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1966 Royal Bobcat GTO build, 455ci by Greg Sautbine

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1966-Royal-Bobcat-build-12461

Muncie 4 speed Ram Air 4, 2 inch lift, 390 gears, Edelbrock 9 quart oil pan high flow oil pump 4 core radiator, all kept running at 160 degrees.

Bobcat
‘Throughout the 1960s, Ace Wilson’s Royal Pontiac, a Pontiac car dealer in Royal Oak, Michigan, offered a special tune-up package for Pontiac 389 engines. Many were fitted to GTOs, and the components and instructions could be purchased by mail, as well as installed by the dealer. Many of the Pontiacs made available for magazine testing were equipped with the Bobcat kit.[7]

The name “Bobcat” came from the improvised badges created for the modified cars, combining letters from the “Bonneville” and “Catalina” nameplates. Adhesive stickers were added to advise onlookers of the fact that these GTOs were “Royal Bobcats”.

The precise components of the kit varied, but generally included pieces to modify the spark advance of the distributor, limiting spark advance to 34–36° at no more than 3,000 rpm (advancing the timing at high rpm for increased power), a thinner copper head gasket to raise compression to about 11.23:1, special intake manifold gaskets to block the heat riser to the carburetor (keeping it cooler), larger carburetor jets, and locking rocker nuts to hold the hydraulic valve lifters at their maximum point of adjustment, allowing the engine to rev higher without “floating” the valves. Properly installed, the kit could add between 30 and 50 horsepower (20–40 kW), although it required high-octane superpremium gasoline of over 100 octane to avoid spark knock with the higher compression and advanced timing.

The performance manager at Royal Pontiac was Milt Schornack.[8]

Optional with the Bobcat package was an extensive re-machining of the cylinder heads and block to “blueprint” the engine—that is, carefully machine the components so that their critical dimensions met the original GM factory blueprint specifications.’


1966-Royal-Bobcat-build-12462

1966-Royal-Bobcat-build-124643545

1966-Royal-Bobcat-build-124643545

by Greg Sautbine

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1966 Royal Bobcat GTO build, 455ci by Greg Sautbine, 9.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings




4 Comments

  1. Andy Anderson

    Andy Anderson

    November 30, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Nice ’66, although they didn’t make 455’s in 1966. A good 389 3-duces would be fine for me. Never was a fan of the 455.

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  2. Herb Wilson

    December 2, 2015 at 12:44 am

    Nice car! Some of the Bobcats that Asa(Ace) raced and sold had the Nascar 421 in them. One was sent to Hot Rod Magazine for a test car. They never knew till years later about the engine change at the GM Tech Center. That was the red one the white one a ultralight with auto trans sat in a garage in Warren, MI for years until a collector in Kentucky bought it. My favorite was the gold GTO that Asa brought over to my uncles house. It had no back seat and he said he had just had them sand off the lettering and wheel the car out at the dealership that Ira his dad had bought for him. It was a breathtaking 421 powered GTO with the large brake pattern drums and wheels. I remember the concrete squares in the street shaking under it.

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  3. Dwayne Rhoades

    Dwayne Rhoades

    April 25, 2016 at 12:19 am

    Mine was white and red inside

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  4. Samuel Anselmo

    Samuel Anselmo

    April 25, 2016 at 12:37 am

    I had a 65 389 his and hers shift.

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