Author Topic: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight  (Read 7154 times)

Offline mgrab

  • Mike Grabianowski, CLC # 25586
  • Posts: 99
Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« on: April 16, 2010, 10:38:24 AM »
Just went through my latest Cars and Parts and read an interesting article on the Buick overhead straight eight.  At the bottom is a caption comparing the 320 Buick to the 346 Cadillac.  I had heard before that the straight eight had more horsepower (165 vs. 150) but this time I pondered why that would be allowed to happen.  I can see during the 30’s it was less of a concern due to the V-12 and 16…..but in ’41 totally different story.  Anyone ever read/hear how that was allowed to occur?  I can’t imagine top brass at Cadillac accepting that from their engineering department…..have a hard time believing someone wasn’t told to take another crack at the flathead design – twin carbs…etc…
Or maybe it was a…..well it’s too late now….OOPS….hope I don’t get canned….
Did Cadillac ever look at the overhead straight eight….?  Would have been similar to Packard’s offering….Or did someone at Cadillac not want to admit Buick had a good design?  Questions I’m pondering on a slow Friday!
Also anyone ever race one?  Maybe the numbers didn't matter?
Mike
1941 Cadillac 6267D
1948 Packard Custom Eight Victoria
1956 Oldsmobile 88 Sedan

Online TJ Hopland

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Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2010, 11:58:05 AM »
What was Pontiacs offering at the same time?  How about Olds?   Chevy never had an inline 8 did they?  Seems like I read that the early GMC's used ponitac 8's till they developed their own 'truck' motor.
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Offline seetz

  • Posts: 5
Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2010, 02:57:44 PM »
Well, Buick introduced the double intake in 1941. Cadillac was the best and got a little lazy in the engine department. The combination of those two things made Buick all of a sudden have a better engine. Funny, because I have read that the basic design of the Cadillac V16 started with two Buick straight 8's!
I plan on putting a Buick 320 in my Cadillac, until I have the money to find a V16.

Pontiac had the straight 6 and 8. Good enginges but no spectacular performance. Chevy never had an inline 8, no. Some early GMC used Pontiac straight 6, never the 8's. GMC later developed a V6 with something like 450 CI. trucks need short engines. There were GMC / Flexcible buses with the Buick straight 8 though
« Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 03:00:55 PM by seetz »
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Offline davegnh

  • Posts: 1
Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2010, 03:29:31 PM »
I read once that Cadillac was very upset at the Brunn bodied Buick Limiteds long wheelbase cars.  They were afraid that Buick would surpass them in luxury car offerings.  Take a look at the Brunn Buicks, very impressive.

Offline seetz

  • Posts: 5
Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2010, 04:22:21 PM »
I was just thinking, somehow I seem to remember that GM actually reduced $$ to Buick's research dept after this victory. But that may have been because of the war, not sure.
All in all I think that Cadillac may have benefited from having a sibling rival like Buick, GM definitely had a rivalry going on within the company that Ford (Lincoln) had not, and Chrysler never used DeSoto they way they could have.
Sietze Slinkman
1931 Cadillac speedster (in building stage)
1959 Chevrolet 3800 panel truck

Offline Carfreak

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Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2010, 04:32:52 PM »

GMC later developed a V6 with something like 450 CI. trucks need short engines.


My 1951 GMC 640 Series has a 503 straight 6; its a beast!

Art Woody

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Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2010, 06:42:43 PM »
GMC used Pontiac V-8's from 1955 -1959. Standard poncho's for 55,56,57, then in 58 smaller bored Pontiac 370 c.i. and in 59 used a smaller bored Pontiac 389 c.i. Not sure the reasoning behind th smaller bore. Started a series of monster V-6's in '60. Always bigger cuber's for GM's top truck division. GMC's were truly heavy duty and superior in power and load capacity over Chevrolet.

Art Woody

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Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2010, 07:02:08 PM »
Back on topic, Buick had more h.p. in '41 but Cadillac won the torque battle w/283 ft. lbs. versus 278. After the war for whatever reason, Buicks horsepower dropped below Cadillac with their straight 8, and continued to drop for a few years after that in all models except for their top of the line 70s. All according to my copyright 1954 edition Chilton's Manual. Art Woody

Offline Jim Stamper

  • Posts: 552
Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2010, 08:57:47 PM »

     Buick, during the period from 1931-1941 really kept their eye on the ball and developed one type of engine, their overhead valve straight eight and they already had a lot of experience with overhead valves. Cadillac during roughly this time period had to put their energies into the old flathead V-8, their new 346 flathead V-8, their overhead valve V-12 and two V-16s, the old overhead and the new flathead. And they put used a flathead straight eight in the LaSalle for three of those years. "He who pursues two hares catches none" someone said. Buick caught theirs while Cadillac chased several.

     I think Cadillac certainly noticed this, as evidenced by their 1941 offerings, No more LaSalle, and unlike Buick, only one engine offered in only one size, the 346 flathead. Buick rested on their laurels, so to speak, post war with their well developed straight eight engine while Cadillac got busy and in 1949 came out with a modern overhead V-8 and Buick had to follow with their nailhead V-8 a few years later. Times were changing.

     I and others always thought GMC used the Pontiac based engine mid to late 50s.

     

Offline Guidematic

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Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2010, 01:08:25 PM »
During this era Harlow Curtis was at the helm of Buick. He began his career at Buick as a comptroller, so he was pretty much Buick through and through. He was champing at the bit to make Buick, at least the top line Buicks, the equal to Cadillac. Even going so far as introducing a limousine. It was at that point that Alfred Sloan put his foot down. He allowed the big body for Buick, but decreed that Cadillac would also get it. That was the Series 67.

 Buicks always had OHV engines, right from the beginning. The original Buick engineer, Eugene Richards, patented the OHV engine used on the very first Buick. The succession to a straight 8 was a logical one. After Auburn popularised it, it became a status symbol of sorts, and created the lovely long hoods that were part of these cars. The 320 straight 8 was about the same size as competing models from Chrysler and Packard, so there is no doubting as to why they had it. By adding compound carburetion they upped the horsepower ante. The Century was created by combining this engine with the Special body to give a true 100 MPH car, hence the name. However, this did not last. They were notorious fuel hogs, and during the gas rationing of WWII, many of them had the secondary carb blocked off. Buick never went back to this system, at least until the Wildcat engines of the 60's.

 Flxible Bus was a separate entity from GM. Their first buses were in fact built on stretched Buick chassis, but later when more dedicated designs permeated, they retained Buick power. This lasted until at least the early 50's until they began to switch to GM Diesels.

 The GMC V-6 was a unique design. It was available in 3 displacements. the 305/351's for use in light duty and medium duty trucks, and a 478 cid version for heavier applications. Then there was the huge 702 V-12 which used a single block crank and cam, 4 heads, 2 intake manifolds and distributors and the reciprocating assemblies from the 351 V-6.

 The V-6 designs were used from 1960 through the mid 70's on Chevrolet and GMC trucks. The V-12 was discontinued after 1966 in favour of a 537 V-8 based on the 478 V-6. The V-6 engines completely superceded the 302/503 in line 6's.

 They also offered Toro-Flow diesels based on these engines, which were somewhat less than successful.

 GMC used Pontiac V-8's in some light duty applications, and they also used Buick 322 V-8's in some applications through the 50's.

 Mike
1970 Fleetwood Brougham 68169
1985 Eldorado Coupe 6EL57
1988 Eldorado Biarritz 6EL57
1990 Brougham d'Elegance 6DW69
1994 Fleetwood Brougham 6DW69

Offline Jeff Maltby 4194

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Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2010, 01:45:24 PM »
Here's a picture of a stunning/restored 36 Packard limo I found in N.calif with a rebuilt straight 8 in it. The 1933 V16 passing by it was on the way to it's new owner in Holland that day.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 03:16:04 PM by Jeff Maltby 4194 »
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Offline Jeff Maltby 4194

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Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2010, 01:54:57 PM »
 Bob Hoffman owned the V16 in the mid 80's.
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Offline Otto Skorzeny

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Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2010, 01:55:34 PM »
That car is a Packard, not a Buick.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 02:13:19 PM by Otto Skorzeny »
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Offline Steve Passmore

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Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2010, 03:09:05 PM »
Yes, I think you got the wrong car loaded their Jeff.  :o :o 
Back to the question of Buick horse power v Cadillac, I believe the Buick hp was in fact only about 151 for 1941 with the compound carbs, this proved troublesome to control, I can vouch for that as I have maintained one for a friend, when Buick left it of for the 46 model they were down to 132hp again, so Cadillac never really needed to worry.
Steve

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Offline Jeff Maltby 4194

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Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2010, 03:24:37 PM »
I stand corrected here, as it is a Packard=my mistake x pi. I could of purchased a 39 Buick limo with rebuilt straight 8 needing resto for $3,500 in the SF Bay Area (Hayward) from "Hannon's Machine Shop" on E 14th street back in the late 70's.

O.North Jr...I don't recall :<)
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Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2010, 08:07:52 PM »
That car is a Packard, not a Buick.
I thought Jeff said  "Here's a picture of a stunning/restored 36 Packard limo I found in N.calif with a rebuilt straight 8 in it."

Bruce. >:D
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Offline Otto Skorzeny

  • Posts: 3853
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Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2010, 08:21:07 PM »
He changed it after the fact. It used to say Buick.
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Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2010, 08:24:08 PM »
That is what happens when I go to sleep.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
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1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

J. Friedman

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Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2010, 02:40:16 PM »
During this era Harlow Curtis was at the helm of Buick. He began his career at Buick as a comptroller, so he was pretty much Buick through and through. He was champing at the bit to make Buick, at least the top line Buicks, the equal to Cadillac. Even going so far as introducing a limousine. It was at that point that Alfred Sloan put his foot down. He allowed the big body for Buick, but decreed that Cadillac would also get it. That was the Series 67.

 Buicks always had OHV engines, right from the beginning. The original Buick engineer, Eugene Richards, patented the OHV engine used on the very first Buick. The succession to a straight 8 was a logical one. After Auburn popularised it, it became a status symbol of sorts, and created the lovely long hoods that were part of these cars. The 320 straight 8 was about the same size as competing models from Chrysler and Packard, so there is no doubting as to why they had it. By adding compound carburetion they upped the horsepower ante. The Century was created by combining this engine with the Special body to give a true 100 MPH car, hence the name. However, this did not last. They were notorious fuel hogs, and during the gas rationing of WWII, many of them had the secondary carb blocked off. Buick never went back to this system, at least until the Wildcat engines of the 60's.

 Flxible Bus was a separate entity from GM. Their first buses were in fact built on stretched Buick chassis, but later when more dedicated designs permeated, they retained Buick power. This lasted until at least the early 50's until they began to switch to GM Diesels.

 The GMC V-6 was a unique design. It was available in 3 displacements. the 305/351's for use in light duty and medium duty trucks, and a 478 cid version for heavier applications. Then there was the huge 702 V-12 which used a single block crank and cam, 4 heads, 2 intake manifolds and distributors and the reciprocating assemblies from the 351 V-6.

 The V-6 designs were used from 1960 through the mid 70's on Chevrolet and GMC trucks. The V-12 was discontinued after 1966 in favour of a 537 V-8 based on the 478 V-6. The V-6 engines completely superceded the 302/503 in line 6's.

 They also offered Toro-Flow diesels based on these engines, which were somewhat less than successful.

 GMC used Pontiac V-8's in some light duty applications, and they also used Buick 322 V-8's in some applications through the 50's.

 Mike


  Didn't GMC also use an Olds V8 sometime in the '50s?

Offline mario

  • Posts: 282
Re: Buick Eight vs. Cadillac Eight
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2010, 05:55:56 PM »
"  Didn't GMC also use an Olds V8 sometime in the '50s?"

art:
my 1956 gmc 100 had a 400 pontiac engine when i bought it. the guy i bought it from said he had replaced the original 316 pontiac with it. then i yanked the 400 for a 500. my research showed that gmc did use pontiac motors in the 50's. i never saw a listing for olds motors.
ciao,
mario

 

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