Back in the day oil filters often were an option rather than standard. These were usually plumbed with inadequate hose that frequently failed, as happened on my mom’s 49 Plymouth wagon one night on old US 80 in SanDiego’s Mission Valley which when I was a kid was driving through semi desert country side, looking nothing like it does today with miles and more miles of malls, stadiums, restaurants, appartments, pavement and more pavement.
Some of them were the Frantz we never had one but some neighbors and friends did. I don’t remember anyone reporting problems but back then they were controversial as they continue to be so if anyone had a failure tied that filter I’m sure it was never talked of out loud.
Changing the filter on my mom’s Plymouth was a messy ordeal it mounted on a bracket at and above the rear of the engine. You unscrewed a bolt securing the top cover to remove the filter element putting it in a pan or bucket to drain. This operation always spilled oil on the side of the engine and on the starter motor. That was mopped up with a rag as was the gunk removed from the bottom of the filter housing, (can). The night the hose blow my dad cleaned up the mess with his undershirt, than wrapped the hose in electrical tape as I held his GI issue 90 degree flashlight. Keep in mind LED bulbs were about 60 years in the future so this was about as bright as a birthday cake candle. Electrical tape back then was a sticky cloth material often called friction tape. This Rube Goldberg patch got us home which was about 30 miles. Back then you never ventured from home without a tool kit and some common failure parts, bailing wire and friction tape and a good spare tire with lug wrench and jack. The link shows a picture of this thing but I remember a hex bolt not a Tee handle for removing the top cover. Over the years the Plymouth became the ranch vehicle after it served to teach my brother and I how to drive. It lasted in my parents hands till into the late 1980’s or early 90’s, I don’t remember exactly when it just wasn’t there on one of my visitations home. That was my mom’s car until I graduated from college in 62, that year my mom got a new Ford Fairlane with a 221 V8 and her first automatic transmission, a black, two door with a red and white vinyl interior. She drove that for 25-30 years. My parents having come of age during the Great Depression always got a long life from the things they purchased.
We had a neighbor a hill over who was, also, our high school chemistry teacher, he put a Frantz on everything from his tractor to both his cars.
Getting back to cam lobe and lifter failure in my experience it is mostly similar to grinding, the surfaces just erode into the oil as fine powder. In the good old days it was probably trapped in the forever sludge rather than a filter not to mention that filters back then only stopped pea gravel there wasn’t any expectation of micron level filtration. Oil sludge and gooey gray lead deposits from the leaded fuel was everywhere non pressure oil wasn’t unless your engine like the Chevy inline 6 used oil dippers for rod bearing lubrication, those risked gooing up if you cheated the engine on oil changes.