As a member of the muscle car category, the Olds 442 proved its worth the hard way: Originally, the Olds 442 was an optional package for the F-85 and Cutlass models, beginning in 1964. After the Pontiac division of General Motors experienced an unexpected success with the release of the The Tempest GTO the same year, Oldsmobile quickly compiled the package to keep buyers interested. The 442 did not become an actual car model independent of others until 1968.
By the year 1970, the Olds 442 had been tweaked to near perfection, and Oldsmobile was enjoying the height of its performance abilities. The engine had a 365 horsepower output at 4600 rpm, but a slightly bigger 370 horsepower engine was available, which made up part of the W-3o package. The car impressed more than just consumers, it became the pace car for the Indianapolis 500 in 1970.
This model stood out among others in that it had vertical bars in a silver grille, vertical tail lights, and rectangular parking lights on the front bumper. Among other options was the variable- ratio power steering from General Motors.
As Oldsmobile continued to work toward its own idea of vehicle perfection, the Olds 442 continued to please until its end in 1971. After that, it was back to being an option and the name was revived in the 1980s and 1990s, and found its new roots in the Cutlass.