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Old 10-26-2016, 05:09 PM
gtr_5155 gtr_5155 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 108

Originally Posted by 56tbird View Post
"Port Hole Mobile is not slang for Oldsmobiles. its insider slang for Buick."

Ahhh. Now it makes sense. Had you used that expression to describe Buicks I likely would have understood the reference to 'portholes'. The 'portholes' along the front quarter panels of Buicks continued long after their functionality ceased, but remained as a classy design element. The familiar three or four 'portholes' on either side represented whether the engine was a six cylinder (3 portholes on either side) or an eight cylinder (4 portholes on either side). In later years there were even colored lights placed inside the characteristic portholes.

Interesting history on the licensing fee history for the diecast manufacturers. Thank you for sharing that.

Edited to add:

I was almost certain that I had once read that the number of ports on the front fenders (and sometimes on the hood) depicted the number of cylinders of the engine [a six cylinder (3 portholes on either side) or an eight cylinder (4 portholes on either side)]. But as I thought about it I realized that Buicks of this vintage were only available with 8 cylinder engines (in-line 8: 1946-1952, and later V8: 1953 and later). Sorry to mislead anyone by perpetuating this old urban legend. Of course, you can probably get a Buick today with a 4 cylinder, but when a Buick was a Buick, they were all 8 cylinder cars.
The later portholes were used to designate the levels of the model.3 were used on the Special and Century.The Century was the same as the Special,but used the larger displacement v8 from the Roadmaster.All of the upper level models used 4 portholes 958-1959,NO portholes for any models.
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