26. Oldsmobile Jetfire
The Oldsmobile Jetfire is an important model in automotive history that never got the respect it deserved. This was the first turbocharged passenger car along with the Chevrolet Corvair Monza. However, the Oldsmobile system was more complex and powerful than the Chevrolet. Back in the early ‘60s, every GM division was in competition with the others to present something better than their competitors.
Oldsmobile chose to turbocharge as the new technology it wanted to perfect. The engineers took the compact F-85 model with its small 215 CID V8 engine that developed 185 HP and gave it a new forced induction intake system. That included a Garett turbocharger and special “Turbo Rocket Fuel” tank consisting of distilled water, methanol, and a corrosion inhibitor mixture.
That mixture was injected into the fuel and air mixture to prevent detonation, which could ruin the engine. The Jetfire V8 had state of the art technology, so initially, the market was interested. The new V8 delivered 215 HP, which was one horsepower unit per cubic inch, making it one of the best performance cars of the day. With a 0 to 60 mph time of around eight seconds, it was almost as fast as the Corvette.
However, the Jetfire had problems that were owner-related. People weren’t used to the operating procedures the turbo engine required. Most owners forgot to fill up the Turbo Rocket Fuel tank. In the long run, that caused a loss of power and failure of the engine. Soon, the Jetfire earned a bad reputation. After just two years and around 10,000 examples, Oldsmobile decided to kill the car along with the turbocharging technology.