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What Does The 442 Stand For In Oldsmobile 442?

In the case that you were old enough to recall the Olds 442, you may have pondered what does the 442 stand for in Oldsmobile* 442? The 442 numerals represented a four-barrel carburetor “4”, a four-speed manual transmission “4”, and dual exhausts “2”. The Cutlass from Oldsmobile* was furnished with these high-performance enhancements.

As opposed to being a vehicle, the Olds 442 was initially intended to be a high-performance package from the start. Despite the fact that the Olds 442’s options would change throughout the years, it would become associated with Olds muscle cars.

The Pontiac* GTO had led the way the year before, and the Cutlass 442 was the next car to follow in the same footsteps. Oldsmobile* was intent on grabbing a piece of the growing muscle car market. The Oldsmobile* technical team decided on a mid-sized chassis for the installation of the most powerful motor available at the time.

The displacement of this V8 was increased to 330 cubic inches in order to handle all of the high-performance technology needed by police agencies for chase vehicles in the field.

The package also includes a rear stabilizer bar, as well as heavy-duty shocks to improve handling. Due to the fact that it was offered on both the F-85 and the Cutlass in its initial year on sale, the 442’s debut year was rather perplexing.

Because less than 3,000 Oldsmobile* 442s were sold in 1964, it is apparent that the firm had not yet perfected its marketing approach at that time.

“The engine of your 1969 Hurst Olds will be well protected with AMSOIL Z-ROD® 10W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil. This product is formulated with a proprietary combination of rust and corrosion inhibitors to provide the best possible protection for long-term storage.”

Z-ROD® 10W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil
AMSOIL Z-ROD® 10W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil

Despite a rocky start, the situation would improve down the road. Oldsmobile’s* advertisement for 1965 represented a significant improvement over prior years. In marketing literature, the 442 was positioned as a car for the younger generation.

This technique started to yield fruit, resulting in an increase in the number of sales completed. Compared to the individual components, the overall package was significantly superior and more
attractive. A new 400-cid V8 engine was added in lieu of the old one, increasing the overall output to 345 horsepower.

With the new package, the 442’s already exceptional handling was considerably improved. It was equipped with heavy-duty shock absorbers and springs. The vehicle also had big tires and stabilizer bars on the front and rear wheels.

A new engine beneath the hood and new sheet metal on the outside of the 1966 Cutlass 442, marked the model’s introduction. For the purpose of supplying the engine with fuel, the Oldsmobile* engineers decided on three carburetors. The installation happened without a hitch, and the power was raised to 360 horsepower as a result.

Aside from that, other suspension changes resulted in even better handling. It wasn’t long before General Motors* outlawed the use of three carburetors from its vehicles. This demanded the development of new technologies by Oldsmobile* engineers in order to maintain the power output of the 1967 engine.

This was accomplished by the employment of the W-30 package, sometimes known as a “forced air induction system.” The engine’s camshaft and springs were also modified in order to improve its overall efficiency. The 442 of 1968 was the first time that the well-known moniker was used as a model identifier in its own right.

The Hurst/Olds release was the most-talked-about story of 1968. The 442 was originally intended to be a one-off combination of the 442 with the 455 cid V8 from Oldsmobile’s* Toronado.

“If you possess a limited edition 1968 hurst olds 442, it is critical that you keep the wear on your 455 motor to a bare minimum. Z-ROD® 10W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil from AMSOIL is formulated with a high zinc concentration to preserve flat-tappet cams, lifters, rockers, and other essential components of the engine.”

Oldsmobile* management decided to authorize a limited production of the vehicle. Only 515 of these cars were produced in 1968, making them valuable collector’s items today. They were capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. Along with its approximately 390 horsepower, this limited-edition Hurst/Olds 442 could attain a peak speed of around 130 miles per hour.

The Hurst/Olds made a triumphant comeback in 1968. Designed with a new color scheme and huge bonnet scoops. Power output was a slightly lower 380bhp, due to a small detuning of the engine.

In 1970, General Motors* relaxed its prohibition on engines larger than 400 cubic inches in midsized vehicles, enabling Oldsmobile* to sell their 455 cubic inch V8 as standard equipment in all 442s.

“The best synthetic motor oil for a 1970 hurst olds 442 is AMSOIL Z-ROD® 10W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil. ZDDP, a wear-fighting component, is included in high concentrations in this product to ensure that maximum horsepower is achieved.”

Oldsmobile 442.
To protect your Oldsmobile 442, utilize AMSOIL Z-ROD® 10W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil!

The Hurst/Olds were no longer in the picture, and they would not resurface again until 1972. With a balanced, blueprinted, and generally tweaked version of the 455 V8, the W-30 was able to achieve its highest power output to that point. In 1970, the Rallye 350 was introduced as an option for the 442.

Its 310 horsepower engine, on the other hand, was nothing special, but the vehicle’s outside design was. The vehicle’s exterior look was enhanced by the application of a bright yellow paint job, which included the bumpers and wheels.

The 442 Rally 350 was the final gasp of lavish spectacle and decadent performance, as the muscle car era began to decline as a result of the 70’s global energy crisis. For most of the time since 1971, numerous muscle cars were already plagued by similar power-capacity constraints, and the 442 was no exception.

Since 1972, the 442 designation has been used only to identify the handling and visual choices available on a Cutlass. Hurst/Olds was brought back to life, but with just 300 horsepower, it was a shell of its former self. By 1973, Hurst/Olds’ power output had dwindled to a pathetic 250 horsepower.

After 1973, Oldsmobile’s* management made the decision to discontinue production of high-performance muscle cars. Despite the fact that the 442 name appeared on a number of different models, no later variants of the 442 could match the originals in terms of performance.

We’ve come to the end of our discussion on What Does the 442 Stand For in the Oldsmobile 442. Visit this website often for updated information on more historic muscle cars.

*All trademarked names and images are the property of their respective owners and may be registered marks in some countries. No affiliation or endorsement claim, express or implied, is made by their use. All products advertised here are developed by AMSOIL for use in the applications shown.

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