Q: Rain and the Ram Air Scoops
All this talk about ram air hoods got me thinking and since i’ve never had the pleasure of viewing a real ram air in the flesh I ask. What do you do when it rains? How do you keep the water out. I can’t imagine people in the sixties buying cars you drive in the rain.
A: To answer this we must rewind to 1965 and look at the GTO. It had an over the counter option of a Ram Air pan that bolted on to the 3x2s (triPower). It had a seal that moulded itself to the contour of the underside of the hood. It didnt have a seperate hood pan as in the later years. In 66 Pontiac continued this over the counter option and later that year had a factory option of RA GTO. This was the first time you could get a purpose built factory Ram Air Pontiac. There were previous cars built in the early 60s but werent avaliable to the general public. There were around 200 of the 66 GTO RA cars made. Rare indeed.
The tradition of RA carried into the 1967 GTO but tripower was replace by single 4 bbl(Q-Jet). When Firebird was intoduced the 400 option had a newly designed scooped hood that also offered the RA setup except it had a seperate under hood pan to help seal and direct the incoming “rammed” air. These were true Factory Hot Rods avaliable to the general public.
Tradition carried on to the 1968 GTO and Bird with basicly the same setup. This was the first year GTO used a seperate hood pan. Complaints of this fair weather only system promted enginners to design a 1969 driver controlled system that closed the RA inlets off to under hood inlets. This allowed the driver to choose if weather was not favorable. 70 Trans Ams improved the design and had a flapper that faced backwards on the shaker scoop. This was carried on thru the 72 model. After that it was basicly a design feature. It was big hoopla that GM introduced the Trans AM with factory RA in the last 3 yrs. History does repeat itself.
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Content last modified: January 16, 2014 at 4:29 pm