This is a Stromberg Model W carburetor—says so right there on the side. More specifically, it’s a Bendix Stromberg WA3-219 carburetor. “W” for the design family of the carburetor, “A” for 1-barrel, “3” means made for Chrysler, and 219 is the subtype. Very fine, and…so what? Well, here’s the thing: This kind of carburetor was only ever used on 1963 Plymouth-Dodge cars; only the big ones, not Darts and Valiants, with the 225 Slant-6 and automatic transmission. Not just this subtype 219, and not just no other Chrysler products. No, I mean this whole kind of carburetor, the Stromberg Model W, was not installed on any other model, make, or year of vehicle.
That’s anomalous. Holley 1920s were used not just on Slant-6s but also on American Motors cars and Fords and such. Carter BBDs were used on Mopars and Jeeps and AMCs and others. Numerous other Holley and Carter models; Rochester Quadrajets; SUs and those other (English Zenith) Strombergs…most kinds of carburetor found a job under more than one kind of hood. Two sizes of the American Bendix Stromberg WW two-barrel were used on Mopar V8s for quite a whack of years, as well as various GM vehicles and probably others. But not this Stromberg W: just one kind of car, with just one kind of engine and just one kind of transmission, for just one model year. Only!
Designing; engineering; tooling; producing; testing; calibrating, and validating a whole new carburetor was a lot of work for Bendix, and therefore surely cost very serious money; the realities of how car parts are conceived and born make that a fact even without knowing the dollar amount. Adding the carburetor and its every replaceable component and its ancillaries (repair kits, etc) to the Chrysler parts system cost yet more major money. Usually these costs are amortised and brought down to a low figure per carburetor—or whatever other kind of part—by keeping it in production as long as feasible; making incremental, inexpensive changes to keep the part compatible with the rest of the car as it evolves.
But not this time, nope. How come?
It wasn’t any kind of engineering blunder better scrapped than fixed; in every way, the Stromberg W was and is at least as good as (I would vote “better than”) the Carter BBSs and Holley 1920s factory-plopped on Slant-6s over a whole bunch of years, including those same 1963 225/automatic Plymouths and Dodges. The carb is simple and well-designed and -built: nice quality castings, no gaskets below fuel level, a compound venturi for good driveability, etc. There was one TSB for a quick 3-minute tweak to the choke spring so it wouldn’t stick, but that scarcely counts ’cause there was an identical bulletin for the 1920. And sometime during MY63 the 219 became 219A by dint of a small hole drilled through the carburetor barrel’s outer wall right above the lower edge of the closed throttle plate—just like on Carters and Holleys—to stave off flooding after shutting off a hot engine. It was a running change in production, not a field modification to existing carburetors. You can see the anti-flood hole just above the foot of this 219A:
It wasn’t some peculiarity of the ’63 cars in general, either; no special one-year throttle or kickdown linkage or air cleaner or manifold or anything else. It wasn’t vehicle equipment with needs only meetable by the Stromberg carb, either; whether your new ’63 Slant-6 Dodge or Plymouth came with a BBS, a W, or a 1920 was down to what came to hand on the assembly line when any given car was being built. All three are directly interchangeable.
No, it really looked as though Chrysler had simply added Bendix as a third supplier for Slant-6 carburetors in ’63, as they’d done with Holley in ’62. Parts price lists from the day don’t show a significant difference to the Carter or Holley carbs there, either. If there was some kind of strike or other event preventing Carter and Holley meeting the demand, I’ve never found any mention or evidence of it. Chrysler even used the Stromberg carb in non-carburetor-specific training literature, which I think they wouldn’t’ve if this carb had been a quickie stopgap with an intentional dead-end future.
The Stromberg WW two-barrels still came on Chrysler’s V8s for several more years, so it doesn’t seem Chrysler had a falling-out with Bendix, but the WA one-barrel was gone permanently for ’64; Carter BBSs and Holley 1920s resumed being the only two factory-installed carburetors. Finding out why would likely require recollection by someone who was there, so this particular question will likely remain forever unanswered.
Update: I asked Jon Hardgrove, whose Carburetor Shop is where the world’s best carburetor rebuild kits come from. He’s got a giant amount of Stromberg engineering information, and if anybody would know, he’d be the man. It’s a mystery to him as well, though he did describe six prototype variants of the Model W that got as far as being assigned Chrysler 7-digit part numbers in the 2463xxx range. That would put them in the block of part numbers assigned to new parts brought in with the ’64 cars. The prototypes included probable ’64-model carbs for the big cars and for Darts and Valiants with 170 and 225 engines, as well as service replacement carbs for ’60-’62 cars. Bendix sent six of each variant to Chrysler, and that was the end of the story. Because I’m an inveterate geek, I’ve bought copies of the blueprints for the prototypes and the production “W” from Mr. Hardgrove.
Adding to the weirdness: Bendix’s Australian Stromberg Technico carburetor operation sold a 1-barrel carburetor to Chrysler Australia for their ’67-’69 Slant-6 Valiants. It was designated the BXUV-3, but bore no resemblance to the Bendix Stromberg carb by that same designation decades earlier in the US. The late-’60s Australian BXUV had some visible similarity to the American ’63 WA3, but there are too many basic differences to call it a revived or recycled design. That’s kind of a strange reinvention of the wheel; Bendix (USA) routinely sent designs to Bendix (Australia) for production down there, but this is a clean-sheet design. Unlike the American “W”, the Australian BXUV was produced in versions for non-Chrysler cars, as well. Here’s that BXUV carby (as they abbreviate it down under):
Eight years on from the “W”, Chrysler bought Rochester 2GV ‘Dualjet’ 2-barrel carburetors from GM and put them on some 318-only, automatic-only cars in 1971 (only). Here again, your car got a Rochester or a Carter depending on luck of the draw. This wasn’t as extreme as the case of the ’63 Stwomboig W; the 2GV was a carburetor already in production, made suitable with just minor reconfiguration to comport with Chrysler’s hookups and air cleaners. Here again, they worked fine, but were only used for that one year. See for yourself—here’s that GM carburetor with Chrysler-type choke, throttle, and air cleaner mounting:
I just happen to know about this case-and-a-half, but I guess there are probably many similar mysteries of expensively-realised, perfectly good parts used only briefly for no apparent reason. Consider the tree shaken; whatchya got?
This isn’t nearly as odd as that Stromberg, but I recently discovered that my ’63 Riviera has a one-year-only center bearing support for the driveshaft. The only difference between it and the support that fits ’64 through probably ’70 is the spacing of the bolt holes that attach it to the frame. The center-to-center distance is 2.25″ on the ’63 and 1.75″ (?) on the ’64 and up. Why, Buick, why? Of course, I paid about twice as much for the ’63 version.
That’s still pretty damn odd. I’m finding it equally difficult to imagine a functional improvement or a net cost savings from making a production switch like that.
My 1961 Thunderbird used an odd 1-year-only system for a front hanger for the rear leaf springs. Instead of the time-honored eye-bushing-bolt way of attaching the front of the spring to the frame, the 61 used a complex multi-piece thing that allowed the front of the spring to move fore and aft through a rubber block. They went back to a normal system for 62 and beyond.
Deep in the recesses of my memory is a friend in the late 70s who went to rebuild a carb on a 65(?) Chevelle wagon. He said he could not find parts because it was a 1-year design for California cars. That may or may not have been true, but it was what he was told around 1978.
I just thought of another one – the 1992 Ford 4.6 V8 engine block is referred to as the “bastard block” because for that year only, the block was set up for the bolt pattern for the older AOD transmission. From 1993 on, the 4.6 used a different bell housing bolt pattern.
Seems like there might have been an ordinary reason for that ’61 T-bird spring hanger being used only one year: maybe it had durability problems, or made noise, or caused service hassles. Maybe its theoretical advantages didn’t materialise, or maybe the improvement wasn’t enough to warrant the extra cost. Maybe the improvement was real and worthy, but a cheaper way of retaining enough of the benefit was found.
Your friend’s story gets sturdier if his Chevelle was a ’66 or ’67.
My money is on the 61 design being a handling problem. A movable hanger on one end of a leaf spring is necessary. A movable hanger on both ends seems like a recipe for an infinitely and randomly variable rear suspension geometry. I think I recall reading about some squirelley handling at high speeds.
I don’t think one year only parts is necessarily planned that way. One example is the one year only oil filter for the 1983 Nissan Maxima LD28 diesel engine. My guess is that they implemented the new filter as a running improvement, and then market or other conditions ended up with the cancellation of this engine option for the very next year. It’s just one of those events that occur at random.
As any VW guy can tell you, 1967 VWs have many one year only parts. One I recall was the ’67 Type2 (Bus) master cylinder. ’67 was the first year of the dual circuit brakes but the last year of the split window Bus. 1968 was the redesigned model and virtually everything was different. In the late ’90’s-early 2000’s a master cylinder was $300 when most other VW master cylinders were in the $30 range. THey’ve since gotten cheaper.
I’ve never understood why they spent so much time and money redesigning for just one year. ’67 Beetles had one year only hood, decklid, front and rear aprons, fenders, rear bumper, doors, etc.
I recall this detail well went I had a 1960 Kombi. A popular mod was to convert contemporary, road-going splittys to dual circuit. Wasn’t it a legislative change in ‘67 that required dual circuit brakes among other safety changes?
Yes, though I recall it was usually model year 68.
Having spent some time at thesamba.com, VW history is full of one-year or even partial year parts, as they made running changes.
The ’59 “bastard” 40hp Transporter engine comes to mind; it was very problematic and VW replaced them for free. But there’s others too.
Well, I had a 1971 Buick with the one-year-only flow through ventilation. There were probably some number of one-year parts involved with that, although it’s the trunk lid with the louvers that I mostly knew about. I always like the louvers and didn’t experience any of the issues that caused GM to pull that feature after just one year.
In situations like this, my general response is “follow the money”. And this bit from your post stood out:
“Designing . . .a whole new carburetor was a lot of work for Bendix, and therefore surely cost Chrysler very serious money”
Assuming something like a standard business model, somebody at Bendix derived a figure for what all this development would cost and then added some percentage so the company would make a profit, and sent the bid to Chrysler.
I can only come up with 2 reasons that Chrysler would spend money to develop a carburetor that did (pretty much) nothing different than an existing unit.
(The reasonable reason) The existing carburetor vendors had expressed some possible delivery issues – reasons unimportant – and Chrysler felt it would be a good idea to have a third supplier. But then those supply issues didn’t materialize, and Chrysler dropped the W to reduce build and inventory complexities.
(The dirty reason) Somebody at Chrysler owed somebody at Bendix a “favor”. That sort of thing happened just as often at “legitimate” businesses as it did at more underhanded businesses. Or, in a similar vein, Bendix was in financial trouble and Chrysler “threw them a bone” to make sure the company stayed alive to produce the WW carburetors they really wanted.
As you said, we’ll never really know, but a wise man once told me that if you’re trying to understand an unusual decision, the answer is *always* “follow the money”.
The real question is: who actually paid for the development of these parts generally? Did suppliers do it in order to win a contract to supply the part? Or did manufacturers, because they had some specific specs?
I kind of suspect it was the former, but I’m not sure. Maybe Bendix thought it could get a bigger contract than it did in the end. Maybe Chrysler wasn’t all that happy with it, for some reason?
In the modern world, suppliers take all or most of the risk in developing parts for manufacturers. The business is very much not a “cost plus” formula. Suppliers take large risks in their business, and their profit margins are generally quite low, if any at all. It’s a brutal business, for the most part, unless you’re huge and have the ability to develop expensive components other typically can’t.
I really have no idea how that works, Paul. I just took Daniel’s word (that Chrysler paid) at face value when I quoted it my initial response.
I believe the suppliers took most of the risk back then, as well.
De Lorean told a story in “On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors” about Holley developing a new low-emissions 2-bbl. carburetor for the Vega after GM’s Rochester Products refused to do.The Holley design allowed for the elimination of an air pump and saved Chevrolet about $3 million a year. De Lorean says:
“Now, development of such a new product by an outside supplier carries with it an implicit gentleman’s promise by the company that the supplier will get some of the business. Suppliers sometimes do not take out patents on such work, or, if they do, give their client free access to the design. In this case, when Rochester Products Division found out about the Holly (sic) breakthrough, it got panicky that it was going to lose the Vega business. The corporate management came to Rochester’s aid and threw out Holly as a possible supplier on the carburetor it designed, and gave the job to Rochester….GM management did a similar ‘number’ on the Kelsey-Hayes Company, which developed a single-piston disc brake only to have General Motors appropriate the design and build most of the parts internally.”
De Lorean said he prepared a memo which said, in part, that: “I have instructed our people to stop getting outside quotations…since it is unfair to ask a firm to spend time and money preparing a quote if they have no chance at the business.”
77 Vega absolutely came with a Holley carb. They did not have an air pump but a passive air injection system. I had one not too long ago and got lucky enough to source the head with the proper ports and air injection. Had to do it for CA bi annual smog check. Head was a 1 year federal requirement, CA requirement for 76 and 77. I even found a nos Holley for the thing.
“The existing carburetor vendors had expressed some possible delivery issues…”.
Gee, doesn’t this sound vaguely familiar today?
You make good cases; these are two very plausible explanations. You’ve also jogged my recall of someone who might at least be able to tell a story of some kind about it. If I can reach them, if they have anything substantial to say on the subject, I’ll post an update.
“On a Clear Day…” tells me that the opposite would happen too, a design would be commissioned for the supplier, they’d spend time and effort designing it, then the big auto company would decide they did not need it, if you wanted to give someone the shaft.
The ’74 Mustang II has a number of unique parts, since the ’75 was modified to accept a V8 engine. The front fascia, radiator support, and hood were all modified to relocate the radiator several inches forward. In addition, the “74 fuel tank fill pipe is significantly shorter than the ’75 version, as the fuel cap location moved up on the fender to accommodate an optional auxiliary fuel tank.
The ’74 also has a unique map light, tucked under the passenger side vent outlet. Later models still had an opening for the ’74 style light, but Ford moved the map light to the front of the headliner. The new map light included a stalk to aim it in multiple directions justifying the change.
Ford had plenty of one year parts. Heck, I have seen six month parts on Fords. For that reason, I always had to include the build date when I ordered parts for a Ford.
Even that didn’t guarantee the right part would arrive. Often, I would order both versions to see which one fit, and send the other back. This was especially true with starters and alternators.
Thanks for the morning read, Daniel.
Is it plausible that, knowing Chrysler’s frugal nature, got a really good deal from Bendix on some carbs that nobody else wanted but were already produced and in a warehouse? Chrysler gets a cheap part, Bendix offloads unwanted inventrory.
Not even a little bit plausible, no. These carburetors were designed, engineered, and made for Chrysler, specifically for those 1963-model cars. They weren’t shelf-stock items modified or reconfigured to fit.
I was told years ago that Bendix-Stromberg carburetors were quite expensive compared to Carters.
Maybe they were—I don’t have a way to check. But I can’t easily get onside with this as an explanation, because IIRC the price sheets showed only small differences in the prices of new Holley; Carter, and Stromberg carbs, and the Stromberg wasn’t the highest-priced of the three.
1960 Corvair, seemingly half the car…
Also from GM, all those 1971 cars with ineffective flow-through ventilation systems and louvres on the deck lid or tailgate.
Special parts are almost the norm with heavy duty trucks, with plow trucks you are always dealing with custom nearly one off parts.
We had purchased a batch of Cat powered Sterling’s for plow trucks. This one group had the Cat C12 Bridge engines. When we were inspecting the pilot truck it was noted that the exhaust pipe routing was a problem. No big deal, engineering can fix it. 6-7 years later and we need a new turbo exhaust pipe. Turns out our 20-30 some trucks are the only trucks that used that pipe and Sterling has no stock and isn’t going to stock it AND they can’t find the engineering files either. Oh buy the way Sterling is also folding. After many phone calls we managed to find a company in Iowa that could manufacture the pipe for us, just had to remove one from a truck and send it to them to copy. We had it manufactured in two pieces rather then one to make installation much easier to install. Bending 5″ pipe with two 90 degree bends and putting a turbo flange on it isn’t your average muffler shop job.
Other special exhaust parts. The normal exhaust routing on heavy duty trucks is a right hand side mounted vertical muffler behind the cab, exhaust usually routed under the frame of the truck. Most of out trucks required a LH mount. Our exhaust mounted on our equipment so a lot of OEM pieces got tossed in the dumpster. Therefore spending the additional money to get a left hand exhaust was a waste of money. What we usually did was cut up the exhaust piping and weld it back up to get the exhaust thru to the other side. Then years later you get the enterprising mechanic that manages to find a part number on the rotted out exhaust pipe he needs to replace. He orders a replacement and its the “wrong” pipe. Order it again and again its the wrong pipe! Then I get the call for help, get your Nelson exhaust catalog out and order some pipe elbows and build your own.
The other pipe problem. Steel coolant pipes don’t last very long on plow trucks. Instead of molded rubber hoses sometimes molded steel pipes are used. Short straight sections of rubber hoses to couple things together and no special expensive molded hoses to buy. Except now you have special steel pipes rotting out that are ridiculously expensive and out of stock or back ordered. We had four different engines used which required a total of eight pipes to fix this problem. We had them made out of stainless steel by a local custom exhaust shop and the cost was way less then the OEM steel pipes.
Sounds about right. Sterlings (at least the second incarnation) were mongrels from the start. The Ford HM80 Louisvilles they were based on were almost a one year deal, Ford deciding to sell their heavy truck operation to Freightliner about a year after the HN80’s went on sale. When Freightliner took over all sorts of tom-foolery ensued, and the resulting Sterling truck became a mix of former Ford and Canadian Freightliner parts, some with Mercedes diesels thrown in for good measure. The enterprise lasted about 9 years until Freightliner put it out of everyone’s misery. They were always tough to get parts for.
The rumor was the Sterling’s were going to be built in Mexico at the new plant for Freightliners. There were two dunk tanks built for the e-coating of cabs before painting. One for steel cabs and one for aluminum cabs. Freightliner cabs are all aluminum, so who was the other tank for, Sterling, Western Star? Sterling was definitely killed by Mercedes, the crash of 2008-2009 was what did them in. The move to Mexico was to get out of Canada. There was already product development going on for dealing with 2010 changes, new dash layout, etc. We had been meeting for scheduling a pilot truck and the curtain came down. They did do a lot of changes over the years, ended up basically a Freightliner under a Sterling cab. The big deal for us was a set forward front axle, the Freightliners did not have a set forward axle until you moved to their premium line of conventional’s, to expensive for plow trucks. A set back front axle puts to much weight on the front axle when you got a plow hanging out front.
We also heard that as it turned out the Sterling (Ford) cab was going to need an extensive redesign for 2010 and Freightliner couldn’t justify the expense. Also some talk about Ford or Ford suppliers no longer wanting to supply Freightliner (there was still quite a few Ford parts in the trucks). In the end, more reasons to drop Sterling than to keep it going. Still looking for a picture of the Ford HN80 long nose Louisville LTL successor. Supposedly 2 were built and shown around before Freightliner took over. They wanted no part of that truck, Sterling was to be a vocational line only. No over-the-road models.
I had a 1995 Cadillac SLS, when I was changing out a fuel injector, I found that the ones for 1994 and 1996 were both different, but the ones used in 1995 were the same part number as for a Lotus Esprit V8 Turbo.
I also had a 1989 Plymouth Sundance RS with 2.5 turbo. I can’t remember what all was one year on that car, but it had them. It also had stuff that was last year of A or first year of B that made junkyard scavenging fun.
It definitely doesn’t seem to be as common in modern cars, as attested by the many examples given in the comments from decades past, but I have run into parts sourcing oddities as brands have killed vehicles off around the culling times of the 2008 recession. The last-gen Saab 9-5, which was only about 20% Buick Lacrosse, had many bespoke parts. Ditto the 9-4X which was produced in the low triple digits before production ceased and shared a bit more with the SRX. Saturn had the corporate 3.5 High Value V6 in the Aura for only about a year and a half if that counts, although it was only relatively rare in that car and not in general. And the final-year Pontiac G6 had a few specific parts shared with no other cars or years. I also recall the trunklid on the second generation Olds Aurora was a bit odd. V6 cars from 2001-02 had a steel trunk lid with a plastic insert for the license plate, while V8s had an aluminum one-piece stamping. In 2003, they eliminated the V6 but used the V6 trunklids for all (V8-only) cars made. I guess that’s only a one-year combination of 2 multi-year parts, but still odd. Wheel designs are something that has definitely seemed to explode with modern cars, with designs for specific cars being used, dropped, then reused on others and sometimes only being offered for one year, whether reused or simply a single-year design. Quite a rabbit hole, that. Different paint finishes, sometimes 99% identical designs with one tiny detail change partway through a model generation. Wheel restoration business websites are something to behold, some models having 30 or 40 designs over just a handful of years. Certainly seems to be where the variety of choice has baffingly ramped up with modern cars. Also, CC effect, I noticed an old 850 wagon on the road a few days ago and am 90% sure, thanks to the article, that it was the 1993-only large headlight version. Very good condition, driven by a middle aged college professor-esque guy. The type you would imagine buying it new, although he would have probably been 20 when the car was made. Final example, and still not exactly the same idea but similar, is the 1997-only Olds Regency, which was a pre-1996 Eighty Eight with pre-1997 Ninety Eight Regency parts, made after the 1996 Eight Eight redesign. Complete oddity, but I don’t think anything was exactly specific to it other than the combination of formerly out of production parts. It was basically an officially-produced GM kitbash.
I was in the vintage car/truck parts business for a long time, and over the years I’ve bought out various dealer parts departments as well as local auto parts companies that closed for various reasons. About 40 years ago many small parts stores were closing because of competition from the new discount auto parts chain stores, and I bought several NAPA store inventories when they closed. Researching the various parts in these inventories provided me with a valuable education in “what, why, and how” specific parts fit different vehicles.
Carbs are almost a unique situation, as they use many different parts, that when combined in a certain way, creates a carb with a separate part number. A slight change in connection points, linkages, different size jets, and even stupid things like Carb “A” has a internal mesh fuel filter at the input line, and Carb “B” does not. However they have different part numbers.
1953 and ’54 Senior Packards have a different 4 barrel carb for each year, and are listed as such in the parts book. However they can be interchanged, and except for checking the base number stamped into the carb flange, they are the same except for slight internal changes that don’t affect the performance.
Keep in mind that typically a supplier will receive an invitation to bid on making a part. The first thing they might do is look for existing parts that they can modify to meet the expectation of the manufacturer. As the existing part may have been in production for a long time, the amortization situation might allow them to under bid the other suppliers simply by modifying the part. Same basic part, but with different specs and part number.
Anyone trying to find alternative carbs for American cars & trucks is advised to obtain a copy of Hollander’s Interchange manuals. That company also has notes at the end of each section noting what versions can be used on various vehicles, and if it requires slight modifications, they tell you what is needed to make it work.
Many carbs do fit other vehicles without modifications. My 1961 Vanden Plas limousine’s 4 liter six cylinder motor had a Stromberg that was trash from new. I found a 1960s Bendix carb for a GMC pickup that is a perfect match, and it’s been on there since 1987
Another reason for short production runs is because vehicle manufacturers often ask for a contract to produce X number of parts. The contract goes to the lowest bidder. When the manufacturer asks for an additional bid for X numbers of the same part, a different supplier may come up with a cheaper bid, and the manufacturer will switch supplier and may or may not keep the same part number. Same part, different number!
Studebaker bought many parts “off the shelf” but were sold with Studebaker part numbers. For example, the 1963-64 GT Hawks were available with disc brakes. However the disc brake assemblies were already available Dunlop brake parts. I don’t remember the details, but Studebaker steel wheels [rims] were made by the same supplier who provided Ford with their rims, and some of them have the same specifications & interchange, but have different part numbers.
My Tatra T2-603 from 1962 had disc brakes added during it’s factory rebuilding in 1968, and while the 4 wheel disc brake parts were marked ATE, they are direct copies of the Girling units found on Jaguar sedans. I rebuilt those brake calipers using Girling kits.
Sometimes a change is made because of customer feedback or negative comments. For example, as part of the new Flow-Thru ventilation system, the first FWD Cadillac Eldorados were made with twin black plastic air vents in the tops of the rear fenders, alongside the trunk lid. Cadillac owner feedbacks on these vents were quite negative, so for 1868 the vents were relocated to hidden locations.
All of this is very educational to me, though I’ve never owned a car (new or “collector”) where I’ve had to worry about this much. However, a few minutes of Googling the phrase “one year only part” was very instructive. Fun topic today, and the right CC-er to write it up!
1974 Australian Ford Cortina rear window demister switch label. The switch was a standard Cortina toggle switch relabelled, and the warning light the same as the others (seat belt, dual brakes) but with an amber lens. The actual glass itself would have been the same for the following model.
It’s not mentioned as a feature or an option in any factory literature I have. My October ’74 build had one, and in all my years of climbing through wrecks to harvest parts, I’ve never seen another TC with it. I know they were mandated here sometime in the seventies, so possibly a July ’74 ADR change? I always thought it was an odd (but handy) option for a bottom-of-the-range model. The TD model, which came out the next month, had a totally different dash.
I had a one country local assembly Subaru 93 but carb 1800 absolutely zero carby parts on this planet according to Subaru. OK but they failed to notice the old leone cars used something similar not the same but most of it fitted.
I have a lot of one-year minor parts stories to tell, but a one year-one car line unique carburetor is certainly something special. The only thing I can think of that’s remotely close was the last year of the GM Toroflow 478 diesel when the Bosch PSJ distributor type injection pump was replaced by a Bosch in-line type. In typical GM form, this corrected the last issue the Toroflow had during the last model year the engine was manufactured. I always liked Bendix-Stromberg carburetors from my first encounter with WW on my ’67 318 powered Charger to the WWC that was on my GMC V-6 (eventually replaced by a Holley 4412). Some of the early 1960 GMC 305’s used either the Holley 1904 or a Bendix-Stromberg 1 bbl., but I am not sure what type of Stromberg was used on those trucks. The WW lived on in Brazil until the early 80’s, used on Chevy pickups with the 250 inline 6.
GMC 305s used either Stromberg WW two-barrel; or Zenith 228BV12 or Holley 1904 one-barrel carburetors in 1959. In ’60-’61, only the Stromberg 2bbl or the Zenith 1bbl. From ’63-’70, only the Stromberg 2bbl.
Didn’t know the WW carried on in Brazil that long; interesting! Guess its materials were upgraded to run on alcohol, as well. I did know it soldiered on long enough in Australia to get a ducted bowl vent in the early ’70s (with hose nipple for a charcoal can, rather than just a hat valve direct to atmosphere).
Thanks for the clarification on the 305 1 bbls.. Here is a picture of a Stromberg equipped gasoline 250 from a 1987 Brazillian Chevy C-10/20 brochure. It appears the ‘alcool’ version used a Weber of some sort:
Wow, lookit there—a carburetor that could easily have come on the likes of a ’66-’67 US Dodge truck, manual choke and all.
That is a strange one!
I am sure there are many 1-year-only parts for the independents as they were collapsing.
The 1954 Packard Patrician and Caribbean had a one-year-only engine, the 359 cu. in. version of the straight-8, with a one-year-only aluminum head, pistons, connecting rods, crankshaft, and valves, used on only two models.
I remember guys who owned IH Scouts in the 70s claiming that they had to supply the parts dept. with the week the vehicle was built to buy something like a carb or distributor.
It’s like that in the old Volvo world too. Volvo was well known for making rolling changes as the cars were rolling down the line. Now, it’s not entirely clear how many parts were one-year-only, but something as basic as “model year” mean little to the folks in Torslanda as they incorporated updated designs, and accommodated variations in what was supplied by suppliers as the cars were being assembled.
For a very long time, the model year was more or less pretty much unknown outside The model year is a product of the US market, borne of the American automakers’ obsession with the annual model change. Then it got codified once vehicle regulations came in.
Other markets, without the pressure exerted by planned obsolescence, used model types (like the AP5 Valiant sold from early ’63 to early ’65) and/or production dates.
IIRC you could get a replacement door for Scouts that was a complete assembly and painted.
At the wrecking yard where I briefly worked, IHs of whatever model were called “Intertrashionals” because of the ridiculously lousy parts interchange situation with many of them. Oh, you need a [whatever part] for your ’73 IH? Uh-huh, and was your truck built between August 21 and September 9 of ’72, between 9/9/72 and 11/17/72, between 11/17/72 and 1/23/73, between 1/23/73 and 3/19/73 (etc)? Sorry, we don’t have your [whatever part].
IH did mix and match different parts to be sure, but I’ve not experienced that level of variation in the 25 years I’ve had Scouts. Perhaps Scoutdude can weigh in on his experience. Eric VanBuren used to comment here regularly, and I know he’s heavy into IH, but I haven’t seen him in the comments in years.
Scoutdude = Eric VanBuren
He still drops by fairly regularly, but doesn’t comment as much anymore.
Lots of folks now read on their phones, and that tends to result in fewer comments generally.
Ha ha thanks Paul! I should have figured.
Last time I made a similar comment, in 2016, Scoutdude told me I was full of baloney about it. As I told him then, I was reporting my experience working at a wrecking yard with a rack full of Hollander manuals.
39 comments in and nobody has mentioned the most famous vehicle for one year only parts. Tucker!
It is sort of the opposite, but how about parts that were 1 year only until later on someone realizes that they can be used again.
1965 Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth full size cars with big block V-8s have a unique motor mount on the drivers side and the engine blocks themselves have an extra boss with a threaded hole for that mount.
Except, the same design was used on the ’68-’72 big block Darts and then the block casting with the extra boss was used again in the mid ’70s to mount an air pump for emissions purposes.
There were no ’70-’72 big-block Darts, though.
How about AMC? I swear that Kenosha had teams dumpster diving behind the big 3 and some of their suppliers. Carbs and electrics you never knew what you were going to get. As much as I like them, AMC is short for Another Manufacturer’s Castoffs.
Since you asked…Mazda used essentially the same 4-barrel carburetors and intake manifolds for the rotaries, from 1974 through 1985, one for the 12-A engine in the RX-2, RX-3, and first-gen RX-7, and a different spec for the 13-B engine in the RX-4.
Except for 1976. The standard rotary intake manifold had very short intake runners for the primaries, and long intake runners for the secondaries. For 1976, Mazda decided to change up the intake manifold and “equalize” the intake manifold runner lengths, by directing the primaries, tucked up close to the engine, out to the engine ports at either extreme of the engine, and run the secondaries, perched further from the engine, direct into the center engine intake ports. On paper, the equalization of intake runner lengths should have increased engine horsepower. In the real world, it seemed to accomplish nothing in particular. So, for model year 1977, Mazda went back to the “old” intake manifolds for the rest of the ’74 through ’85 run of rotaries.
The “reverse runner” rotary engine manifolds are a “one year deal”. This “one year” phenomenon hit both during the absolute nadir of rotary car sales, and also when Mazda was hitting the financial wall. How low were the car sales? For the 12-A engine RX-3, it was 1,855 cars in model year 1976. For the reskinned RX-4, it was roughly 16,000 cars. Add in the Cosmo and Rotary Pickup (I can’t vouch for the manifold spec for them, but likely the same one-year swap), and it was an additional 12,000 or so for the 13-B engine. There were fewer than 2,000 12-A “reverse runner” intake manifolds, and fewer than 30,000 13-B “reverse runner” intake manifolds.
The rotary engine car sales for 1976 also show how much the rotary had died on the vine. Given the high scrapping rate of the early rotaries, and the fact that performance engine builders dump the stock intake and exhaust manifolds before they do anything else, and one would be hard pressed to find any examples of the 12-A reverse runner manifold around. 13-B versions won’t be easy to find, either.
Question on the Bendix-Stromberg model “W”. Was there a model “V” or a model “X”?
The reason I ask is that Carter had been building a model “WO” and later a model “WA”, which looks very similar to this carburetor, and it was for the Willys Jeep (“W” for “Willys”, perhaps?).
Maybe Bendix-Stromberg introduced their own version of the Carter WA carburetor for Kaiser to install in the Jeep, but it went nowhere, as Kaiser began to favor V-6 engines for the Jeeps as the ’60s rolled on.
No, the Stromberg models were not sequential like that. The WW (smaller) and WWC (larger) 2bbl dated back to at least the ’50s, but there was no V before it or X after it. Likewise the Carter model names were along the lines of WCD and WCFB (“Will Carter Dual [throat]” and “Will Carter Four Barrel”); AFB (“Aluminum Four Barrel”), AVS (“Air Valve Secondaries”), BB-BBS-BBD (“Ball & Ball”; “Ball & Ball Short”; “Ball & Ball Dual [throat]”), etc.
The Carter WA is not related to the Stromberg WA, except that they’re both 1-barrel carburetors.
The Carter “W” family was introduced in 1931 with the type W-2 used by Nash. The more familiar W-1 was introduced in 1932.
The single barrel “W” series”
W-0 (S.A.E. size 1)
W-1 (S.A.E. size 2)
W-2 (S.A.E. size 3)
WA-1 (S.A.E. size 2) with improvements over the W-1.
WE (S.A.E. size 2) with improvements over the W-1, but less than the WA-1
The “W” originally was for “wrought” as in “wrought iron”.
However friends at Carter informed me that WCFB stood for (W)ill (C)arter (F)our (B)arrel.
As far as the 3-219 is concerned:
The prototype was built 8 January 1960, and the unit was released for production 13 August 1962.
One other comment about Stromberg and the single year type W:
This was not Stromberg’s first single barrel that did not survive well.
In 1936, Stromberg introduced the type A, sold to Nash Lafayette; it did last 2 years on the Lafayette. The single barrel downdraft model A was never used by anyone else.
In the FWIW category:
In Stromberg lexicon, the first letter in the type designation signified the carburetor type (in this case “A” or in the case of the 3-219 “W”). Repeating the letter designated a two barrel (AA-1, AA-2, WW). This practice was modified with the 1952 Buick 4-barrel (AAAA) which was deemed bulky, and the model called “4A”.