New Car Test Drive-1960

Hot Rod Magazine 1960Car magazines in 1960 were strikingly similar to those you find on the shelf in any grocery store today…they had the same sort of tech articles, reviews, and of course the advertisements. Aaaahh, the advertisements. Proof that some things never change! My favorite by far was the J.C. Whitney ad…I swear they still sell some of that stuff today. The “Engine Rebuild in a Can” was pretty pricey back then though at $4.95. It’s amazing that after 50 years they can still sell that stuff. Anyway, the test drives found in these two magazines offer a fascinating look at what people thought of them at the time. Hot Rod seemed more impressed by the ’60 Olds than Motor Life, which is kind of surprising given the performance nature of Hot Rod, and the more luxury oriented nature of the Oldsmobile. One other thing that caught me off guard–they reported a 0-60 time of only 9 seconds (!) and a standing quarter mile time of 17 seconds at 83 MPH. Pretty impressive numbers for a stock car that weighs over 4000 pounds. Maybe the drivers at Hot Rod were better or something but Motor Life reported a 0-60 time of 11.2 seconds…they were both driving essentially the same car (a stock Super 88 Scenicoup). That’s a pretty significant difference…weird. One other thing that really caught my attention after reading these is that the quality of fuel back then must have been significantly worse than today. They reported people having detonation problems running regular gas with 8.5:1 compression (!). At any rate, they offer a fascinating look at what it was like to take the brand new 1960 Oldsmobile out for a test drive.

Motor Life 1960Click on the magazines to open a PDF version of the articles. LARGE FILE WARNING!! The HR article is almost 3 megs, so if you’re on dialup you’ll be there all day waiting for it. I scanned these at 150 DPI so they would have enough resolution to be able to read them, while keeping the files at least somewhat manageable. Even on DSL it takes a minute to load.

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