Turbos for the Turnpike: The Turbocharged Oldsmobile F-85 Jetfire

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.

1962 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Spyder 'Turbocharged' fender badge by Aaron Severson

Continue Reading Turbos for the Turnpike: The Turbocharged Oldsmobile F-85 Jetfire


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.)

Magnificent Kludge: The ‘Rope-Drive’ 1961–1963 Pontiac Tempest

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.

1963 Pontiac Tempest Le Mans convertible (red) grille closeup by AlfvanBeem (CC0 1.0 - AS recrop)
(Photo: “1963 Pontiac 2217 DR-90-46 p3” by AlfvanBeem, which was dedicated to the public domain by the photographer under a CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication; this version was recropped and resized 2022 by Aaron Severson)

Continue Reading Magnificent Kludge: The ‘Rope-Drive’ 1961–1963 Pontiac Tempest

Glamor Truck From Planet 8: The 1955 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier

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

New Content

If you were wondering, yes, that is a new article. Those of you who don’t share my fascination with the original Hydra-Matic transmission will not be cheered, but I thought the saga of the Rolls-Royce license-built versions (yes, versions, something I didn’t know until recently) deserved a more in-depth discussion than a side note in the original Hydra-Matic article.

ETA 10 September 2022: This also is a new article.

Don’t Call It Hydra-Matic: The Rolls-Royce and Bentley Automatic Gearbox

Although the Hydra-Matic transmission was first used by Oldsmobile and Cadillac, the final user was not a GM division, but Rolls-Royce, which used its own license-built versions of this highly successful GM transmission from 1953 to 1978. This included an unusual, short-lived variation for the early Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and Bentley T-Series — the last iteration of the original Hydra-Matic transmission. In this installment of Ate Up With Motor, we take a look at the upper-crust British career of this venerable American automatic transmission.
Continue Reading Don’t Call It Hydra-Matic: The Rolls-Royce and Bentley Automatic Gearbox

Hiding the Box

I’ve had to change the mechanism for hiding the “Support Ate Up With Motor” box and its embedded PayPal payment button, as the old option was no longer working correctly. The new option is available by clicking “Privacy Preferences” on the bottom banner when you first arrive, or clicking “Access Your Privacy and Cookie Preferences” button on the Privacy Tools page afterward. The “Consent Management” tab now includes a toggle switch for “Allow PayPal Button”; turning that off should prevent the “Support Ate Up With Motor” box from loading. No box, no embedded PayPal content.

If you turned the box off previously, your old setting will no longer work. (I apologize for that, but it was the only way I could get the option to work as intended, and the new approach should make it easier to find and adjust that setting.) As before, this setting is stored in a cookie — it’s now stored in the same cookie as the Privacy Policy consent — so if you clear your cookies or access the site from a different device or browser, you’ll need to set it again.

To Content or Not to Content

I have recently been working on some articles as possible new Ate Up With Motor content:

  1. 1955–1958 Chevrolet Cameo Carrier (which would be the first time I’ve dealt with anything truck-like since the Ranchero and El Camino)
  2. 1961–1963 Pontiac Tempest (the “rope-drive” senior compact).

I’m not yet sure what I’m going to do with these. The incentive for publishing new content here is limited at this point, and there are many compelling reasons not to, beginning with the fact that I don’t have ANY photos of either these vehicles and would have to find some (which might be enough to talk me out of it, frankly). However, I do have an actual draft of the Cameo Carrier article, and have started on the Tempest one. The latter has intrigued me for a while, since the rope-drive cars are such an odd interlude when it comes to American cars.

Twilight of the Analytics, Part 2

I have now discontinued my use of Google Analytics tracking on the Ate Up With Motor website, and I have initiated the process of deleting the existing analytics data. If you already have ateupwithmotor.com analytics cookies (and/or analytics consent cookies) on your device, they will remain until they expire (which may take some time) or until you delete them, but they will no longer function.

At this point, my intention is to retain only whatever bits of analytics data I may have included in past email messages. For example, if at some point I sent someone an email along the lines of “According to my Google Analytics data, the site had X unique visitors in June, up from Y in May,” or “Right now, the analytics data shows that these specific articles are the most frequently viewed,” I will likely retain such email unless I have some other outstanding reason to delete it. (Most or all the data of that kind is aggregate statistics, not individual visitor data.) I’ll also likely retain Google notification emails related to the analytics service.

The complete deletion of the rest of the analytics data could take a while. According to this help page, it takes 35 days for an analytics “property” to be permanently deleted. Other Google documentation indicates that the actual deletion of data from this and other Google services is performed via scheduled “deletion processes” that take place about every two months. As best I can determine, this means that while the deleted analytics data will no longer be recoverable by me after 35 days, it may take up to about 90 days (give or take) before it’s completely gone. (ETA: I confirmed on May 11 that the property was gone from the Trash, so I can no longer recover it.)

I’ve updated the “Online Tracking” section of the Privacy Policy to reflect all this, retaining the links to the various relevant Google documents. If you have questions, please let me know.

Comment housecleaning

As a gentle reminder, Ate Up With Motor is an automotive history and commentary site, NOT a marketplace, a restoration guide, or a forum for technical advice. Therefore, it bears repeating:

  • I am NOT a mechanic or an engineer; I CANNOT tell you how to fix, modify, or restore your car or truck, or provide any technical advice. (I’m not qualified to do that.)
  • I CANNOT provide any financial advice. I can’t help you appraise cars, trucks, parts, or automotive memorabilia; I can’t advise you on how much these things are worth or whether they’d be a good investment or not. (I’m not qualified to do that either.)
  • I am NOT in the business of buying or selling cars, trucks, parts, or automotive memorabilia.
  • I CANNOT help you buy or sell cars, trucks, parts, or automotive memorabilia; Ate Up With Motor doesn’t run classified ads and is NOT intended as a forum for connecting buyers and sellers.

I’ve been telling people that over and over again since the inception of Ate Up With Motor almost 15 years ago, but I still regularly get comments asking for repair advice, for help with valuation or authentication, or to buy or sell a particular car or part, no matter how frequently and emphatically I tell people I can’t help with those things and don’t want the legal liability.

Consequently, I’ve removed quite a few older comments along those lines, and if (when!) I receive more in the future, I’m strongly considering simply deleting them. (As noted in the Comment Policy section of the Terms of Use, I reserve the right to decline to publish, unpublish, or delete any comment on this website, with or without notice.)