The Jetfire is a very important model for automotive history that unfortunately never got the respect it deserved. It was the first turbocharged passenger car along with the Chevrolet Corvair Monza. However, Oldsmobile’s system was far more complex and powerful than Chevrolet’s. For that reason, it deserves a detailed look. Engineers took the compact F-85 model and retained its small 215 cid V8 engine, which developed 185 HP and gave it a new forced induction intake system. It included a Garett turbocharger and a special “Turbo Rocket Fuel” tank, consisting of distilled water, methanol, and a corrosion inhibitor mixture injected into fuel and air mixture to prevent the detonation (via Car Throttle).
The new V8 delivered 215 HP, translating to one HP per cubic inch, making it one of the top performance cars of the day. It was almost as fast as the Corvette with a 0 to 60 mph time of around eight seconds. However, the Jetfire had problems from the beginning. Many of the issues were owner-related. Very soon, Jetfire got a bad reputation despite the praise from automotive magazines. After just two years and around 10,000 examples, Oldsmobile decided to kill the car and turbocharging technology. The Jetfire was soon forgotten and just a few enthusiasts now remember these Oldsmobiles.