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Allow me to pick your brains a bit...

There is a movement afoot in the Oldsmobile Club of America to allow non-Oldsmobile cars equipped with Oldsmobile engines in the club and onto National Meet showfields, and to be completely eligible for any and all National awards. The reason, ostensibly, is to allow Oldsmobile-powered drag cars such as a 60s Gasser to compete for awards in the Race Car or Modified classes. Up front, I have absolutely no issue with that.

Some are pushing even further to allow cars such as 403-equipped TransAMs and 307-powered 80s B/C/E/G body cars onto the fields. I realise that GM itself put those engines in those cars during the emissions certification-driven turmoil of those years. However- even though they may have an Oldsmobile engine, to me they are no more an Oldsmobile than a Ford or Chrysler product would be.

What do you in Buickland think of this? Is BCA receptive to allowing non-Buick cars such as 63-64 V6 Cutlasses or any of the many 70s-80s cars that used the V6 on the showfield to compete for BCA awards? What about a Jeep with a Dauntless V6? or a Rover using the 215 descendants? Keep in mind we're talking factory-production cars, not cool old drag cars like Tommy Ivo's groundbreaking rail with four Nailheads.

I appreciate all old cars and my AACA membership covers that part of my hobby, but

I prefer to keep my OLDSMOBILE Club showfield for Oldsmobiles instead of becoming an all-inclusive club. I joined OCA 30 years ago for a little single-marque exclusivity as I'm sure many Buick folks did by joining BCA and other folks by joining their marque club.

Apologies in advance if I've stirred up a s__tstorm and conjured up disturbing images...

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Glenn, I'll preface this by saying that many of the best possible folks to respond to this topic are presently in Charlotte for the Buick Club's National Meet, so it may be a few days before you receive a significant number of responses.

When I've read some of the discussions regarding this topic on one of the Oldsmobile forums, I've been frankly flabbergasted that some Olds owners would be willing to accept non-Oldsmobile cars for display at the OCA Nationals.

I can assure you that, at this point in time, no non-Buick automobiles would be permitted for display at a BCA National or Regional meet. I believe that there are specific guidelines in the BCA's policies that restrict cars to vehicles produced with Buick bodies. I do not have this information in front of me. Professional cars and commercial vehicles constructed on Buick chassis are, of course, welcomed, and may be a notable exception to the Buick-bodied rule.

GM created confusion with the powertrain swapping and badge engineering that became the norm in the late-1970's. Later, of course, engines like the Buick V6 became a GM engine, with each passenger car division losing its own powertrain engineering and production capabilities. Nonetheless, the last thing we would expect to see at a Buick National Meet would be a Chevrolet Monte Carlo with a 3800 V6 or a 1950's-era GMC pickup with a Buick 322-cid nailhead engine.

As I understand it, even Opels, which were sold at Buick dealerships from the late-1950's through the mid-1970's have not (yet) been accepted for display at Buick National Meets.

I do not believe that there has been any serious discussion about admitting non-Buicks to BCA events -- and I certainly hope that this remains the case.

I hope, Glenn, that you can successfully influence the OCA leadership to keep the club's focus on Oldsmobiles -- and only Oldsmobiles.

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With all due respect, I've noticed a "different orientation" in some areas between the Olds and Buick national marque groups. Some areas the Olds enthusiasts will allow things to bend that the Buick enthusiasts would not, and probably vice versa. I should also mention that until the BCA got "divisions", the only accpetable Buick for the national event 400 point judging was an "end of the assembly line" correct vehicle. NO modified. NO racers. Just Buicks as Buick produced them -- period -- as long as they were past a certain age. As a result of the "age rule", it left the then-new Rivieras out in the cold when the original BCA was formed. Later, the GS models were similar. Plus the Reattas. All of these groups formed their own national organizations, many later chose to come under the BCA Umbrella as "divisons".

It might be recalled that until "mid-century", the vehicle was defined by its engine number, for registration purposes. Later, it was the "body number" and/or VIN. In this orientation, none of the later vehicles mentioned would be allowed. Yet the 1950s GMC with a factory Buick engine would be allowed.

Let's consider what a spectator might expect . . . IF I attended an OCA National/Zone/Regional/Local car show event, I'd expect to see OLDSMOBILES as vehicles. Using the "body" to define the vehicle, not the engine. In the BCA, BUICKS are allowed to have non-Buick motors as long as they were installed at the factory that way . . . which includes the Roadmaster LT-1 cars and inline 6-cylinder cars. I suspect that OCA allows similar vehicles with "as produced" non-Olds engines in them, too? Personally and professionally, I feel the BCA orientation of "Buicks with any factory-installed engine in it appropriate for the model and model year" (paraphrased) is a good one. This ensures that spectators will only see BUICKS on the showfield, which is what they would normally expect to see.

As for the vintage drag race vehicles with Olds V-8s, just how many of them really exist AND would they feel at home at an OCA meet? I have not doubt that BCA operatives might welcome a restored "TV" Tommy Ivo multi-engine Buick Nailhead dragster as a display item at a BCA National Meet. Certainly NOT as a judged vehicle, but as a "display" vehicle.

The other issue would be "How do we judge this vehicle?" With all of the variations and period-correct items on such a vehicle, about all you could judge would be "quality of workmanship", "cleanliness", and "correct for the time". This is why having them in a "Display Only" class makes significant sense! You could also get them a recognition award for helping perserve Oldsmobile's Past Performance Heritage (or similar).

Considering that I saw a '70s Cutlass station wagon at the last Dallas OCA National Meet, you'd need a place for that type of vehcle too. Therefore, a "Display Class" for the dragsters and other bonafide purpose-modified/built 1/4 or 1/8th mile drag race vehicles might be something to consider. Then slice it into two or three sub-groups as participation and type of vehicles might warrant. Olds motor in an Olds factory body (complete body!) or Olds motor in a "rail" drag car.

Also considering how each GM division's customer demographic and orientations can be different, I suspect that IF you did promote letting the Olds engine define the allowable vehicles, the owners of these other vehicles might come around to see how things were, even enterring their vehicles, but I suspect they would then recede from the Olds events and seek out events more applicable to their brand of vehicle. In other words, NO long term gains . . . if that's what the real reason for expansion might be.

So, let the BODY define the vehicles allowable onto the meet show field, with respect to normal production vehicles. Let a "Race Heritage" display class be formed, with possible subdivisions for "rail job" and "doorslammer" racers. Perhaps some vintage NASCAR Oldsmobiles might even show up!

One more thought . . . in NO way should the current judging system be "finagled" to accomodate vehicles it was not designed to accomodate. Nor should it's prestige and quality be compromised!

Just some thoughts . . .


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The BCA already has an approved Race Car Class and it is a judged class. The Race Car Class debuted yesterday at the 2012 BCA National Meet. We had a Buick Regal NASCAR stock car that was brought by Nicola Bulgari. I didn't get to take a photo of it, but maybe some one else did. I personally thought this was the premier location to debut this class since the show was held inside Charlotte Motor Speedway. To commemorate the first time we had 1/3rd scale (or so) replica's of the Charlotte Motor Speedway NASCAR trophies for the winners.

The class is for Historic Buick Race Cars with a documented historical racing pedigree, Basically it is very similar to the AACA class for race cars , where the Buick's racing pedigree is to be reviewed by the BCA Chief Judge before registering. So a Tommy Ivo Dragster or a Shaffer Buick 8 Indy car would be perfect for this class. Judging criteria also draws heavily from the AACA's methods for race cars. See one of the recent Bugle's for more info on this class.

Edited by 38Buick 80C (see edit history)
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OCA has Modified and Street Stock classes that cover race cars and other cars substantially changed from original. There is also a non-assigned class that a National Meet host chapter can use to accomodate about anything they want to put in it.

The question is about opening the OCA to factory production cars that are not Oldsmobiles, but have factory-installed Oldsmobile engines. Think late 70s-early 80s GM cars with factory-installed Olds 403 or 307 engines, or Chevy and GMC pickups with Olds Diesel engines.

The corollary for Buick would be opening BCA to the non-Buick cars that carried the 215 or 3800 and their variants.

Again, just picking brains. I don't like the idea but I want to learn what other marque clubs are doing about such situations.

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I was on the team that judged the "T" class, first year for "racecar" class. We had one car a '87 Buick NASCAR (Regal body) with no other preperation but the new form, we went for it.

There were a lot of questions as we attempted to judge the car. Do you judge to the "before" being raced or "as raced"? The judging sheet asked about body and panel fit and with no doors (and no gaps) no points were deducted. The judging sheet has only 100 points.

I plan on talking with Allen and Pete to get some of the line items clarified as the car being judged could be Nascar, sprint, drag, or old circle track.

Also interesting was the fact that this car had a Chevy engine......... people that know more than I tell me that all GM Nascar vehicles had a Chevy engine be it Chevy, Buick, Olds, or Pontiac.

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Regarding NASCAR "Chevy" engines in "non-Chevy bodies", the engine was defined by the cylinder heads affixed to it, not the block's origin manufacturer. There were Chevy heads, Buick 18 degree valve angle heads, Oldsmobile heads, and Pontiac heads . . . all of which would bolt onto the "generic" Chevy small block's block. In the case of the Buick heads, they had the Buick signature 18 degree valve angle (which made more power than the slightly higher valve angle Chevy heads!). I suspect the Olds and Pontiac heads were only modified in similar areas, plus having the correct valve covers for the car's body.

In that same general timeframe, as I recall, the Oldsmobile DRCE (drag race competition engine) had big block Chevy guts in it, which tended to make it more economical to build. Plus any "mountain motor" blocks had been used up by that time.

Just some thoughts,


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