Leno fires up the first turbo car, Volvo blacks out S60, all the Lambo, Maserati parts you need
Jay Leno digs deep into (one of the first) turbocharged cars
Intake: While turbochargers made a splash in airplanes over 100 years ago, the first application in a production vehicle happened in the 1962 model year with a tag-team effort from the “Turbo-Air 6” of the Chevrolet Corvair Monza and the “Turbo Rocket” V-8 found in the Oldsmobile Jetfire. The Oldsmobile is generally considered the first of the pair to make production, but as Jay Leno finds out in this episode, the Jetfire stands out as a unique effort with a history worthy of a deep dive. Owner Eric Jensen gives us a window into why the Jetfire is so impressive even compared to the turbocharged Corvair: The inclusion of a wastegate, methanol injection (a.k.a. Oldsmobile Rocket Fluid), unique interior parts, and the (underrated nature of the) Rocket V-8’s all aluminum construction. Their exploration includes the engine, interior and history of this specific car, and when Jay takes the Jetfire for a test drive, he notes how this car’s unique sound and power delivery make it one of the reasons why his show exists. According to Jay, it’s all about “unique driving experiences.”
Exhaust: While the Corvair tends to get more publicity, the Jetfire is arguably a better design. And while Pontiac gets credit for being GM’s performance brand in this era, clearly Oldsmobile beat it to the punch. To be fair, Oldsmobile beat everyone to the punch: Turbocharged engines are nearly impossible to avoid today, while aftermarket tuners sell methanol-injection kits with abandon. Oldsmobile’s turbocharger wasn’t without its problems, but there’s a dedicated community of enthusiasts keeping the first turbocharged vehicle alive and well to this day. Kudos to everyone who preserves this forgotten piece of automotive history, and kudos to Jay for putting the Turbocharged Jetfire in the spotlight.
Volvo S60 joins the blacked-out bonanza
Intake: Proving too desirable to ignore, a blacked-out package has now been made available for Volvo’s 2022 S60 sedan. The package will tack on high gloss black accents to the grille, front emblem, 19-inch wheels, window trim, and rear badging to accentuate what is already a very handsome package. Just two paint colors will be offered, Onyx Black metallic and Crystal White Metallic. You can have the Black Edition package on the mild-hybrid S60 Momentum ($40,295 including destination) or R-Design ($43,295 with destination), or you can spec it on the plug-in hybrid S60 Recharge when you step up to the R-Design trim level ($48,695 with destination). If you’re into it, hurry to a Volvo dealer—the firm says fewer than 450 vehicles will be equipped with the package for the 2022 model year.
Exhaust: While a blacked-out package may seem a bit tired by now, it looks the business on the S60. Given that the “fade to black” treatment is such a popular move in the aftermarket, it makes sense that automakers—Volvo included—want a piece of the action.
David Brown’s maximum Minis are now available stateside
Intake: David Brown Automotive, builder of the most luxurious classic Minis, has appointed a new importer for the United States. Bespoke Imports LLC of Naples, Florida will sell the hand-built Mini Remastered and the British firm’s Aston Martin-inspired Speedback GT. The first Mini Remastered models, including an ultra-luxe Oselli Edition, have already landed and are available for viewing and test drives in The Sunshine State.
Exhaust: David Brown is promising the same level of customization and service offered in the U.K., so almost is anything is possible when it comes to creating your own $100,000 Mini. How about a blue and orange “Gulf” of Mexico model?
Bronco Wildtrak gets Fox shocks, order time grows short
Intake: They are not the Bronco Raptor’s 3.1-inch affairs, but Fox shocks are now available on the “regular” Bronco. The internal-bypass, 2.5-inch, aluminum-bodied units are shared between the Ranger Raptor—which is bound for the U.S. next year—and the Bronco’s Wildtrak trim, in both two- and four-door models. In Ford lingo, the $2515 package is denoted by HOSS (High-Performance Off-Road Stability Suspension) to differentiate it from the Bronco’s default, Bilstein-based “HOSS 2.0” system and the Bronco Raptor’s “4.0,” Fox-sponsored setup. Spec the suspension upgrade on the Wildtrak, which comes standard with the Sasquatch package’s 35-inch rubber and pair of locking diffs, and your 4×4 will be even better equipped for high-speed off-roading. Ford makes the $2000+ upgrade more palatable by throwing in steel bash plates, and a powdercoated front bumper—but folks shopping the $51,275 Wildtrak likely have the cash to splash. An important qualification: This upgrade is only available to those who already have a reservation or those do not yet have a build date. Shoppers of more affordable Broncos had better giddyup: According to a dealer memo shared on the Bronco6g forum, Ford is closing order books for the 2022 model year (excluding the Bronco Raptor and Everglades) at 3 p.m. EST on March 8. March 9, the books open for the Braptor. 2023 MY orders will open “later this year.”
Exhaust: Ford’s citing “high demand” as its reason for closing the 2022 order books this early in the year—the factory in Wayne, Michigan needs breathing space to fulfill existing orders. While Ford’s decision may frustrate hopeful customers come March, it placates current reservation holders who have already been waiting months. We won’t be surprised if many of those waiting on a Wildtrak sweeten the wait time with this suspension upgrade.
You can order decades’ worth of Lambo, Maserati parts from this U.K. shop
Intake: GTO Engineering is probably best known for its Revival series of Ferrari 250 SWB and Testa Rossa recreations, and its 60s’-style Squalo original sports car. However, the British company was founded as a classic Ferrari specialist, providing original and remanufactured components for Prancing Horses of all ages. Original and manufactured components for these cars will include exhaust systems, brakes, clutch and transmission systems, body panels, suspension parts, engine-gasket sets and more, as well as additional parts that will be available upon request. Now the firm has added Lamborghini and Maserati to the list, and customers can order parts from the U.K. or Los Angeles. In a “coals to Newcastle” move, GTO is also about to open up shop in Modena, Italy. GTO says it can cater for Lamborghinis from the 350 GT to the Huracán, and for Maseratis as old as the 3500 and as showroom-fresh as the Levante.
Exhaust: As GTO Engineering develops its first-ever in-house vehicle, we’d bet that the higher-ups are investigating additional income sources. With this announcement, sounds like they’ve found one—or two.