Spotlight Hobbies


All right on point, Tim.

Never trust an old memory bank; mine's been robbed a few times.

Tiny tidbit - the outer mold shell of the 301/301T was a re-purposed 303 Trans Am "low deck" - with all the inner patterns revised to produce a significantly lighter and less expensive engine.

The one key attribute - it could share a connecting rod with the infamous "Iron Duke." At the time, it seemed a wise exercise in production economy. Later, it would extract a terrible toll for GM, detailed in a speech that effectively sidelined Alex Mair, GM Vice President and former Pontiac General Manager, once headed for president of GM.

Written for Mair by my former boss, the story unfolded similar to the fable... "for want of a nail, the shoe was lost... for want of the shoe the rider was lost..." Mair described all the compromises in dimensions, weight, smoothness, power, reliability, etc. wrought by that bit of cast iron. A taller deck that created a weaker block that was harder to package and needed a heavier flywheel and crank shaft... the snowball effect was devastating.

You may only imagine the outcome in the Roger Smith era - smiles through gritted teeth followed by a chart shake-up that landed him in the corporate outhouse.

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