Olds 442: The First Generation
Oldsmobile is a special name in the history of American automobile manufacturing, and it is kind of sad to think that the children of today are growing up without new Oldsmobiles being part of the landscape.
It seems like only yesterday, but the Oldsmobile division of General Motors ceased operation back in 2004 and it is sorely missed by many of us, especially classic Oldsmobile fans.
The good news is that the brand is kept alive by the classics that we all know and love and one of these that holds a very special place in the hearts of classic Oldsmobile fans is the Oldsmobile 442, which was one of the true-school muscle cars.
The Oldsmobile 442 was first offered as a package option on Oldsmobile Cutlass and F-85 models beginning in 1964. Oldsmobile decided to offer the package as a competitor to the Pontiac Tempest GTO which was catching the interest of the muscle car community at the time. Initially it was powered by a 330 cubic inch 310 hp V-8 with a four-barrel carburetor.
According to tests conducted by Motor Trend magazine at the time one of these first-generation Oldsmobile 442 specimens was able to go from 0 to 60 in 7.5 seconds and get a quarter-mile from a standing position in 15.5 seconds, reaching a speed of 90 mph in the process.
The first generation of the Oldsmobile 442 as an option package blasted through the 1967 model year. The most powerful engine on the 1967 442 was a 400 cubic inch with a four-barrel rated at a pretty darn impressive 360 hp. That year Oldsmobile sold 24,833 vehicles with the 442 package.
1964 through 1967 was the era during which the 442 was born and first finding its legs. In 1968 the car become a model in its own right and we will take a look at that incarnation of this classic Oldsmobile in a future post, so stay tuned.