960dc064360.jpeg
     
  23. long island vic
    Joined: Feb 26, 2002
    Posts: 2,147

    long island vic
    Member

    NUNZIO OF IMORTAL INDIAN HAS ONE ON HIS SUPER DUTY
     
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  24. mike bowling
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 3,369

    mike bowling
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    "Loudbang",
    Thanks for taking the time to post that.
    Nice to see some real " car stuff" on here instead of all the "fluff" that's been posted lately.
    ( although it's really interesting to know if people wore loafers or saddle shoes in high school)
     
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  25. Mitchell Rish
    Joined: Jun 10, 2007
    Posts: 756

    Mitchell Rish
    Member
    from Houston MS

    This explains your love for the gassers . Lol. Used to be a time when every thing was not a sbc. You used what you had or what the factory offered.
    Cool history. Very cool. Even if I am to young to really remember. Lol
     
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  26. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 14,837

    loudbang
    Member


    That is cool was it on the car when he was at meltdown?
     
  27. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,148

    55chieftain
    Member

    Yes it was, i took a bunch of pictures of it myself

     
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  28. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,148

    55chieftain
    Member

    czuch and loudbang like this.
  29. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 14,837

    loudbang
    Member

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