Delco made some of the industry’s best distributors back in the day. They are well thought out durable ignition systems. The automotive aftermarket has copped some elements from these classic GM factory distributors (including the top-mounted, easy to tune centrifugal advance mechanism).
It was a great design then—and it remains a great innovative piece of engineering more than a half-century later.
The traditional Delco point-triggered distributor with adjustment window came as an act of necessity. It came of the need for an easy-to-tune ignition system that could be tuned in minutes via an adjustment window for ignition points where only some dwell adjustment was needed. And, should ignition point and condenser replacement be required, replacement could be performed in minutes, with ease of adjustment via the window. More than a half-century later, the Delco “dizzy” remains the gold standard for factory point-style ignition systems.
What makes the “Fuelie” tach-drive distributor different than a tach-drive distributor is the dual-drive, which powers the optional Rochester mechanical fuel injection immediately in front of the distributor. It drives both the tachometer and the fuel injection induction system.
We’re going to take a tach-drive Delco “Fuelie” distributor and freshen it up with new parts and a Pertronix Ignitor II retrofit ignition module. The Pertronix Ignitor drop-in ignition system has been around for decades and remains one of the most innovative retrofits we can think of because it is so easy to install and never has to be maintained.
Jim Smart is a veteran automotive journalist, technical editor, and historian with hundreds of how-to and feature articles to his credit. Jim's also an enthusiast, and has owned and restored many classic vehicles, including an impressive mix of vintage Ford Mustangs.