Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oldsmobile 442, 1971

Oldsmobile 442, 1971

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.

The 442 became a separate model from 1968 through 1971. The wheelbase was 112 in, and over 33,000 were sold for 1968. Despite the engine displacement staying at 400 in³, the stroke was increased and the bore decreased to increase torque and improve emissions. However, its long stroke affected performance and they were deemed not as fast as the '67s. The base motor was still rated at 350 hp, but only with the standard 3-speed and optional 4-speed; automatics were rated at 325 hp. W-30s were rated again at 360 hp. All standard 1968 442 engines are painted a bronze/copper color, as with the 1967's, topped with a fire red air cleaner. W-30 option cars were equipped with Ram Air intake hoses leading from a chrome topped dual snorkle 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 2bbl. carb; this was previously available on the Cutlass Supreme for 1967.

It was in 1968 that Oldsmobile first partnered with Hurst Performance Research Corporation to create the Hurst/Olds rather than just adding Hurst shifters as with earlier models. The limited regular production run of 515 Hurst/Olds (459 Holiday Coupes/56 Sport Coupes) started out as regular 442s, but were treated to numerous distinct enhancements both cosmetic and mechanical. All cars were painted Peruvian Silver (a Toronado color) with liberal black striping and white pinstipes, exterior and interior H/O badging (unique to '68), and a real walnut wood dash insert. Mechanically, the cars left the factory with 2 drivetrain combinations. Red 455 in³ engines were backed by modified W-30 Turbo 400 automatic transmissions. A/C cars got a W-46 engine with a 3.08:1 rear while non-A/C cars got a W-45 engine with a 3.91:1 rear. While both engines were rated at 390 hp, the W-45 engine received the cylinder heads from the W-30 and the camshaft from the W-31 making it more suitable for higher rpms. All cars came with bucket seats and a Hurst Dual-Gate shifter in a mini-console. Also standard were numerous regular 442 options like disc brakes, heavy duty cooling, and FE2 suspension. They shared the red fender wells and ram air setup with the W-30. Popular, but not standard, additional options included the tic-toc-tach and wood-grained steering wheel.

1969 442s were very similar to the 1968. Changes to the engine and drivetrain were minimal, but the Turnpike Cruiser option was deleted. However, another hi-po 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 saw the introduction of the Olds 455 V8 as the standard 442 engine. Output was 365 hp and 500 ft·lbf, with a 370 hp W30 option available. The 365 and 370 hp (272 and 276 kW) power ratings were conservatively underrated at a lower rpm. Both engines are believed by some to produce 410 to 420 hp (306-313 kW). It was the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 race in 1970, along with the Cutlass Supreme.

In addition to the standard 442 offerings, W-30's received a W-25 fiberglass OAI (Outside Air Induction) hood to replace the bumper scoops that were on the 68 and 69 W-30's, an aluminum intake manifold, special camshaft, cylinder heads, distributor, and carburetor.
Engine output was down for 1971 due to a lower compression ratio, which affected all of GM's engines. The base 455 was rated at 340 hp, with the W-30 achieving a rating of 350 hp. The sport coupe disappeared for the first time since 1964, only to return the following year.


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