AJ’s Car of the Day: 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 W-30 Convertible

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 W-30 Convertible

Car: Oldsmobile 4-4-2 W-30 Convertible

Year: 1970

What makes it special: The 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 W-30 stands as a muscle car classic, but the formula was years in the making. W-30 versions, benefitting from better-breathing heads and what amounted to factory blueprinting, matched the performance of the short-stroke ’66-67 4-4-2 V-8’s. But it wasn’t until ’70 that Olds got it together with perhaps the best all-around 4-4-2 ever. The major advance was the newly standard 455 cid V8, an under-stressed, big-port V8 with tug-boat torque. Yet, it also had an advanced design that kept its exterior dimensions compact and its weight below that of the ’69 400 cid V8. It made 365 bhp in base form and was underrated at 370 in W-30 guise.

What made it famous: The W-30 package again included what Olds called “Select Fit” engine parts, plus a performance calibrated 4-barrel, a hotter cam, and low-restriction exhausts. A Hurst-managed 4-speed with 3.42:1 gears or a performance-calibrated TurboHydra-matic 400 with a Hurst Dual-Gate shifter and 3.23:1 cogs were drivetrain choices. The Anti-Spin axle was standard and dealer-installed ratios up to 5.00:1 were available. Front disc brakes, with no power assist on four-speed cars, sway bars front and rear, and G70xl4 white-letter tires were other W-30 components. Weight reduction was illustrated in the W-30 package. The hood, with molded-in functional scoops, was made of fiberglass and was 18 pounds lighter than the steel version. The W-30’s intake manifold was aluminum, its inner fender liners were plastic, and the cars had less sound deadener than other 4-4-2’s. Aluminum was even used for the differential carrier and cover, shaving another 18 pounds.

Why I would want one: As stated before, the 1970 W-30 was the best 4-4-2 ever made.

Fun fact: A 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 was featured in the chase scene of the movie Demolition Man starring Sylvester Stallone.