Car: Oldsmobile 4-4-2 Hardtop Coupe
What makes it special: The Oldsmobile 4-4-2 (also known as the 442) was a muscle car produced between the 1964 and 1980 model years. Introduced as an option package for their F-85 and Cutlass models, it became a model in its own right from 1968 to 1971, spawned the Hurst/Olds in 1968, then reverted to an option through the mid-1970’s. The name was revived in the 1980’s on the rear-wheel drive Cutlass Supreme and early 1990’s as an option package for the new front-wheel drive Cutlass Calais.
What made it famous: The “4-4-2” name 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 4-4-2’s standard transmission was a 3 speed manual along with optional 2 speed automatic and 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. For 1967 the 4-4-2’s styling and base engine remained the same, with minor trim changes and a 1967 4-4-2 only distinctive louvered hood as well as an increase in intake valve size to 2.067 from 1.99. but the automatic 3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic with Switch Pitch became available, replacing the 2-speed Switch Pitch Jetaway, as was the case with the mid-sized muscle cars from other GM divisions. The heavy-duty floor-mounted 3-speed manual transmission was now standard with the Muncie M-20 and M-21 4-speeds optional, all with Hurst shifters. Front disc brakes were a new option this year.
Why I would want one: I’ve had Cutlass, I’ve had F-85’s, but never owned a 4-4-2 yet. Seeing as this was Oldsmobile only true muscle car, it makes a compelling reason to own one if you are a muscle car fan and collector.
Fun fact: A W-30 4-4-2 equipped with a close-ratio 4-speed and 4.33 rear axle was tested, obtaining a quarter mile time of 14.1 seconds at 103 mph in completely stock form. 0–60 times were between 6.5 and 6.7 seconds.
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