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Oldsmobile 442

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A performance car produced by Oldsmobile as its own model from 1968 to 1971. 4-4-2 has been used as a trim level on the F-85 & Cutlass (1964-1967), Cutlass Supreme (1980's), and Cutlass Calais (1990's).

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Oldsmobile 442 page on 13 July 2017, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Oldsmobile 4-4-2 (also known as the 442) is a muscle car produced by Oldsmobile between the 1964 and 1980 model years. Introduced as an option package for US-sold F-85 and Cutlass models, it became a model in its own right from 1968 to 1971, spawned the formidable Hurst/Olds in 1968, then reverted to an option through the mid-1970s. The name was revived in the 1980s on the rear-wheel drive Cutlass Supreme and early 1990s as an option package for the new front-wheel drive Cutlass Calais.

The "4-4-2" name (pronounced "Four-four-two") derives from the original car's four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, and dual exhausts. It was originally written "4-4-2" (with badging showing hyphens between the numerals), and remained hyphenated throughout Oldsmobile's use of the designation. Beginning in 1965, the 4-4-2s standard transmission was a 3 speed manual along with optional 2 speed automatic or 4 speed manual, but were still badged as "4-4-2"s. By 1968 badging was shortened to simply "442", but Oldsmobile brochures and internal documents continued to use the "4-4-2" model designation.

First generation: 1964

The 4-4-2 was born out of competition between Pontiac and Oldsmobile divisions of GM. The high performance GTO version of the Pontiac LeMans intermediate had proved an unexpected success midway through the 1964 model year. Oldsmobile's hasty response was to beef up their own popular Cutlass, a task given to a team led by performance enthusiast and Olds engineer John Beltz (later responsible for the distinctive and powerful Toronado), aided by Dale Smith and division Chief Engineer Bob Dorshimer.

Because of the GTO's late introduction (some three-fourths of the way through the model year) and the ambiguous nature – technically a violation of GM policy limiting intermediates to 330 CID, although the 1963 Pontiac Tempest/LeMans had already done this in 1963, and even though badged as a 326 the 63 Tempest V-8 was already at 336 CID, 1964 it became a true 326. – the Olds offering was a conservative package. Technically the "B09 Police Apprehender Pursuit" option, it used the four-barrel carbureted 330 CID (5.4 L) V8 with heavy-duty valve gear, and a hotter camshaft, raising rated (SAE gross) output to 310 hp (231.3 kW) at 5200 rpm. Torque remained 355 lb·ft (481 N·m), although the torque peak rose from 2800 rpm to 3600 rpm. Also included was a stiffened frame, adjustable pinion angle by way of added holes in the frame mounts for the rear upper control arms, Muncie four-speed manual transmission, a heavy duty drive shaft connected to a 3.36:1 rear end, oversized brakes(155.6 vs 118sq.in lining area) and the heavy-duty police-package suspension, with heavy duty wheels, higher-rate coil springs front and rear, heavy-duty shock absorbers, a larger front anti-roll bar, an additional rear anti-roll bar bolted to a fully boxed lower control arm, and dual snorkel air cleaner. Two-speed windshield wipers, A/C ($430), an AM/FM radio, an electronic trunk opener, and a tilt steering wheel ($43) were optional. Unlike the 1965 4-4-2 model built in Lansing, the 1964 4-4-2 does not have an option code on the data plate. There is documentation available showing that the 1964 4-4-2 was built in both Lansing and Fremont.

The package was dubbed 4-4-2 based on its combination of four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, and dual exhausts. Priced at $285.14, it was available on any F-85 or Cutlass model except the station wagon, although most were Cutlass hardtop coupés (Oldsmobile archives indicate that approximately 10 four-door sedans were built with the B09 option).

Motor Trend tested an early 64 4-4-2 with a 3:55 rear axle (standard ratio was 3.36:1) and found that the 3,440-lb (1,560 kg) car would run 0–60 mph (0–96 km/h) in 7.5 seconds, the standing quarter mile in 15.5 seconds at 90 mph (140 km/h), and reached a top speed of 116 mph (185.6 km/h). A total of 2,999 were sold.

Second generation

1968

The 4-4-2 became a separate model from 1968 through 1971. The wheelbase was 112 in (2,845 mm), and over 33,000 were sold for 1968. Despite the engine displacement staying at 400 CID, the engine was based on the new 455 cranktrain (4.25 stroke) and the bore decreased (to 3.87). Torque now came at 3000–3200 rpm as opposed to the early 400's 3600 rpm peak, mostly due to a milder base cam grind. Car Life tested a 1968 4-4-2 with a 3.42:1 rear axle ratio and Hydramatic and attained 0–60 times of 7.0 seconds, and a quarter-mile time of 15.13 seconds at 92 mph (148 km/h). Top speed was reported as 115 mph (185 km/h). The base motor was still rated at 350 hp (261 kW), but only with the standard three-speed and optional four-speed; automatics were rated at 325 hp (242 kW). W-30s were rated again at 360 hp (268 kW). Car Life also tested a four-speed W-30 with 4.33 rearend gears and recorded a 13.3 at 103.30 mph (166.2 km/h), which shows the long stroke did not affect actual performance although long term durability at high (6000 plus) engine speeds might be affected.

All standard 1968 4-4-2 engines are painted a bronze–copper color, as with the 1967s, topped with a fire-red air cleaner. W-30 option cars were equipped with Ram Air intake hoses leading from a chrome-topped dual snorkel black air cleaner to special under-bumper air scoops and set off by bright red plastic fender wells. In addition, a Turnpike Cruiser option was made available with a two-barrel carburetor; this was previously available on the Cutlass Supreme for 1967. 1968 was the first year for side marker lights and front outboard shoulder belts, and the last year for vent windows on hardtops and convertibles. 4-4-2s for '68 had unique rear bumpers, with exhaust cutouts and special exhaust tips.

1969

1969 4-4-2s were very similar to the 1968 except the division tooth between the grilles, the trunk lid inlets for the tail lights, wing windows deleted on Holiday Coupes and convertibles, steering lock ignition switch on the steering column, standard headrests were added to the front seats, and the paint scheme. Twin hood stripes were now available to highlight the new dual-bulged hood. The 4-4-2 numerals grew to nearly double their previous size. Optional disc brakes now had updated single-piston calipers. The exhaust manifolds featured a new center divider for better performance. Other changes to the engine were minimal, but the Turnpike Cruiser option was deleted. However, another high-performance engine was offered. Called the W-32, it came with the Forced Air Induction plumbing found on the W-30s, but it had a milder cam like the base engine. It was only available with an automatic, and 297 were built, including 25 sport coupes and convertibles each.

1970

1970 was the pinnacle of performance from Oldsmobile. In order to keep up in the horsepower arms-race, General Motors dropped the cap on engine size in 1970, and Oldsmobile responded by making the Olds 455 V8 the standard 4-4-2 engine. Magazine ads using an offbeat mad scientist trumpeted "Dr. Olds introduces as large a V-8 as ever bolted into a special-performance production automobile!" Output was 365 hp (272 kW) and 500 lb·ft (680 N·m), with a 370 hp (276 kW) variant available with the W30 option.

The revised body style and increased performance resulted in the 4-4-2 being awarded pace car duties at the Indianapolis 500 race in 1970. Motor Trend praised the 4-4-2, stating that "it's probably the most identifiable super car in the GM house". Those seeking to experience the ultimate in performance from Lansing could order a "W-Machine" version of the 4-4-2, dubbed the W-30 package. The 4-4-2 W-30 added a fiberglass hood (option W25) with functional air scoops and low-restriction air cleaner, aluminum intake manifold, special camshaft, cylinder heads, distributor, and carburetor. Two W-30 equipped 4-4-2 Vista Cruisers were produced by special order. Rear shoulder seat belts were optional at $23.

1971

Despite storm clouds on the muscle car horizon, the 4-4-2 returned in 1971 with only minor modifications from the previous year. Engine output was down for 1971 due to a lower compression ratio (8.5:1), which affected all of GM's engines as the result of a corporate policy requiring engines to run on lower-octane regular leaded, low lead, or unleaded gasoline, in preparation for the introduction of the catalytic converter on 1975-model cars. The base 455 was rated at 340 hp (254 kW), with the W-30 achieving a rating of 350 hp (261 kW). The W-27 option was downgraded to an aluminum cover for the cast iron differential housing.

The 1971 4-4-2 was available in a hardtop coupe and convertible body type. The sport coupe disappeared for the first time since 1964, only to return in 1972.


Documents

DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
1 November 1966NHTSA Recall 66V020003
1966-1967 Oldsmobile 442
Vehicle Speed Control
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page


Photographs

1969 Oldsmobile 442 1969
Reserve not met, high bid $15,000 - Mecum Auctions
2013 Mecum Chicago Auction
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
View photo of 1969 Oldsmobile 442 - 3.4MB
1969 Oldsmobile 442 1969
Reserve not met, high bid $15,000 - Mecum Auctions
2013 Mecum Chicago Auction
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
View photo of 1969 Oldsmobile 442 - 3.1MB
Oldsmobile 442 Photo by "Morven"
The car from the television show Overhaulin'
Weekly car show in Garden Grove, California
May 20, 2005
View photo of Oldsmobile 442 - 725KB
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".
1969 Oldsmobile 442 1969
Photo by Vic Brincat
View photo of 1969 Oldsmobile 442 - 1,945KB
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1969 Oldsmobile 442 1969
Photo by Vic Brincat
View photo of 1969 Oldsmobile 442 - 3,791KB
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1969 Oldsmobile 442 1969
Photo by Vic Brincat
View photo of 1969 Oldsmobile 442 - 1,975KB
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.
1970 Oldsmobile 442 1970
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1970 Oldsmobile 442 - 3.2MB
1970 Oldsmobile 442 1970
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1970 Oldsmobile 442 - 3.0MB
1970 Oldsmobile 442 1970
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1970 Oldsmobile 442 - 3.0MB
1970 Oldsmobile 442 1970
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1970 Oldsmobile 442 - 4.8MB
1970 Oldsmobile 442 1970
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1970 Oldsmobile 442 - 3.5MB
1970 Oldsmobile 442 1970
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1970 Oldsmobile 442 - 3.5MB
Oldsmobile 442 Photo by "Morven"
April 16, 2004
View photo of Oldsmobile 442 - 45KB
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".
1971 Oldsmobile 442 1971
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 7, 2010
View photo of 1971 Oldsmobile 442 - 4,350KB
1971 Oldsmobile 442 1971
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 7, 2010
View photo of 1971 Oldsmobile 442 - 3,875KB
1971 Oldsmobile 442 1971
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 7, 2010
View photo of 1971 Oldsmobile 442 - 3,319KB
1971 Oldsmobile 442 1971
Special Features:  "Chick Magnet"
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 7, 2010
View photo of 1971 Oldsmobile 442 - 797KB
Oldsmobile 442 Model Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals Model Car Show
View photo of Oldsmobile 442 Model - 2,910KB
1987 Oldsmobile 442 1987
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1987 Oldsmobile 442 - 4.3MB
1987 Oldsmobile 442 1987
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
2013 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1987 Oldsmobile 442 - 4.1MB


Merchandise

Type & Item #NameDetails
Die Cast - Hot Wheels P2402-0919GOldsmobile 442Muscle Mania, small scale, bronze & black
Die Cast - Hot Wheels 26011-0910Olds 442Seein' 3-D Series, small scale, metallic green & gloss black w/"OLDS 442" graphic




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