February '17

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FEBRUARY 2017 THE SHOP 67 "Joe and I were partners since 1967," Welfringer says. "This year I'm 73; Joe would have been 77. We were two of the nine guys who raced nationally for Oldsmobile Division. We put cars together for the factory." Welfringer says that interest in Oldsmo- biles is bigger today than it's ever been. "You can tell that by what you see at auctions like Barrett-Jackson," he explains. "The Cutlass 4-4-2 and 4-4-2 convert- ibles are bringing way more than any of the other A-bodied cars made by Buick, Chev- rolet or Pontiac. The Oldsmobile niche is continually growing bigger and bigger." In addition to building engines and cars, Mondello ran a technical school in Crossville, Tennessee and Welfringer runs another school in Paso Robles. "We have a lot of knowledge," says Welfringer. "That's one reason why Mon- dello Performance Products does show car engines for everybody under the sun. It's a nationally known fact that if you have a Mondello power train in an Oldsmobile muscle car, the vehicle is worth $40,000 to $50,000 more than the same car with a different engine. That's why we've had 10 years of solid growth." According to Welfringer, developing the Edelbrock Performer RPM aluminum cyl- inder head for Oldsmobile 400-, 425- and 455-ci V-8s was a big factor in making Oldsmobiles more popular, since they per- formed better. "This head resulted from a joint venture in design and ideas between Edelbrock and Mondello Performance Products and took two years to make." Mondello builds almost every part for the 455-ci Olds V-8. The "Sorceress" is a 300-mph flex-fuel Hurst-Olds based street car that XCELEROD ( displayed at the 2016 PRI Show. HOT ROD & CUSTOMIZATION

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