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Q&A with Kit Foster: December 1, 2011


Q. Perhaps one of your readers can help me identify this water pump. I know it’s for a General Motors product, but I don’t know the models or years of application. I took a pencil etching of the part number and it looks like 376444 GM.

Jack Wilson, via e-mail

A. It looks like the water pumps I’ve changed on various small-block Chevy V-8s. A google search on that part number suggests various 305s, 350s and 400s from 1977 to ’91.


Q. With respect to Ray Lindberg’s question about Oldsmobile’s globe emblem (Aug. 25 “Q&A”), the following can be found at “Oldsmobile adopted a ringed-globe emblem to stress what marketers felt was its universal appeal. Throughout the 1950s, the make used twin jet pod-styled taillights as a nod to its ‘Rocket’ theme.” Hope this helps.

Michael Berkin, via e-mail

A. Interesting. I see that the entry credits Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, and, indeed, the exact text can be found there, too, in the “Oldsmobile” entry. There’s no indication of the source of the information, however. In a caption for an image of the 1962-’64 full-size Olds emblem, Wikipedia also states: “From 1948 until 2004, Oldsmobile used a variety of logos employing a rocket theme that played off its Rocket line of V-8 engines.” That one has a prominent vertical spike, symbolic of a rocket on takeoff. A similar theme was used from 1981 to 1996. Oddly, neither Setting the Pace: Oldsmobile’s First 100 Years, the extensive Oldsmobile history by Helen J. Earley and James Walkinshaw (Publications International, 1997), nor Dennis Casteele’s Crestline history The Cars of Oldsmobile (1981) mentions the globe. Surprisingly, I found a site at that seems to be a remnant of Olds’s last days as a GM division. Among such things as descriptions of the 2004 models, it has a history timeline that includes the following: “1949: The ringed globe emblem appeared on Oldsmobile’s first official pace car of the Indianapolis 500, the 1949 Rocket 88.” Of course, that’s only part of the story.


Q. Just a note about David Hildebrand’s radiator cap (Oct. 20 “Q&A”): In 1967, my friend Keith Elliott and I were doing an engine swap in my 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air. I’d picked up the car for $50 with a blown engine that looked internally like the La Brea Tar Pits — those were the days. Anyway, this was at my grandmother’s old wooden three-car garage in Sierra Madre, Calif. That day we found a radiator ornament identical to his sitting on a shelf. The eagle’s head was spring-loaded, and the badge was missing. Keith asked me what I was going to do with it, and since he’d spent the day helping me, I gave it to him. So unless Mr. Hildebrand’s is the same one, there are at least two of them.

Chris Mahuron, Palm Springs, Calif.

A. So it would seem. Mr. Hildebrand, is your eagle spring-loaded?


Q. I have a 2005 Dodge Ram Daytona, VIN 1D7HU18D95J623774, truck number 5990. I’m trying to find the number of this type of Daytona that were made. It’s four-wheel drive, four-door and GoMango Orange.

Joe Veneziano, Philipsburg, Pa.

A. It’s taken me a while to find the information that Mr. Veneziano is looking for. The Ram Daytona was a limited-edition pickup built by Dodge in 2005. Available as either a regular cab or quad cab truck, it could be had with two- or four-wheel drive, in two choices of colors: GoMango!, sometimes described as “nuclear orange,” and Silver Metallic. It came with the 5.7-liter, 345-bhp Hemi V-8, an 11-inch spoiler on the back of the pickup box and flat black graphics on the side. Other equipment included a hood scoop, Borla exhaust with twin chrome tips, a body-colored grille and tail lamp guards, and 20-inch chromed aluminum wheels. Each truck was numbered, Mr. Veneziano’s being 5990. From what I’ve been able to find out, the highest known number is near 11,000, but for some reason not that many were actually built. The numbers I’ve seen are as follows: GoMango!: 2wd regular cab, 954; 2wd quad cab, 1,061; 4wd regular cab, 1,260; 4wd quad cab, 1,768, for total GoMango! production of 5,043. Silver Metallic totals are 2wd regular cab, 660; 2wd quad cab, 1,110; 4wd regular cab, 627; 4wd quad cab, 1,258, for total Silver Metallic production of 3,655. You’ll notice this adds up to only 8,698 trucks (vs. the previously mentioned 11,000), for reasons I cannot explain.

To submit questions to this column: E-mail or mail to: Q&A, c/o Angelo Van Bogart, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990-0001.

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