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Oldsmobile heads on Chevys

Guest Frazer Nash

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Guest Frazer Nash

I just started building a vintage racing special to race here in the UK. I have aquired a 1927 and a 1928 chevy engine. Having read lots on the net about Bob Rufi and others - I relise the best racing chevy engine consists of:

1925 chevy block,

oldsmobile three port head,

model B crank.

I would love to copy this spec. However I know very little about the oldsmobile heads used.

What year of Olds. were they fitted to?

Are the cast alloys cam covers seen on Rufi's standard olds?

Are they hard to find?

Is anyone making reproductions?

Any advice would be gratefully received

There are now several Uk racers getting amazing performance from Model A for engines cars fitted with the miller ohv. conversion. These cars are giving T35 Grandprix Bugattis a run for their money. This is one of the best in my opinion that was built in the 1980s:


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The 27-8 Chev heads have larger valves than the Olds 3port, so to some extent you are on a see-saw. With the Chev-Olds-Falls engines you are always handicapped by that fish-tin combustion chamber, and to me the use of one of these heads on a T model with an adapter plate so you make the combustion chamber D-shaped to reduce the length of flame travel and give squish area for turbulence is more appealing. Then again, your limitation may ultimately be the ability of ten head studs to hold the seal. You might get the best ultimate satisfaction if you can negotiate a five main bearing "Like-Ford" block which Dean Butler can make for you, and he may be able to supply replica Miller-T ford head too, because he told me when he was here that he has an original. You would know Dean from his participation in vintage car racing in UK, where I understand his T-head Mercer Raceabout discourages a lot of later cars.

With a good T Ford speedster you get a lot of bhp/ton at 1/2 ton overall mass. Remember L L Corum's fifth place in 1923 Indy500 at about 83 mph average in a Fronty Ford with the R head. And you can bet that Charles Kettering didn't offer him tetra-ethyl lead dope such as the Millers he followed had.

Ivan Saxton

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Frazer Nash, Welcome to the AACA Forum, not sure what years Olds had the 3Port heads, but they are rare. The Rufi head had a custom made rocker cover, just looked at a photo of the engine a few days ago. You may want to check the HAMB Forum the monthly Banger Forum is filled with 4 cylinder Ford and Chevy racing info. Lots of guys in the UK building and running stuff. We used to service Ken Purdy'd chaingang Frazer Nash back in the late 1970's, real nice car.

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