Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1982 Oldsmobile 98 Regency “455” and VW 1302 – Opposites Attract

These shot by Roshake offer a nice bit of contrast: a 1.3 L VW Beetle 1302 (Super Beetle) and an (alleged) 7.4 L 455 Olds 98. I realize that the 455 was not a factory option on these, but the call out on its fender, the big hood scoop and oversize wheels and tires do suggest that an engine swap involving one V8 might well have occurred.

Let’s get the VW out of the way first: yes, this is a 1971 or 1972 Super Beetle, and these were most commonly sold in Europe with the 1.3 L engine and thus dubbed “1302”. The 1.3 was more economical, and taxes were lower too, depending on the country. In 1973, when the big curved windshield was added, it became the 1303. And if you got the 1600cc  engine, the designation became 1302S or 1303S. A bit confusing, but VW didn’t want to have it be confused with the Type 3 1600.

As to the Olds, Roshake called it a 1980, but going by the grille, it looks more like a 1982. But then maybe it got changed out. In any case, no 455 ever graced one of these from the factory, unfortunately. In 1980, it was the 307 and the 350, in diesel and gas versions, was optional. By 1982, it was just the 307 gasser or the 350 diesel.

Maybe this was a diesel, and get a bit of a performance upgrade? It wouldn’t have been all that hard.

The license plate frame says “There’s No Replacement For Displacement”. That tends to support the hypothesis.