1970 Oldsmobile Rallye 350 – Bob Tomlinson raced her and owned her from day one!

A long way from 1970 – and still getting it done – big time!

By Bob Tomlinson and Society Staff – reprint with permission only

A Rapid Rallye 350 – But That’s Not How It Started Out

Bob Tomlinson’s Rallye is a far cry from the Insurance Beater Olds Envisioned – and the racing world is better for it! Let him tell the story:

I purchased the car new September of 1970 at the age of 21 (I traded in a Corvair Monza) at 4th Street Motors in DeKalb Il.

The car had AC, power steering, power (drum) brakes, and a TH-350 trans on the column. It had the rubber floor covering (no carpet). I drove the car for the first year as an every day driver as I just was the father of a new baby boy, and it was our transportation.

I was always a big drag race fan (S/SS especially), and after the first year of ownership I had dreams of turning the car into a NHRA SS/ piece. So I took the car off the street and started collecting all the parts needed to go “class racing”. Little did I know the financial, commitment it takes to compete in this kind of drag racing, and after the car sat in storage while I tried to build the next U.S. Nationals, SS/O winner, it became apparent that the money neccessay for that approach was beyond a growing family, so I gave up on my dream.

Then in about 1975-6 I thought it would be cool to do the “car show” gig, so I started chroming everything I could, and I joined a car club (Early times Street Rods). I started going to local car shows and rod runs. But after about 10 years of shining the chrome and packing up the lawn chairs, every weekend, I got bored with the “show thing” and I put the car in storage once again.

By that point I had three sons (5-10-14 yrs old) and they got into BMX racing. For the next 8+ years all my wife, my 3 boys, and I did with our free time, was run around the country racing BMX bicycles. Once again there was no time for the Rallye so it sat in storage. (Car had a complete – down to bare metal – repaint in 1987).

After the boys grew up and quit racing their bikes competitively, I thought I would like to get back into the “car thing” again. The one thing I knew was that I would never sell it and by now it wasn’t a practical daily driver, so why not do what I always loved, and go drag racing?

In 2001, I started to build and race the car for fun. With the help of a great family, friends, and Rocket Racing and Performance, I have gone a little faster each year – as they say “as funds will allow”.

The car has 17,000 original miles on it, and I do get the occasional ” Why would you want to BEAT UP a classic”? My answer . . .  “I’m having FUN”

Personal best performance as of 10/11:

  • 60′ – 1.389
  • ET – 10.318
  • MPH – 128.19

Most memorable accomplishments:

  • Featured in these magazines:
    • 2/’82 Cars High-Performance
    • 10/’83 Popular Hot Rodding
    • 4/’86 Autobuff.
  • ’02 Best in class Mondello Olds Nats. Byron Il.
  • ’06 R/U Pro class @ Dick Miller Oldsmobile Powered Nats.
  • ‘010 Winner Great lakes Dragway B O P Union Grove Wisconsin

Here are some of the things that I have done to the car:

    • 350 “D” block (now 385 cu. in.)
    • #6 heads that have been ported by Dick Stolpa @ Rocket Racing and Performance. 55cc chamber (going with the RRP aluminum heads and intake next season)
    • Harland Sharp roller rockers 1.6 ratios. 2.07 int valve, and a 1.71 exh. valve. Rocket Racing rocker girdle.
    • Block was completely prepped by Rocket Racing. Four bolt main caps. Main bearing spacers for 2.5″ mains.
    • Hard Blok fills the water pump holes.
    • Lifter bore restrictors.
    • Wiseco custom pistons 4.185″ bore, 6 cc piston dome. 0.040″ thick head gasket. (14:1 compression)
    • 330 crank offset ground to 3.5 strokes.
    • Eagle “ESP” 6.125 long H-beam rods. 2.00″ big end.
    • Lunati solid roller 0.680″ int lift,� .680 exh lift. Duration @ 0.050 is 259* int. 267* exh.
    • Holley Street Dominator intake, port matched, and a 1″ “Super Sucker” spacer.
    • Pro Systems 1000 HP Holley carb.
    • Product Engineering electric fuel pump Aeromotive regulator. -10 braided line from cell to reg. -6 line from reg. to carb.
    • Milodon 7 qt. oil pan with a self-fabricated windage screen. (thanks Art)
    • Hooker Super Comp. headers.

Dynoed at 560.2 HP @ 6800 RPM 497.1 lb-ft torque @ 5200 RPM


  • Long tail shaft TH 400 (out of a ’69 Vista) JW ultra bell, with an ATI 8″ convertor. Reverse pattern manual valve body.
  • B&M Pro Stick shifter
  • Foot brake


  • Front has Auto Fab tubular upper and lower control arms w/ QA1 single adjustable coil over shocks.
  • The Rear has UMI double adjustable control arms. Wolfe Race Craft double adjustable lowers with UMI weld-on relocators.
  • All solid mounting points with re-enforcing gussets welded in.
  • QA1 single adjustable shocks
  • 2″ lowering springs


  • All original sheet metal, except Glass Tech fiberglass bumpers, and lift-off hood.
    I have added an aluminum radiator support. The stock gas tank was removed and a 15 gal. aluminum fuel cell was installed in the trunk


  • The front bench seat was replaced with (2) Jas (poly) racing seats, and all other stock interiors was retained.
  • 6 point chrome moly roll cage was added with Impact 5 pt. harnesses.


  • MSD Digital 7 Plus box.
  • MSD distributor
  • MSD HVC-2 coil is all mounted under the dash, on the passenger side.
  • FireCore50 spark plug wires.

Rear end:

  • Chevy 12 bolt. 4.56:1 gears Strange 33 spline axles, and spool.

Wheels and Tires:

  • 15X3 1/2 Hole Shot “Hole Pros” front, 15X9 Hole Pros rear
  • Hoosier 28 x 4.5-15 front, Hoosier 30 x 9.0R15 radials rear


  • Aerospace disc front and stock drum rear with aluminum drums

Eric White Digital Library

Follow Us


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This