Oldsmobile 442 1971 posters

Oldsmobile 442

The Oldsmobile 442 was a muscle car produced by the Oldsmobile division of General Motors. It was introduced as an option package for F-85 and Cutlass models sold in the United States beginning with the 1964 model year. It became a model in its own right from 1968 to 1971, then reverted to an option through the mid-1970s. Oldsmobile revived the name in the 1980s on the rear-wheel drive Cutlass Supreme and early 1990s as an option package for the new front-wheel drive Cutlass.


In 1968, the 442 became its own model. The wheelbase was 112 inches, and over 33,000 cars were sold. While the engine displacement remained at 400 cubic inches, the stroke was increased and the bore decreased to enhance torque and improve emissions. However, this additional stroke reduced performance, and the cars were deemed to not be as fast as the 1967 models. The base motor was rated at 350 horsepower, although automatics were lowered to 325 horsepower. W-30s were re-rated at 360 horsepower. 1968 442 engines were distinguished by their bronze/copper color, topped with a fire red air cleaner. Cars with the W-30 option featured chrome capped dual snorkel black air cleaners, and were set off by bright red plastic fender wells. The Turnpike Cruiser option, previously available for the Cutlass Supreme in 1967, added a two-barrel carburetor. It was in 1968 that Oldsmobile joined forces with Hurst Performance Research Corporation to produce the Hurst/Olds. These limited production cars, 515 Holiday Coupes and 56 Sport Coupes, started out as regular 442s, but were subject to distinctive aesthetic and mechanical changes. All cars were painted Peruvian Silver (a Toronado color) with black stripes and white pinstriping, as well as H/O badging unique to the 1968 model. Mechanically, these cars featured either red 455 engines with modified W-30 Turbo 400 automatics, coupled with W-46 engines and 3.08:1 rears for vehicles with air conditioning, or W-45 engines with 3.91:1 rears for those without. Bucket seats and Hurst Dual Gate shifters in mini consoles were standard. Additional options included the tic-toc-tach and a wood-grained steering wheel.


In 1969, the 442 was very similar to the 1968 model. Minimal alterations were made to the engine and drivetrain, but the Turnpike Cruiser option was removed. Also, a new hi-po engine, the W-32, was offered. This included the Forced Air Induction system seen in the W-30s, but was outfitted with a milder cam like that of the base engine. The W-32 was only available with an automatic, and 297 were constructed, including 25 sport coupes and convertible each.


In 1970, the Olds 455 V8 became the standard 442 engine. Rated at 365 horsepower and 500 ft-lbf of torque, the W-30 option pushed output to 370 horsepower. It was the Indianapolis 500 pace car in 1970, as well as the Cutlass Supreme. W-30s were additionally fitted with W-25 fiberglass OAI hoods, aluminum intake manifolds, special camshaft, cylinder heads, distributors, and carburetors. For 1971, engine output was slightly reduced because of a lower compression ratio that affected all of GM's engines. The base 455 was now rated at 340 horsepower, and the W-30 at 350 horsepower. The

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