Once considered exotic technology, electronic fuel injection has been around a surprising long time. In this installment of Ate Up With Motor, we review the origins of EFI and examine the relationship between the pioneering Bendix Electrojector, Bosch D-Jetronic, and the second-generation Bendix system that introduced GM to electronic injection in the 1970s — a complicated web of technology, business, and politics.
If you know anything about early automotive fuel injection systems, or if you’ve seen the Jay Leno’s Garage video about Per Blixt’s 1958 Chrysler 300D, you’re probably at least dimly aware of the short-lived Bendix Electrojector electronic fuel injection system. You might even have heard that it had something to do with the much better known Bosch D-Jetronic system, introduced about a decade later. However, there’s still much confusion about the relationship between these systems, and about what they have to do with the the electronic fuel injection system that Cadillac (and Chevrolet) used in the late seventies (in the Cadillac Seville and Chevrolet Cosworth Vega).
I have been delving into these questions (if only to distract myself from the still-calamitous financial situation), and I’ve come up with what I think is about the most definitive answer possible at this late date. I’m still fine-tuning some details and embarking on the search for appropriate illustrations, some of which I might need to make myself, but you’ll hopefully see it here in the not-too-distant future. (ETA:: The article is now done and will go live February 24.)
Two more past Ate Up With Motor articles of which I’m particularly proud:
- High-Tech High Roller: 1981–2001 Toyota Soarer Z10, Z20, and Z30: I get the feeling that sometimes the things that fascinate me may leave some of you rather cold, which I fear is the case with the Toyota Soarer. Not sold in the U.S. until its third generation, the Soarer was a darling of Japanese yuppies of the ’80s, a sporty coupe related to the Toyota Supra, but with a personal luxury flavor, festooned with advanced technology (much of it laughably primitive today, but very flashy back then) that made it the kind of car you’d see in a cyberpunk anime OVA set in some distant future age like, say, 2013. I only wish I’d had more pictures to illustrate its retro-future ambiance.
- The Perilous Success of the 1976 Cadillac Seville: Still a controversial piece, although I stand by my conclusion: that the 1976–1979 Seville worked out well for what it actually was (an easier-to-park Cadillac with a stylish new approach to the traditional Cadillac look), but was not successful as what it set out to be (a Mercedes-fighter that would lure in younger import luxury buyers). I’m currently trying to put together a tangentially related article, which I’ll hold off on revealing until it’s a little further along.
Another Ate Up With Motor article of which I’m especially proud:
- Party Downsize: The Ford Fiesta Mk1 and Mk2: When I chronicled the early history of Ford’s B-segment hatchback back in 2013, I wouldn’t have guessed that the party would be over within a decade — Ford ceased production in July 2023 to allot more factory capacity for the SUVs and crossovers the auto industry has decided we must all drive now. The Fiesta was never the phenomenon in the U.S. that it was in Europe, but it was a landmark product for Ford, one of the defining models of its segment and consistently one of the most entertaining to drive. It will be missed.
It occurs to me that it might be worthwhile to highlight some of the existing Ate Up With Motor articles of which I’m especially proud, of which there’ve been quite a few over the years. Here are two:
- Before the Continental: Edsel Ford’s Speedster: Back in 2011, I had the opportunity to attend an event at the Petersen Automotive Museum commemorating the restoration of one of the custom cars designed for Edsel Ford by E.T. (Bob) Gregorie, the 1934 Ford Model 40 Special Speedster. These one-offs were the predecessors of the better-known Lincoln Continental, a capital-C Classic which also originated as a customized car for Edsel, and examining their history also provided a pretext for discussing Edsel Ford — a very interesting fellow, light years apart from his more famous father — and his relationship with Bob Gregorie.
- Like the Wind: The Lincoln Zephyr and Continental: I had always intended the Edsel Speedster article to be a prelude to a history of the Lincoln-Zephyr and the first Continental. In 2013, I got the opportunity to see and ride in a gorgeous (and astonishingly original) 1939 Zephyr, which helped to provide additional perspective on these attractive and historically important cars.
Since my previous post, a number of people have made financial contributions to the site, which I very much appreciate, and which I have used to:
- Renew the ateupwithmotor.com domain registration
- Pre-pay the renewal of the site’s SSL certificate (the current one is valid through the end of March)
- Pay the web hosting charges through the beginning of April. [ETA: As of February 1, I’ve pre-paid the web hosting through June.]
So, thank you all for that!
As you may have noticed, there haven’t been any additional Ate Up With Motor articles since the end of April. Ate Up With Motor has never been a particularly lucrative venture (although it’s helped me get some other work), and over the course of the year, most of my other income has dried up as well, such that my survival, much less that of the site, is now very much in doubt. I don’t see any really viable ways of further monetizing the site: I can’t use Google Ads products, and there’s no longer enough traffic to interest other ad platforms, beyond which the use of intrusive online advertising has become both legally and ethically very dicey; the prospect of creating print or e-books has been sort of a chimera that presents a variety of practical problems I don’t know how to solve, and my efforts to obtain professional guidance on some of those things came to naught. The upkeep of the site is not particularly costly in monetary terms, but the work involved in creating new content is substantial, and since it doesn’t really translate into any significant financial return, it’s harder to find or justify the energy involved. I wish I could talk about exciting future plans, but the future of Ate Up With Motor is looking quite bleak.
In 1962, Chevrolet and Oldsmobile introduced the world’s first turbocharged production cars, the Oldsmobile F-85 Jetfire and Chevrolet Corvair Monza Spyder. In this installment of Ate Up With Motor, we’ll discuss the origins of turbocharging, the development of the Oldsmobile Jetfire, and the turbocharged Corvair that nearly stole its thunder.
I have now written about the 1961–1963 Pontiac Tempest, the 1961–1963 Buick Special/Skylark, and the 1961–1963 Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass, but the one facet of the GM Y-body “senior compacts” I still haven’t delved into of that first flush in any great detail is the 1962–1963 Olds F-85 Jetfire. The Jetfire was (with the concurrent Corvair Monza Spyder) the world’s first production car with a turbocharged gasoline engine — an honor many sources still erroneously attribute to BMW or Saab. I think I have a fair bit to say about it, although it’s a familiar topic and perhaps played out. Does anyone care anymore? Not sure.
(ETA: The finished Jetfire article was finally published on April 29, 2023.)
There have been three (3) new Ate Up With Motor articles in the latter part of 2022. In case you missed any of them, they are:
What price novelty? If you walked into a Pontiac dealer in November 1960, the answer was $2,167, the list price of one of the most unusual American cars of its era: the all-new 1961 Pontiac Tempest. In this installment of Ate Up With Motor, we’ll take a look at the short career of the “rope-drive” 1961–1963 Pontiac Tempest and the hows and whys of its peculiar front-engine/rear-transaxle powertrain.
Hard as it is now to envision, there was a time, still within living memory, when trucks were not readily accepted in American polite society. One of the most significant harbingers of the transition to our modern era of pampered, luxurious utility vehicles was this rare truck: the 1955 to 1958 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier (and its even rarer brother, the GMC Suburban Pickup).
Continue Reading Glamor Truck From Planet 8: The 1955 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier