McCulloch’s in Literature

Ideally this section will cover those magazines and books that have a decent amount of coverage of the McCulloch Supercharger in all it’s variants (i.e. at least a page dedicated to the McCulloch). Many magazines mention the McCullochs, and/or have photos of McCulloch installations, but are not listed basically because I don’t think they are worth spending money on (unless you are either obsessed with the McCullochs, or are interested in other articles in them).  If you have any recommendations, or further details on the magazines that have been recommended to me that I haven’t yet checked, please let me know.



Kaiser, Ford, McCulloch & Studebaker/Packard Shop Manuals

Kaiser Willys Supercharger Mechanics Manual – Has sections on how the Kaiser VS57 supercharger works, rebuilding the supercharger and maintenance. The rebuild and supercharger operation information in this manual is exactly the same as in the McCulloch Shop manual, so its definitely worth having. 24 Pages long. A copy can be downloaded from the PDF central link of Bob Johnstones web page on

1957 Ford Supercharger Shop Manual – The only manual available on the VS57. Operation, maintenance and rebuild information on  the VR57 Phase II supercharger and it’s installation on the 1957 Fords. 24 Pages long.

1958 Studebaker and Packard Shop Manual – A supplement to the 1956 Studebaker Shop manual. It’s got an excellent Supercharger section, which is again has rebuild and supercharger operation information the same as the McCulloch shop manual. I believe a 1957 version of this manual is also available.

McCulloch Supercharger Installation and Operation Troubleshooting Manual – VS57 operation and troubleshooting information. 24 Pages long. A copy can be downloaded from

McCulloch Supercharger Shop Service Manual – Comprehensive shop manual for the VS57 supercharger. Covers operation, rebuilding, installation and trouble-shooting. 65 Pages long.


These are the McCulloch patents relating to superchargers that I’m aware of, all of which were listed with J.W. Oehrli as the inventor. It looks as though all of McCullochs patents were listed with J.W.Oehrli as the inventor - including their more mainstream stuff - such as the chainsaws, however any search may reveal more information relating to the superchargers and some of the subsystems. I'd appreciate your help with this if possible as I can't go any further on the Internet - I can access any patent given the number - but have no way of searching for the appropriate numbers! Very frustrating!

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Patent 2678566 -  May 18, 1954. Power Transmission Apparatus – Covers various variable ratio drives.
Patent 2756735 – July 31, 1956. Supercharger Fuel System for Internal Combustion Engines. - Actually covers the flapper valve used to eliminate hard starting of hot engines due to fuel vapours.
Patent 2828907 – April 1, 1958. High Speed Friction Drive –  Covers in detail the variable speed drive used in the VS57.
Patent 2835238 – May 20, 1958. Supercharger System for Internal Combustion Engines – Covers the control and operation of the VS57.
Patent 2905026 – Sep 22, 1959. Variable Ratio Transmission – The drive system of the VR57.
Patent 2913932 -  Nov 24, 1959. Variable Speed Planetary Type Drive – A variant of the VR57.

These patents make fascinating reading and well worth looking at if you have the chance. The patents are all saved in tiff format, which I've not been able to convert to jpg directly. The patents can be viewed (and downloaded) from the US patent office site by searching for the appropriate number. In order to view the patents you may need to download the plugin they recommend which can be found on



Auto Mechanics Mar 57    Custom Rodder May 57


Motor Life April 59        Car Craft Nov 64

Product Introduction

Motor Trend, October 53 - Three pages on the new McCulloch VS57 supercharger. The first magazine to feature the VS57 (that I know of). Features road test figures for a VS47 equipped ’52 Mercury.

Automotive Topics, November 53 – 2 page article on the McCulloch VS57 – Basically a brief history of supercharging and a specification list of the VS57’s characteristics.

Road & Track, December 53 – 2 page article on the new McCulloch VS57 supercharger. An interesting article featuring a road test of a Studebaker V8 Coupe with a McCulloch installed.

Hop Up & Motor Life, January 1954 – Excellent 5 page article on supercharging and the McCulloch VS57, featuring a 1954 Ford test car. The article is so good that McCulloch issued reprints of it with their sales literature.

Rod & Custom, January 54 - 2 pages on the new McCulloch VS57 Supercharger. Nothing too fancy, just a brief, enthusiastic, overview of the supercharger and how it works. The front cover has a small schematic picture of the VS57 on it.

Hot Rod, October 58 - 9 pages on the DO-VS59, very good article.

Rebuilding/Servicing Information

Auto Mechanics, April 57 - 6 Pages on servicing the McCulloch VS57, uses step by step photos and has good text. Actually based on a visit to a Studebaker service school.

Motor, April 57 – 4 Pages of basic servicing information for the VS57 and VR57 superchargers.

Rod Builder, September 596 Pages on rebuilding the McCulloch VS57. Interestingly this article uses the same photographs as the Auto mechanics article, although it has different text.  Strangely the article details how to disassemble the supercharger, and then has incomplete reassembly instructions. The magazine also has some suspect hints for increasing the boost from the VS57

Supercharger Installation

Motor Service magazine, March 37 - 7 Page article on installation of a 37F McCulloch Supercharger to a Ford Flathead engine.

Motorsport, June 54 – 4 Page article on the McCulloch VS57 Supercharger and installation of a VS57 on a flathead V8 powered 1953 Ford.

Rod & Custom, Nov 54 A 6 page article on the installation of  a VS57 on a 1954 Mercury (256 cid Y Block). Quite a nice article.

Rodding & Restyling, October 56 – A very poor 5 page article on the installation a VS57 on a 1956 Thunderbird. Some nice photographs but very little detail is present in the article. Interestingly a 1955 Cadillac carburetor (Carter?) was used in the installation due to its larger venturii area, along with a custom carb bonnet, and this was found to be more effective that the standard Holley teapot carburetor.

Auto mechanics, December 56 - 6 pages on installing a McCulloch VS57 on a Ford F-250 truck (its actually an article I might reproduce on the site, the pictures are clear and the magazine defunct - ideal!).

Auto Mechanics, March 57 - Front cover picture of VS57 with 2-4's on a 55 Lincoln Engine. 4 page article on the Lincoln engine rebuild including a little on the blower installation.

Rod & Custom, April 57 – 6 page photographic step by step article on the installation of a 3-2 competition set up on a 1955 Thunderbird. Nice article with good coverage of fuel pump modification.

Rodding & Restyling, June 57 – A nice 7 page article on the installation a VS57 on a 195? Thunderbird. This is a bit of a con as it purports to be the description of an actual installation but is instead just a re layout of the McCulloch Thunderbird installation instructions and uses the McCulloch installation photographs. This is a very good article to get if you intend to install a McCulloch on your T-Bird.

Custom, Rodder May 58  - 7 Pages on installing a VS57 on a 56 Olds with Rochester 4 barrel carburetor. Useful and interesting article.

Rodding and Restyling, July 59 – 6 page article in installing a DO-VS59 on a 1956 Mercury. Not much detail on carb and fuel pump modification but quite well detailed on plumbing for blower and secondary component installation. Unique in its DO-VS59 coverage and special to me due to its 56 Mercury coverage.

Modified McCullochs

Car Craft, April 57 - 8 pages on extensively (insides ripped out and replaced with gears!) modified McCulloch VS57’s for boat engines.

VR57 Articles

Hot Rod, September 57 – 4 page article on hill climbing at Pikes Peak featuring a phase I VR57 supercharged 1957 Ford.

Motor Life, April 59 – A single page article on a customized 1957 Thunderbird with an aftermarket VR57 supercharger installation replacing the stock 245 Hp 4 barrel installation. A good photo of the engine bay appears on the cover.

Popular Hot Rodding, July 67 – 6 page article on Hopping up the Ford Y Block. Includes coverage of a VR57 supercharged engine.

Car Craft, August 69 – 4 Page article on Larry Walkers record holding competition VR blown 312 cid ’57 Ford Tudor. Very interesting article.

How To Hop Up Your Engine, Sep 61 – I’m not sure what’s inside but the cover significantly shows a supercharged Thunderbird. Will have to try and track down a cheap copy.

Thunderbird Illustrated, Fall 75 – 8 Page detailed article on the Ford ‘F’ Birds and their VR57 superchargers.

General Articles

I’ve only listed those magazines which have generous coverage of the McCulloch superchargers

Cars, September 53 – Interesting 4 page article on the use of the superchargers on American cars which predicts that superchargers will not make a comeback for mass-produced cars. Doesn’t mention McCulloch at all, and coincidentally came out on the same month as when McCulloch introduced the VS57.

Speed Mechanics, Oct-Nov 54 – 5 page article on supercharging which lightly covers the Kaiser and McCulloch supercharger, along with some supercharger theory.

Sports Cars Illustrated, August 56 – Part 1 of an excellent 3 part article on Supercharging. This part has 6 pages on various superchargers, and includes some useful information on the design limitations of the VS57 superchargers.

Popular Science, April 57 – A very light 3 page article on the factory supercharged cars of 1957 – both Ford and Studebaker/Packard. Includes a nice photo of the engine bay of a Daytona Thunderbird with Phase I VR57.

Auto Mechanics, May-June 57 - 2 pages on Fords 57 blowers - No sign of the VR57 though - all the blowers in the pictures are VS57's and the coverage is about dealer installed racing packages.

Sports car Illustrated, Aug 57 – A 2 page 5 picture article on a Jaguar XK Coupe with a VS57 installed. An interesting article and nice to see a British car kitted up with a mcCulloch.

Rod Builder, Sep 59 – 4 page general article on the superchargers available at the time, with about half a page about the mcCulloch. Mnothing special.

McCulloch Supercharged Cars

Motor Life, September 55 – Nice two page ad for McCulloch VS57 Supercharger and two pages on a VS57 supercharged Thunderbird.

Rodding & Restyling, June 56 – A very poor 4 page article on the installation of dual VS57 blowers on a 1956 Chevrolet carried out by Morco engineering. Great photos and great looking setup – but not enough on the installation and nothing on the problems encountered.

Hot Rod, March 57 –  10 page road test report on Studebaker Golden Hawk. This is how road tests should be written, with in depth technical analysis of the vehicle and what improvements can be made. Has good coverage of the VS57 used on the Golden Hawks, and useful improvement suggestions which are applicable to any McCulloch equipped vehicle.

Custom Rodder, May 57 – First issue of this magazine, which features a McCulloch blown roadster on the cover. The actual article is only a single page and basically consists of just two photographs of the roadster. The roadsters engine is a 1953 Buick V8.

Sports Car Ilustrated, June 57 – Three page article with nice photos of a VS57 supercharged Mercedes SLS. This was quite a complicated installation to an exotic sports car and is well worth a read. Magazine also has an article on the Latham blower.

Hot Rod, May 58 –  5 page road test report on Studebaker Golden Hawk. Again this is how road tests should be written, with in depth technical analysis of the vehicle and what improvements can be made. Not as extensive as the Mar 57 Studebaker report, but still very informative regardless.

Car Craft, November 64 – Two page article, and cover photograph, of a Model A Coupe with chromed dual McCulloch VS57 superchargers in conjunction with dual four barrel carburettors on a 312 cid Ford Y Block engine. I think it needs two superchargers to give it the power to move all that chrome around (see photograph).

Cars & Parts, Oct 99 – Nice 5 page article on a VS57 supercharged 1954 Ford Victoria which is claimed to have been a factory installed setup. Highly unlikely in my eyes, as 1) The installation uses all McCulloch 1954 Ford kit components, 2) If Ford had produced a supercharged version of it’s Y block it would have used it’s police interceptor 256 cid V8 engine and not the standard 239 cid V8.  For Ford to have offered to the public an engine option which would have blown away the police option is highly unlikely, and Ford did not produce racing packages in 1954. The car is more likely to have been modified by McCulloch as a demonstrator to Ford in a bid to convince them that they should use the McCulloch. Lovely car regardless.


Pat Ganahl, "Street Supercharging," 1984, SA Designs – Great book, all you need to know about superchargers, and also includes good coverage of the McCulloch variants.

Andy Granatelli “They call Me Mister 500” 1970, Bantam. The legendary Andy Granatelli’s auto-biography, and it’s a very good read. Mentions Andy’s involvement with McCulloch in 1958, but more interestingly details his achievements with the Paxton’s in the early sixties. Worth tracking down.

McCulloch Publicity Material

1953/54 Booklet

Earliest McCulloch sales literature that I’m aware of. Bulletin No. 1502 which has a size of 9” by 4.5” and it contains 12 pages in total. It covers the VS57 and features pictures, performance charts, specs, and information, plus test results on a supercharged 1953 Mercury.


1953/54 Brochures

Two early brochures as indicated by the vehicle types illustrated on the left hand brochure and the flat head engine on the right hand brochure. The left hand brochure is apparently 6 pages long although I know no more than that as I’ve never seen either brochure in the flesh.

1955 Fold Out Brochure

1955 6 page fold out brochure that measures 6”x10” when fully open. This is dated 11-1-55 and features a description of VS57 operation and performance. The kit illustrated looks to be a 1954 Ford/Mercury kit.

1955/56 Booklet

Nice letter sized 4 page booklet which features before and after performance figures for VS57 equipped 1955 cars, a cutway diagram of the supercharger and some performance claims.

1958 Article Reprint

Article reprint from the October 1959 Hot Rod magazine which features 9 pages about the Direct Oil VS59 supercharger.

Dealer Sign

Rare metal dealers sign. Size and date unknown.

Dealer Sign

Large heavy paper/cardboard dealers sign measuring 20” by 7” featuring a stylized 55-57 Thunderbird.

Window Decal

Large, 31” by 10.5”  McCulloch Decal/Sign which is reversed as it was designed to be applied to the inside of a window of a McCulloch dealer or an automotive shop. It says in large letters SUPERCHARGED by McCULLOCH and underneath it states “Ask for a Demonstration”.