1968 Oldsmobile 4-4-2
Until 1968 the Oldsmobile 4-4-2 was essentially a factory trim option which included a four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, and dual exhaust. It was available on nearly every Cutlass or F-85 body other than a station wagon. However, between 1968 and 1971 the "442" was designated as it's own Oldsmobile model. It would emerge as a hot seller for Oldsmobile and serve as a the benchmark for Olds muscle cars for years to come.
The all new 442 featured long sweeping curves and a long hood and short deck body. The fender edges featured sharp "razor" edges. The 442 had large emblems on each fender and deck lid and featured dual exhaust which exited through the rear bumper. The 442 was built on a 112 inch wheel base and included a coil spring front and rear suspension and a 20.7:1 steering ration. All 442's received front disc brakes and F70 tires.
At the heart of 442 was a new 400 cubic inch V-8. Although the displacement was the same as the 1967 model the new 400 cid used the soon to arrive 455 crank stroke (4.25 inches) which resulted in a very torque oriented motor. Peak torque now arrived at 3000rpm rather than the 3600rpm in the past. The base 400 cid motor was rated at 325hp for the automatic and 350hp for the standard. An option W-30 forced air option increased horsepower to 360 total. The W-30 option included air scoops under the front bumper, a different cam profile, modified intake and exhaust components.
Production / Performance
Oldsmobile sold 33,607 units in 1968 which was nearly 10,000 more than in 1967. In a test of a W-30 with 4.33 gears and a four speed the quarter mile times were 13.30's at 103.30mph. Total cost for a showroom equipped 442 was about $4000.
Note: During 1968 Oldsmobile partnered with Hurst and created a unique 442 model.
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