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Karl R. Josker | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> The First Golden Age Of American V8's: 1949-1970 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

The First Golden Age Of American V8's: 1949-1970

The First Golden Age of American V8's began in 1949, when both Cadillac and Oldsmobile introduced their OHV V8's. Some sources state that Cadillac was first, others claim Oldsmobile.

Regardless of who was actually first, it was an event that eventually changed America. The great westward migration began in earnest, a car culture developed around the automobile, and the V8 was at the heart of it. That early Olds Rocket 88 even spawned a new musical genre, as Ike Turner's 1951 recording "Rocket 88" is generally regarded as the first Rock and Roll record.

By the mid-1950's the horsepower race was on, with manufacturers producing bigger and more powerful V8's, with individual owners modifying their V8's to produce even more power. The horsepower race lasted through the 1970 model year, after which engines across the board had compression ratios lowered, multiple carburetors were phased out, and optional choices were reduced seemingly continuously to at least the end of the twentieth century.

While there now seems to be a resurgence of interest in the V8 and its' power producing capabilities, the following is a documentation of that first golden age.

What's not listed are the many, many people I've talked to, who have given permission to use photos of their car's engines. But even more than that, is their memories of what was represented by their V8's. Memories of their youth, their hopes, dreams, and experiences. And therein lies what made the times golden.

This gallery continues under construction; more photos and associated text will be added as I develop my case for the First Golden Age. I will try to include only those photos of stock engines, however, given the age of them, I will include non-stock photos if that's all I find.
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:: AMC ::
:: Buick  ::
:: Cadillac ::
:: Chevrolet ::
:: Chrysler ::
:: DeSoto ::
:: Dodge ::
:: Edsel ::
:: Ford ::
:: Lincoln ::
:: Mercury ::
:: Oldsmobile ::
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