Why Oldsmobile’s Strange F-85 Jetfire Engine Was Way Ahead Of Its Time – SlashGear

Despite the remarkable boost in performance the Jetfire system provided, it ultimately proved to be too far ahead of its time. Many Jetfire owners didn’t drive the car very aggressively, which resulted in the turbo system not being activated frequently enough to generate boost and lubricate the shaft of the turbo’s compressor.  

The task of keeping the Turbo Rocket tank full was also often neglected, and the system would shut down if the tank ran dry. The subsequent loss of performance frustrated many Jetfire owners who didn’t understand the simple solution. In 1965, Oldsmobile began offering Jetfire owners the option of swapping out the system for a conventional four-barrel carburetor and intake, meaning it’s hard to find an intact F-85 Jetfire engine today. The quirky system earned the F-85 Jetfire a spot on our list of underappreciated Oldsmobile muscle cars, and Jim Noel, who founded oldsjetfire.com and works to preserve and rebuild the systems from his workshop in Bloomington, Minnesota, told Hagerty he thinks there are only about 150 restorable Jetfires left. 

“I talk with Jetfire owners every month, and more of them are considering restoration,” he said. “I can think of 20-25 that are in some state of being worked on.”