(continued from page 67) With the addition of Motor Wheel Super Fly wheels and Goodyear racing rubber, plus a change in the blower drive ratio, the 442 looks like a Pro Stocker and can turn 11 second et's. Magnetic backed decals are easily added and removed.
As for the luxury part , the 442 retains all the original options... air conditioning, cruise control, power disc brakes, six way power seats tracks mated to super comfortable Recaro seats, am/fm stereo cassette player, tilt wheel, power windows, power antenna, and power locks. The car is fully carpeted and insulated. Bill feels that high horsepower cars don't have to skimp on creature comforts and that luxury cars don't have to be slow.
Bill Porterfield's 442 isn't a trailered showpiece; neither is the car the result of a blank check. Bill did the majority of the work himself in his very ordinary two car garage. Stock 442 parts were sold to help defray the cost of new pieces. Professional help was received with the mid engine installation, but only because the car served as the prototype for Mid Engineering's (PO BOX 286,Mason, MI. 48854) new swap kit. The finished kit is actually a bolt in operation.
Bill completed the car just before the Car Craft Street Machine Nationals (where it won Best Engineered and the attention of everyone present), yet he and his wife Pam made the long trip from Lansing, Mi. , to Indianapolis without any problems. On the trip, they managed to get over 14 miles per gallon. The was built to be driven, not just admired in a heated garage between car shows.
The trend setting 442 came about because of Bill's desire to build something wilder than his last car, a 200 mph ZL-1 powered Kelmark kit car (see Hot Rod October '77). Bill has always liked Oldsmobiles and mid engined cars.
He liked the new Cutlass hatchback(fastback) body, so the basic parameters were set. Bill bought a new 442 and, with help from friend John Kuchar, stripped most of the interior and removed the stock drive train.
The Mid Engineering installation kit was bolted to the stock frame rails ( the kit can be used as a weld in module for cars with subframes),and the Olds engine and Toronado transaxle were mounted in place. Corvette hubs and brakes were adapted to the Olds axle shafts. Mid Engineering also supplied the shifter linkage and other necessary hook up pieces.
The engine is a '78 Olds 403 with 8:1 TRW pistons, a '70 W30 camshaft and ported and polished heads. The parts and pieces came from the Go Shop in Lansing, and Bill did all the... (continued on page 97)
(Ref: photo below)
Top left picture: The fuel system is dazzling. An ATL 22 gallon Super Cell feeds dual Holley electric pumps and AC filters. The clear tube is for ventilation.
Center-top picture: The Toronado transaxle hangs from the rear Mid Engineering crossmember. An aluminum panel covers the engine and still allows room for luggage.
Right-top picture: The front cross member also bolts to the stock 442 frame. Visible at the top left corner is the copper tubing that leads to the radiator.
Mid Engine 442 | Hot Rod Magazine Page 67 | Page 97 |