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Post Info TOPIC: 261, 265 and early 283 Engine Colour


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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261, 265 and early 283 Engine Colour


I recently purchased a set of 265 Pontiac embossed valve covers from member 59paris. They are rustic and while I purchased them solely for wall hangings or garage art I haven't decided whether to leave them rustic or restore them. In this vein I though if I do restore them I better do them justice and get the paint right etc..I've done research on this before:

 Six Cylinder Paint Colours

Engine Nomenclature thread

It's pretty certain that the 261 was green from 1955 through 1962 & the 265 and 283 were also green from 1955 through 1957. All the evidence in the above threads is very inconclusive on the right colour. So in a recent BS session at City Cadillac with some of the older mechanics, you know guys my age or older, I say do any of you recall what colour the early V8's were in Oshawa built Pontiac's. The answers immediately come back "Oh that was Detroit Diesel Green", "Yup the GM Diesel Green" confirms another. 

Say what? All I had to do was ask you guys. Anyway here is what it looks like, looks pretty darn near what the sales brochures and many photos show for most years. Hope this helps guys.

Diesel Green GM Alpine Green Engine Coatings Spray Paint

Diesel Green GM Alpine Green

 

 

51urGDqX7kL._AC_SL1000_.jpg


Detroit-Diesel-Alpine-Green-lg.jpg


1957 Brochure illustration

 6838AB1A-DD9B-4A4C-A197-07232A6A5CD1.jpeg

 






-- Edited by 73SC on Saturday 4th of April 2020 12:18:16 AM

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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 






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Good to know! Thanks Ray.

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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That is coo,  so this color is still avail in spray bombs?

Here is a pic of my original one owner 1953 chevy that was canadian built,  it might not have been the corperate green, but more of a grey. it certainly was not the usual blue that the american ones were.  Yes, it is a 235 ci



-- Edited by beaumontguru on Friday 3rd of April 2020 08:02:05 AM

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Ray, good work there. Thanks for sharing. smile



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1957 Pontiac Pathfinder Deluxe sedan restored 261 six

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beaumontguru wrote:

That is coo,  so this color is still avail in spray bombs?

Here is a pic of my original one owner 1953 chevy that was canadian built,  it might not have been the corperate green, but more of a grey. it certainly was not the usual blue that the american ones were.  Yes, it is a 235 ci



-- Edited by beaumontguru on Friday 3rd of April 2020 08:02:05 AM


 First off I've seen that metallic grey you show on engines in my travels, even on a 265 in a Pontiac once. I didn't want to confuse an even more confusing situation so did not mention it. My research here is for the 55-57 265/283 V8 and 55 to 62 261. Having said that it is very possible that that V8 I saw with grey was an early production and very possible that the grey paint was still being used in the factory through 1954 hence and early engine could have gotten it before the switch to green. This exact situation has been documented in 1977 cars when early engines were still orange prior to the switch to corporate blue. Another confusing factor is that 1955 US Pontiac V8's were a light metallic blue grey before being switched over to a very dark green and many Canadian Pontiac's are restored with these colours in error as a result of the general misunderstanding and confusion over the difference in Canadian and US cars.

 Second, the GM Diesel Green is available in spray bombs but sadly very very hard to get in Canada. I see it stateside for as little as $7 but because it contains additives deemed unsafe by Federal Regulators many places will not ship it. Amazon sells for a mere $50 a can. I was fortunate to call Wajax, formerly Harper Detroit Diesel here in Toronto and the Parts Department stocks it at $16.61 per can. 



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 






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long stroke wrote:

Ray, good work there. Thanks for sharing. smile


 My pleasure George, it has been a welcome distraction from my work and COVID-19 crisis management. Thank goodness for old car hobby.



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 






Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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So I decided to restore the valve covers I purchased. I sent them out to a friend to do, retired mechanic and owner of that 76 Fleetwood Ambulance. 

The paint to my eye is a near if not perfect match to the brochures artwork for the V8's .

It is Cloverdale 800140 Alpine Green and I bought it from Wajax Power Systems in Etobicoke ON, formerly Harper Detroit Diesel.

This paint has numerous warnings on the label about cancer, birth defects, sterility, respiratory issues and states emphatically "For Industrial Use Only" 

You would be well advised to suit up and use a proper mask, however it provides outstanding results. 

IMG_20200413_1404372.jpg

 

IMG_20200414_1949373.jpg

 

 



-- Edited by 73SC on Tuesday 14th of April 2020 11:50:42 PM

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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 






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Beautiful... you need to put a car underneath those Ray!

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4SPEED427 wrote:

Beautiful... you need to put a car underneath those Ray!


 Dave is pretty fussy so they did come out very nice. I think I could entertain a '57 Poncho.. 



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 






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I have to do a follow up on these valve covers: First they are not for sale at this time I just want to enjoy them and even if they were I've got way too much in them at this point: $200 to buy them, $12 for paint remover and degreaser, $18 for self etch primer, $30 for diesel green and I forgave a $62 IOU  to Dave my guy who did all the work, that`s $322!

Second, lets talk about the script and whether it is correct to paint the PONTIAC letters some colour or just leave them painted as the rest of the valve cover. My personal research shows both scenarios as does the sales brochures. I have seen black, white and a gold/yellow treatment of the letters as well as no highlight paint. 

I am strongly leaning towards no highlight colour and base this on speaking with those old time mechanics at the dealer who argue that GM would never have gone to the added expense and trouble to literally hand paint each valve cover during the production stage, just for economics sake it would have been far too expensive. They further point out that even Cadillacs had factory embossed valve covers that were not highlighted with a contrasting colour paint. I also have a picture of what appear to be original green valve covers that is probably best evidence showing no script highlighted:

vc.jpg

 

Now, Al Taylor has mentioned he knows of a very original 1957 V8 car and has agreed to go and have a good look at it when he gets back from Snowbirding and COVID-19 clears. Al also indicates that my covers are 56-57 because of the clips on them.

For now I am satisfied in saying No Script highlight paint and that's why I left my restoration pair the way they are. 

IMG_20200414_1949373.jpg

 





-- Edited by 73SC on Thursday 16th of April 2020 04:41:00 PM

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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 






Poncho Master!

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Just curious if this green engine paint would have been used originally on a 235-261 Oshawa built 58 GMC?

I realize that it's not a Pontiac...but POCI recognizes the US built GMC's



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I have not done extensive research on the engine colours of Canadian GMC trucks of this era but I do find Green, Grey and Yellow on truck engines. Grey on Chevrolet 235 and Green and some later yellow on 261 GMC and Chevrolet. So you won't go too far wrong with green on the 261 in a GMC.

Pontiac V8 engines were used in US GMCs likely because GMC was basically down the road from Pontiac in Michigan. They were painted red  This is a closer tie to Pontiac in US even though GMC were sold by Pontiac dealers here in Canada.  

 

THE VENERABLE 261 GM TRUCK ENGINE

 261 engine.gif

 



-- Edited by 73SC on Monday 16th of August 2021 01:17:09 PM

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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 






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"Green Leakers", the pejorative applied to the two-stroke Detroit Diesel engines built by the General from the 30s to the late 80s, and the source of the Rootes blower design that has adorned so many "built" V8s over the years.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if that same colour was used on engines used in Canadian Pontiacs and GMCs back in the day. The unit that was based in London, building buses, locomotives, and distributing/servicing GM Diesel engines back then, would have been a major purchaser of that paint formula.

Buses went to Ste-Eustache and are now owned by AB Volvo, under the name of NovaBus, the locomotive business was spun off to private equity in the late '90s, then bought by Caterpillar, which subsequently had their fill of Grade Ten Ken Lewenza and the then-CAW, and shifted production to Indiana. Allison Transmission was also spun out to private equity, with Gerry Schwartz and Onex Capital sharing ownership, and has since been publicly listed (ALSN-NYSE). Detroit Diesel was sold to Roger Penske in 1986, who passed it along to then-DaimlerChrysler, in 2000, which still own and operate the huge barn in Redford Twp, Michigan, that spawned the powertrain business before WWII.

Drove Louisville Fords with 8V71Ns around Toronto at nights, for Loblaws, in the mid-70s, and sold lots of trucks with 6L71Ns and Ts, as well as 8V92Ns and Ts, back in the day.

Memories, light the corners of my mind!

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73SC wrote:

I have not done extensive research on the engine colours of Canadian GMC trucks of this era but I do find Green, Grey and Yellow on truck engines. Grey on Chevrolet 235 and Green and some later yellow on 261 GMC and Chevrolet. So you won't go too far wrong with green on the 261 in a GMC.

Pontiac V8 engines were used in US GMCs likely because GMC was basically down the road from Pontiac in Michigan. They were painted red  This is a closer tie to Pontiac in US even though GMC were sold by Pontiac dealers here in Canada.  

 

That's a GREAT factory picture........Wonder the there was a production GMC designation on the top of valve cover?

 

I think GMC went with Pontiac engines in America because they were trying to capture a different market...and cater to buyers that didn't want a re-badged Chevy truck but wanted to stay in the GM camp........The 55-59 dash GMC was a completely different animal..as well

 

THE VENERABLE 261 GM TRUCK ENGINE

 261 engine.gif

 



-- Edited by 73SC on Monday 16th of August 2021 01:17:09 PM


 



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I have found no evidence of GMC branding on the top of the valve cover to date. 



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 






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A Canasdian GMC showroom brochure could tell the story on that...

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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For your GMC there is a forum Stovebolt.com that caters to the trucks. I found a thread on 261 engine colour and they say use the Detroit Diesel Alpine Green, same as I show here. Here's a pic of a 261 in a GMC. 

unnamed.jpg



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 






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www.jimcartertruckparts.com/Articles/261-Engine.php

I recall being told that the Canadian Pontiac 6 was used in Chevy and GMC trucks, but not other passenger cars. As near as I can tell, U.S. Ponchos came only with the various displacements of OHV V8s after the I8 was retired.

Not directly germane to the question of correct colour or valve cover treatment, of course...

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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True. The 261 was deemed a premium engine over the 235 that was standard Chevy fare so used in the Canadian Poncho to keep it a cut above the Chevy.

Gramps had one in his 56 and Dad in his 61. The engine was quiet, smooth and powerful.



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Ray White, Toronto ON

1973 LeMans 454 "Astro-Jet"

Built March 9, 1973 - Oshawa ON

1993 Corvette Convertible LT 1

Polo green metallic & tan  - Bowling Green Kentucky 




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