[ 442 ]

* 1964
* 1965
* 1966
* 1967
* 1968
* 1969

* 1970
* 1971
* 1972
* 1973
* 1974
* 1975

* 1976
* 1977
* 1978
* 1979
* 1980
* 1985

* 1986
* 1987
* 1988
* 1990
* 1991

Submit corrections and additions to this information to The Olds FAQ Compiler.


Definition of 4-4-2 from the Oldsmobile Factory Literature:
1964 (Original meaning)
4: Four Barrel Carburetion
4: Four On the Floor
2: Dual Exhausts

1965 (First year of automatic transmission option on 442)
4: 400 Cubic Inch Displacement
4: Four Barrel Carburetion
2: Dual Exhausts

1985 to 1987 (Last of RWD 442s)
4: Four speed automatic
4: Four barrel carburetor
2: Dual exhaust

1990 and 1991 (FWD 442)
4: Four cylinders
4: Four valves
2: Two camshafts

[ Thanks to Wes Fujii, Steve Ochs, Mike Coccagna for this information ]


This is sort of a prickly subject because the factory was concerned with producing vehicles, not the desires of collectors thirty years later! So you will find some (maybe a lot) of stock, factory, not mickeyed, un-numbers matching vehicles.

It seems to be a matter of record here on the list that Olds was kind of "loose" with the correspondence between the series designation in the VIN and the style number on the body plate, in the period of 1968-1969. As much as we would like to think that Olds inscribed those numbers on the cars purely for the sake of collectors verifying the correctness of these cars thirty years after the fact, the real purpose of them was convenience and record-keeping in the production process. So, if the Lansing plant was able to produce 442's efficiently, with the right parts, by simply installing all the parts in the regular Cutlass bodyshell (which would differ from the 442 shell by only two digits in that data plate), then there's no reason for them not to. Of course, the VIN would have to reflect the models that the dealers actually ordered, and since different prices were given for the different models, a dealer who was expecting a VIN beginning with 344 would feel cheated if he got a list of an incoming car beginning with VIN 336.

After all, these were just humans who built this car, so it's conceivable that a body destined for a regular Cutlass ended up being assembled as a 442. When you've got three plants producing these cars, each at times with its own peculiarities in procedures,it's certainly a possibility. You could always search out the title on the car to see where that VIN has been, and what it's been affixed to. Also, check that the engine stamping matches the VIN.

In theory, the VIN and Body (cowl) Tag should match, but it is really the VIN that counts. For example, Lansing 442's (at least) came off the line with regular Cutlass body plates, even though the VIN is correct for a 442. However, someone could have changed the VIN - check for new rivets! One other way to think about this: if someone did alter the car to look like a 442, why would they add the VIN, but not the body plate, from a 442? A body plate is a lot simpler to replace; would someone with an original 442 try to pass it off as a regular Cutlass by installing a "336..." body plate?

The fact that the body unit # doesn't match the VIN serial number is not unusual either; it's the sequential number of that body, not the whole car that the body sits on. Unless you have evidence that the VIN has been doctored, you indeed have a 4-4-2.

If the engine number matches that would clinch it, but if it doesn't, that doesn't mean that your car isn't a 4-4-2 -- it just means the engine has been replaced. The VIN is the key. It sure sounds to me like your car is legit.

From 1968 to 1971, 442 became a model, like Toronado or 98 was a model (as in, a unique VIN). So the VIN started with 34467, 77 or 87 depending on the body style, to designate a 442. The 3 is for Olds, and the 44 stood for 4400 series. Only the 1968-71 442s carry a unique VIN.

From 1964 to 1967, the 442 itself was an option package, not a model. Then again in 1972 (to 1980 or so), 442 became a option again, available on certain F-85 and Cutlass models. Option code W-29 signified the 442 option during these two time spans. So in essence you could order a 1972 Cutlass with a 350 2 bbl carb and put the 442 option on it. For 1972 only, the W-30 option was a Cutlass that had the 442 package and a special engine that was designated in the VIN with the letter X.

Here's another opinion on this subject. In '72 and IMOO (in my own opinion) I don't believe there are any fake 442's, only Cutlasses with the 442 options added to them. Unless you consider a real 442 something that the factory put out, however many of the 442 options in '72 were dealer installed on regular Cutlass S models. Actually, the 442 model was dropped in '71. 1971 was the last year that Olds actually made a 442 model. In 1972 the 442 was just an option. So to recap if you see a '72 442, it's really a Cutlass S with the 442 option added, not a true 442 model car. You would actually refer to it as a Cutlass S with the 442 option. Which in most cases consisted of a suspension and stripe package. Other options were the OAI hood, 442 rear cut bumper. So, if you want to tell if the 442 option was added by the owner of dealer/factory just look very closely at the emblems, and other options and see if they were added correctly/professionally. That's it. OK.

Actually, while we're at this, let's not get too caught up in the "my 68-71 442 is 'real' and your earlier/later one is not". Come on...all GM did was mix and match parts in a given body shell (witness the 336- body plates on the 68-69 4400 series). Sure, documentation is important if you are attempting to promote the car based on its originality. Just keep in mind that the factory did a lot of screwy things over the years, which leaves us a lot to talk about (sort of like stamp collectors putting a premium on the mistakes).

Look for any type of documentation for the car. (Window Sticker, invoice etc.) This is really then only true way to verify this car. The are very easily copied.

Do a title search and try to find the original owner and ask him some questions. This should verify that the car is not stolen.

Check the engine and heads for the correct codes, and the intake manifold for the date codes for the year the 442 was produced. Air cleaner snorkel on a 442 faces the passenger side.

Check the serial number on the engine, stamped on a pad below the drivers side head at the front of the engine. This will probably require a mirror and possibly some cleaning. This should be 8 characters long and match the last 8 characters of your VIN.

Should have boxed lower rear control arms and a sway bar. These were usually the only cars of this series to get one. Also check for upper rear control arm to frame stiffeners, and front fender braces (behind the front wheelwells). Should have rear bumper cut-outs, 1968 - 1972.

An anti-spin (posi) was optional for all years.

Also, it would be a good idea to check the last six digits of the engine serial number (located on small machined pad below head, behind the alternator) against the last six VIN digits.

On another note, a surefire way to tell if the car is a Cutlass or a 442 is to look at the inside of the front fenderwells. If there is evidence of f-85, V-8, or Cutlass trim holes, it is not a 442 (at least not 442 fenders).

Motorbooks International's Oldsmobile 4-4-2 & W-Machine Restoration Guide is a good beginning reference. You could call the fakes a "faux-faux-too".

If you are mad that a fake is being passed off as the real thing, and feel strongly about such blatant fraud, write down the VIN number, and then notify the seller that you are going to run the VIN through DMV every 6 months or so, and if you find out it has been sold, you will contact the new owner, and notify them that you had previously told the seller that the car was a fake. If someone sells a vehicle fraudulently, then under federal law they are liable for twice the difference in value to the new owner, plus they face a prison sentence.

It does work! So far on the two vehicles that I have done this, one owner changed the car back before selling, and the other parted his out. If there is one thing I hate it is people who try to sell fakes to unsuspecting people. It only causes headaches to those of us who happen to own real versions of these cars.

[ Notice: ]Please refer to the Engines section for authentication as well!
[ Notice: ]Please refer to the Blocks section for authentication as well!
[ Notice: ]Please refer to the Heads section for authentication as well!
[ Notice: ]Please refer to the Intake Manifolds section for authentication as well!
[ Notice: ]Please refer to the Exhaust Manifolds section for authentication as well!
[ Notice: ]Please refer to the Carburetors section for authentication as well!

Check each section below for year specific authentication.

[ Thanks to Mark Prince, Jim Chermack, Joe Padavano, Bob Handren, Bob Barry, Mike Rothe, Ray Moriarty, Kurt Heinrich, Fernando Proietto, Collyn Eastham for this information ]


Olds didn't release it until late summer 1964. The 442 was a parts bin special, squeezed out the door as a GTO-competitor. They basically took the B09 police option (290hp 330 V-8, HD suspension), mated it with the already available 4speed, added dual exhaust options, gave it a dual snorkel air cleaner, a cam (all of which brought the engine up to 310 hp), rear stabilizer bar, 442 badges, and called it the 442.

My guess is that the Olds engineers already had the 400 CID V-8 designed and tested, but not tooled for production, when the marketing department said "we need a 442 now!" or Bobut said "I require a 442. NOW". The Marketing folks probably required at least 300hp, so the engineers took the B09 police pursuit package (a 290hp 330, dual exhaust option, stab bar), added the badges and sold 2999 units as a 442. A number of drag racers in southern Florida campaigned 290hp 4-speed F-85s in stock classes and did quite well.

As far as I know, Oldsmobile did no further advertising or promotion of the meaning of 442 after the 1965 advertising campaign.

The Turnpike Cruiser package included a 400 engine with a 2bbl. It was the 2-bbl 400ci motor, along with highway gears (2.56:1, usually), that was optimized for, you guessed it, cruising on the turnpike. In 1967 Olds offered the Turnpike Cruiser option on non-442 Cutlii. This was a 400 cu in 2 bbl motor with an unusual air cleaner assembly which used a hot air stove to help atomize the fuel for better fuel economy.

In 1968 a similar 2 bbl 400 cu in package was also offered, but that year it was on the 442 only. Also, the 400 was offered in the Vista Cruiser during those years. Press releases for '67 imply it was available on Cutlass Supreme sedans as well, but there was a later "downgrade" option for the '68-'69 442 with this type of combination, for those more concerned with effortless cruising than all-out performance. This idea was carried over for the early-production 2-bbl '70 SX, which came with the highway gear.

The 442 has been used as the Indy 500 pace car in 1970, 1972, 1974 and 1985.

Option coding:
In 1964 the 4-4-2 was ordered with option code B09.
In 1965 the order code was 4-4-2.
In 1966, W-29 signified the 4-4-2 option. L69 was the 4-4-2 performance package with the tri-power, and L78 was the 4-4-2 engine with a 4 bbl.
In 1967, L78 was the 4-4-2 engine with a 4 bbl.
From 1968 to 1971 the 4-4-2 was a seperate model, therefore L78 disappeared.
In 1972 W-29 denoted the "4-4-2 Appearance and Handling Package" which could be had with any engine and cost $29. The 455 was L75 and added $137.
W-29 was used from 1968 to 1980 something or other.
From 1985 to 1987, W-42 was used.


The 4-4-2's from 1964 thru 1967 were an option on any F-85 or Cutlass.

I now have Oldsmobile factory documentation of the use of 336XX body data plates on 344XX VIN 442s in 1968 and 1969. In addition, it isn't only 442s which had this discrepancy!

While researching the mystery 442 I've recently written about, I came across several pages in the factory parts book which have tables cross-referencing Oldsmobile Sales Model Code with Fisher Body Model Code. The table for 1968 Oldsmobile Models is reproduced below: (Note that "OLDS SALES MODEL CODE" represents digits 2 through 5 of the VIN, with digit 1 always being a "3" to represent Oldsmobile)

Olds Sales
Models Model Code Model Code
F-85 Six:
Town Sedan 3169 68-33269
Club Coupe 3177 68-33277
Cutlass Six:
2-Seat Station Wagon 3535 68-33635
Holiday Sedan 3539 68-33639
Convertible 3567 68-33667
Town Sedan 3569 68-33669
Sports Coupe 3577 68-33677
Holiday Coupe 3587 68-33687
F-85 V-8:
Town Sedan 3269 68-33269
Club Coupe 3277 68-33277
Cutlass V-8:
2-Seat Station Wagon 3635 68-33635
Holiday Sedan 3639 68-33639
Convertible 3667 68-33667
Town Sedan 3669 68-33669
Sports Coupe 3677 68-33677
Holiday Coupe 3687 68-33687
Cutlass Supreme V-8:
Holiday Sedan 4239 68-34239
Town Sedan 4269 68-34269
Holiday Coupe 4287 68-34287
Custom Vista Cruiser V-8:
2-Seat Wagon 4855 68-34855
3-Seat Wagon 4865 68-34865
4-4-2 High Performance V-8:
Convertible 4467 *68-33667
Sports Coupe 4477 *68-33677
Holiday Coupe 4487 *68-33687
*Special note: 33600 models shown with a * in the Fisher Model Code have the Hi Performance V-8 and are designated the 4-4-2, which is the 4400 series in the Oldsmobile Sales Model Code

So there you have it. The 1969 table is the same (with an additional discrepancy on the wagons to differentiate the dual-action tailgate from the normal unit).

Note that not only does the 442 get a body code that doesn't match the VIN, but so do the six cylinder F-85 and Cutlass models. In researching this further, it appears that Fisher Body only had four different configurations for the bodies they produced for Oldsmobile: F-85, Cutlass, Cutlass Supreme, and Vista Cruiser. Naturally, Fisher Body didn't care if the car would be getting a six or an eight, as all the changes were in the chassis. The only differences which mattered to them were in the interior trim and exterior chrome. This also applies to the 442, which (in 68-69) had Cutlass interior panels and exterior chrome trim.

I hope this clears up the mystery of the 344XX VIN with the 336XX body plate.

Oddly enough, the '69 Shop manual lists the "Chassis Designation" and "Sales and Scheduling Code" as basically the same, and says that the body plate should have the "Division Series" number in it, which it lists as "34400" for the 442. Oh, well, just goes to show that you can't go by just one factory publication.

However, Fisher Body definitely changed the numbering on the body tags sometime in 1969, so there are a few 1969 442s with 344... Fisher body tags. Switch occurred somewhere after the fourth week of March.

Oldsmobile absolutely built 442s in Canada. They can be identified by the number "1" as the seventh character of the VIN. US-built cars will have a letter in this position to signify the build plant location. The letter "M", for example, signifies a Lansing-built car. The cowl plate will say/could say "Made in Canada". Pretty hard to miss.

The Canadian cars all came with the Chevy "Type C" 12-bolt rear axle as opposed to the "Type O" used on the US-built cars.

While bucket seats were standard on the 442, the bench seat was optionally available for a price credit some years. Additionally, the column shifters were sometimes standard, while the floor hifter and console were an extra cost option.

[ Thanks to Mike Bloomer, Joe Padavano, Bob Barry, Kerry Kroger, Chris Smetana for this information ]



The 442 option was available on any mid-size V-8 powered F-85 model except the station wagon. Yes they made 4 door 442's in 64. They did make 8 though. I know some references list 7. The Olds historical archieves list 8. These were Deluxe 4 door F-85's. The 442 option cost was $136. The Cutlass 330 was rated at 290hp, while the 442's was rated at 310hp. Both the 290hp and 310hp had 10.25 compression.

"Heavy Duty" frames were even available on 65-66 442's. What they did was put a convertible frame under a hardtop, just like the police cars. There is no difference I am aware of for the 66-67 frames.

Three small 442 badges indentified it on the front fenders and on the trunk. These 442's are easy to fake because they were an option, had no special 3xxx Olds number or VIN range, and all the parts (except the dual snorkel) were already available.

Model Units
F-85 Club Coupe 148
F-85 Sedan 3
Deluxe Sedan 7
Cutlass Club Coupe 563
Cutlass Holiday Coupe 1842
Cutlass Convertible 436
Total: 2999

Engine specs:
330cu. in., 4bbl Rochester, 10.25 CR, 310 [email protected], 355 ft/lbs [email protected]

4-spd manual, floor

Rear Axles:


Performance Data:
¼ mile time 15.5 seconds. 0 - 60 in 7.5 seconds. "Car Life" - ¼ mile time 15.6 seconds at 89 MPH. 0 - 60 in 7.4 seconds.

[ Thanks to Jason Labay, Bob Barry, Jim Chermack for this information ]



Not available on 4-door sedan models, just 2 door coupes, hardtops and convertibles. No Deluxe model was eligible for the 442 option. Cost of the 442 option was $190.45 on the standard and $156.02 on the Cutlass. Marked the beginning of 442's with big blocks as standard.

There is a possibility that early 1965 442s had 425's before the new 400 CID big blocks were ready. Some original cars have been seen. But be aware that General Motors was very strict about the 400 CID limit in A-bodies, but the factory built cars, weather the right or compatible parts were available or not.

Model Units 3spd 4spd Auto
F-85 Club Coupe 1087 109 736 242
Cutlass Club Coupe 5713 287 3164 2262
Cutlass Holiday Coupe 14735 204 8140 6391
Cutlass Convertible 3468 90 1695 1683
Total 25,003 690 13735 10578

Engine specs:

400 cu in, 4-bbl Rochester, 10:25.1 CR, 345 [email protected], 440 ft/lbs [email protected]


3 spd manual column
4 spd manual floor
2 spd auto column

Rear Axles:

3.08 w/auto
3.23 w/manual
3.23 w/auto
3.55 w/auto
3.55 w/manual
4.11 or 4.33 gears could be dealer installed after coming from the factory with 3.90's.

Performance Data:

"Car & Driver" - ¼ mile in 15.0 at 98 MPH. 0 - 60 in 5.5 seconds. 10-16 MPG (4spd manual, 3.55 rear).
"Car Life" - ¼ mile in 15.5 seconds at 89 MPH. 0 - 60 in 7.8 seconds.
[ Thanks to Jason Labay, Bob Barry, Ron Forsee for this information ]



Engine Applications:
Model Units 4bbl Tri-carb
Standard Club Coupe 647 490 157
Deluxe Holiday Coupe 1217 1039 178
Cutlass Sport Coupe 3787 3404 383
Cutlass Holiday Coupe 13493 12322 1171
Cutlass Convertible 2853 2653 240
Total 21997 19868 2129
Transmission Applications:
Model 3spd 4spd Auto
Standard Club Coupe 103 456 88
Deluxe Holiday Coupe 88 798 331
Cutlass Sport Coupe 221 2422 1144
Cutlass Holiday Coupe 297 8025 5171
Cutlass Convertible 62 1448 1343
Total 771 13149 8077

All tripower (L69) equipped 442's were 4-speeds. An over-the-counter 3x2 bbl package was available from the dealer.

Grille was different from other F-85's, small chromed trim vents were placed in front fenders just to the rear of the wheels. For $114 over the 442 cost a tri-carb 360 hp engine was available. Five models were offered with the 442 package.

Engine Specs:

400 cu in, 4-bbl Rochester, 10.50 CR, 350 [email protected], 440 ft/lbs [email protected]
400 cu in, (3) 2bbl rochesters, 10.50 CR, 360 [email protected], 440 ft/lbs [email protected]


3 spd manual floor
4 spd manual floor Hurst shifter
4 spd manual floor Hurst close-ratio shifter
2 spd auto column

Rear Axles:

3.23 3 spd manual or Jetway auto
3.55 either 4 spd manual
3.55 3 spd manual or Jetway auto
3.90 all except 3 spd
4.11 dealer installed except in 3.23 axle cars
4.33 dealer installed except in 3.23 axle cars

Performance Data:

"Car & Driver" - ¼ mile in 14.59 seconds at 100.55 MPH. 11.5 MPG (4spd man, 3.55 rear)
"Motor Trend" - ¼ mile in 15.6 seconds at 96.56 MPH. 0 - 60 in 7.2 seconds.
[ Thanks to Jason Labay, Bob Barry for this information ]



Numerous external changes to cars equipped with the 442 option. Special fender paint trim and a louvered hood were two. Tri-Carb was replaced by an air induction version. The new top line was called Cutlass Supreme and the 442 was only offered in these models.

The 442 did not use an "Oldsmobile" script on the grille. They replaced the Olds logo on the grille bar with a 442 emblem. The 67 non-442 A-bodies did have OLDSMOBILE in block letters on the center grille bar. 442s will have a black plastic egg-crate grille, while non-442s will have a silver plastic grille with a horizontal metal bar with the aforementioned OLDSMOBILE logo.

Model Units 3spd 4spd Auto
Cutlass Sports Coupe 4751 422 2535 1793
Cutlass Holiday Coupe 16998 409 7661 8928
Cutlass Convertible 3080 87 1185 1807
Total 24833 918 11381 12528

Engine Specs:

Standard: 400cu in, 4bbl-rochester, 10.50 CR, 350 [email protected], 440 ft/lbs [email protected]
Force-Air: 400cu in, 4bbl-rochester, 10.50 CR, 360 [email protected], 440 ft/lbs [email protected]
Turnpike: 400cu in, 2bbl=rochester, 10.50 CR, 300 [email protected], 425 ft/lbs [email protected]

"V" engines are the 300hp, 400cid, 2bbl "Turnpike Cruiser" engine. This engine included the "Climatic Combustion Control" air cleaner, a black, square looking thing with a snorkel on each side. I'm not sure if this engine was originally available on 442 models. Someone else on the list will have to confirm that. According to my SPECS book Cutlass Supremes could either be ordered with the "Turnpike Cruiser" package or the 442 package, not both.

"VG" engines are the 350hp, 400cid, 4bbl "High Performance" 442 engine. Air cleaner may be chrome and would have a 442 emblem on it.


3 spd manual Hurst floor shifter
4 spd manual close ratio Hurst floor shifter
4 spd manual wide ratio Hurst floor shifter
2 spd auto column
floor shifter optional on auto with console

Rear Axles:

3.08 turbo hydra-matic
3.23 3spd manual
3.55 4 spd wide ratio manual
3.90 4 spd special ratio manual
3.23 turbo hydra-matic
3.42 any transmission
3.55 any transmission
3.90 3spd or turbo hydra-matic
3.91 4spd wide ratio
4.11 dealer installed on 3.55 or 3.90 axle cars
4.33 dealer installed on 3.55 or 3.90 axle cars

Performance Data:

No data.
[ Thanks to Jason Labay, Ron Forsee, Tony Waldner, Bob Barry, Paul Hartlieb for this information ]



Made a subseries in itself, new body shape using GM's 112 inch wheelbase, a black mesh grid pattern grille (A Cutlass S should have a grille with vertical bars) with 442 identification. Production of the 442 for the 1968 model year was a record.

442s did not use an "Oldsmobile" script on the grille. Non-44s used a chrome OLDSMOBILE script on the left front corner of the hood on non-442s. 442s deleted the Olds script on the hood and used large 442 numerals on the grille. 442s will have a black plastic egg-crate grille, while non-442s will have a silver plastic grille with vertical bars.

Model Units
Sports Coupe 4282
Hardtop Coupe 24183
Convertible 5142
Total 33607

Engine Specs:

Standard: 400cu in, 4-bbl rochester, 10.50 CR, 350 [email protected] (325 hp w/AT), 440 ft/lbs [email protected]
Forced-Air: 400cu in, 4-bbl rochester, 10.50 CR, 360 [email protected], 440 ft/lbs [email protected]
Turnpike Cruiser: 400cu in, 2-bbl rochester, 9.0 CR, 290 [email protected], 425 ft/lbs [email protected]


3 spd manual Hurst floor shifter
4 spd manual close ratio Hurst floor shifter
4 spd manual wide ratio Hurst floor shifter
2 spd auto
floor shifter optional on auto with console

Rear Axles:

3spd 4spd wr 4spd cr Auto
350 hp: 3.23s,c 3.42s,n 3.91s,n
engine 3.08o,n 3.08o 3.42o,n
3.42o,n 3.23o,a,c 4.33o,n,d
3.91o,n 4.66o,n,d
325 hp: 3.08s,c
engine 3.31o,c
290 hp: 2.56s
engine 2.78o
360 hp: 3.42o,n 4.33s,n,d,r 3.42s,n
engine 3.91o,n,d,r 4.33o,n,d,r
4.66o,n,d 4.66o,n,d
s = standard
o = optional
a = std w/air cond
n = not available w/air cond
c = canadian built cars have 2.78, 3.07, 3.31
instead of 2.73. 3.08 and 3.23 respectively
d = dealer installed
r = anti-spin diff. required

Performance Data:

W-30(a) 442 std. 442(b) L65(b)
[email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]
[email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]
displacement 400ci 400ci 400ci 400ci
comp. ratio 10.50-1 10.50-1 10.50-1 9.00-1
carb 4bbl 4bbl 4bbl 2bbl
exhaust dual single single single
(a): With force-air induction system
(b): Available with automatic transmission

"Car Life" - ¼ mile in 15.13 seconds at 92.2 MPH. 0 - 60 in 7.0 seconds.

[ Thanks to Jason Labay, Bob Barry, Greg Beaulieu, Scott Wheeler, Joe Padavano for this information ]



Model Units
Sports coupe 2475
Hardtop coupe 19587
Convertible 4295
Total 26357

Grille was split in the center with a wide divider on which 442 appeared. Turnpike cruising option deleted. It also had paint stripes outlining the "power bulges" on the hood and a single pinstripe at the trunk edge, outlining the tail lights, 442 badging, special grill, (blacked-out egg-crate) and woodgrain applique on the dash. The 442 grills were in fact black on the slats with silver around sides and bottom Headlight bezels are silver with black on facing (area that headlight come thru). It came with 14 X 6 wheels.

Alternator used an internal voltage regulator. Interior also featured woodgrain on the dash. Also used a cutout rear bumper and the trunk had stainless trim.

In 69 the W29 "option" was the entire package. When you ordered a W29, you got the base 442 and any OTHER options (also marked with *) required when ordering W29. W29 was the REQUIRED option when you checked off that you were ordering a 442, (hence the *)and unique VIN ID was included, since it was its own body line from 68-71 inclusive. Strange as it may seem, this W29 really meant put all the 442 stuff on a Cutlass car. So it was coded W29, not 442. Make sense?

Engine specs:

Base: 400cu in, 4bbl-rochester, 10.50 CR, 350 [email protected] (325 [email protected] w/AT), [email protected]
W-30: 400 cu in, 4bbl-rochester, 10.50 CR, 360 [email protected], [email protected]
W-31: 350cu in, 4bbl-rochester, 10.50 CR, 325 [email protected], [email protected]


3 spd manual Hurst floor shifter
4 spd manual close ratio Hurst floor shifter
4 spd manual wide ratio Hurst floor shifter
2 spd manual auto column
floor shifter optional on auto with console

Rear axle:

Canadian 442's also had a 12 bolt Chevy rear.

3spd 4spd wr 4spd cr Auto
350 hp: 3.23s 3.42s,n 3.91s,n
engine 2.56o 3.08o 3.42o,n
2.78o 3.23o,a 4.33o,n,d
3.08n 4.66o,n,d 3.08n
325 hp: 2.78s
engine 3.08o
360hp: 3.42s 4.33s,n,d,r 3.42s,n
engine 2.73o 3.42o,n 3.91o,n
3.08o 3.91o,n,d,r 4.33o,n,d,r
3.23o 4.66o,n,d 4.66o,n,d
s = standard
o = optional
a = std w/air cond
n = not available w/air cond
d = dealer installed
r = anti-spin diff. required

Performance Data:

No data.
[ Thanks to Jason Labay, Bob Barry, Mike Rothe, Scott Mullen, Rob Thomas, Greg Beaulieu, Brian Ammons, Tony Molinaro, Cliff Simpson, Joe Padavano, Rich Grega, Chris Smetana, Kerry Kroger for this information ]



Few exterior changes except for a unique grille made of vertical black rectangles, fenders, rear quarters, trunk lid and both bumpers. The 400 was replaced by the 455. The W-31 option was continued in the F-85 and Cutlass S, these cars were easily identified by W-31 identification on the front fender striping. New option was offered on the F-85 and Cutlass S called the Rallye 350. The Rallye 350 used the 350cu in. 310 hp engine and came in Sebring Yellow with orange and black decal hood patches and side trim. A rear deck spoiler was available on the Rallye 350, 442 and W models. The 70-72 442 wings were fiberglass, not aluminum. The W-25 OAI fiberglass hood was optional for all Cutlass variations.

Model VIN Units
Sports Coupe 344770 1688
Hardtop Coupe 344870 14709
Convertible 2933
Rallye 350 3547
Total 22877

Engine Specs:

Base: 455cu in, 4-bbl rochester, 10.50 CR, 365 [email protected], 500 ft/lbs [email protected]
W-30: 455cu in, 4bbl-rochester, 10.50 CR, 370 [email protected], 500 ft/lbs [email protected]
W-31: 350cu in, 4-bbl rochester, 10.50 CR, 325 [email protected], 360 ft/lbs [email protected]
Rallye 350: 350cu in, 4-bbl rochester, 10.25 CR, 310 [email protected], 390 ft/lbs [email protected]


3 spd floor manual
4 spd floor manual wide ratio (M-20)
4 spd manual close ratio (M-21)
4 spd manual close ratio heavy duty (M-22)
3 spd auto*
*Hurst Dual Gate Shifter in console was an available option in all bucket seat models

Rear Axles:

3spd 4spd WR 4spd CR Auto
365hp 3.23s,a 3.42s 2.56s
engine 3.08o 2.78o
3.42o 3.08o
370hp 3.42s 3.42s
engine 3.91o 3.23o,a
325hp 3.91s 3.91s 3.91s 3.91s
engine 3.42o 3.42o 3.42o 3.42o
310hp 3.08s 3.08s 3.42s 2.78s
engine 2.78o 3.23o 3.91o 2.56o
3.23o 3.42o 3.08o
3.42o 3.23o
3.91o 3.42o
s = standard
o = optional
a = std w/air cond

Performance Data:
¼ mile time: [email protected] (Hot Rod mag., W-30 engine, automatic, 3.91 rear)
¼ mile time: [email protected] (Hot Rod mag., W-31 engine, automatic, 3.91 rear)

[ Thanks to Jason Labay, Bobby Etzel, Mike Rothe, Danny, Joe Padavano for this information ]



Model Units
Hardtop Coupe 6285
Convertible 1304
Total 7589
There were no sport coupes in the 442 series. The 1971 4-4-2 hardtop was based on the Cutlass S trim level. Rather than the standard series Cutlass. The Rallye 350 and W-31 option was dropped. Engines were detuned to meet federal exhaust emission standards. The W-25 OAI fiberglass hood was optional for all Cutlass variations. The 70-72 442 wings were fiberglass, not aluminum.

Engine Specs:

Base: 455cu in, 4-bbl rochester, 8.50 CR, 270 hp(net)@4600rpm, 370 ft/lbs torque(net)@3200rpm
W-30: 455cu in, 4-bbl rochester, 8.50 CR, 280 hp(net)@4700rpm, 370 ft/lbs torque(net)@3200rpm

I think for the most part the compression was dropped to 8.0 or 8.5 to run unleaded and possibly to reduce emissions. I don't really remember offhand but I think the cams were less aggressive too. The HP ratings also went from gross to net around 1971, so even though the actual numbers are smaller, the power output is similar.

If your 1971 4-4-2 has a manual trans, it will utilize the same crankcase vent system as the W-30. This setup uses a breather located on each valve cover that connect to the air cleaner housing via tubes and grommets. On these cars, the pcv valve is located just in front of the carb and connect to a tube in the intake manifold. If your 4-4-2 is a non W-30 with an automatic trans, (With or without W-25) the right (passenger) side valve cover will have a breather that is connected to the air cleaner housing. The left side valve cover is where your pcv valve is located. On this application, the hole in the left side of the air cleaner housing is plugged. The exhaust manifold shroud and tube that connect to the snorkle on the air cleaner housing are the same regardless of W-25, W-30 or trans type on a 1971 4-4-2.


3 spd manual w/Hurst shifter
4 spd manual wide ratio w/Hurst shifter
4 spd manual close ratio w/Hurst shifter (only available w/ W-30 option)
3 spd automatic (Hurst shifter available at extra cost)

Rear Axles:

3.23 Turbo Hydra-Matic
3.23 3-spd manual
3.42 4-spd manual
Performance Data:
"Road & Track" - ¼ mile in 15.2 seconds at 99 MPH. 0 - 60 in 8.9 seconds.
[ Thanks to Joe Padavano, Mark Prince, Greg Rollin for this information ]



442 was now an option package. It was not a performance option, but handling and trim. Code W-29 was the 4-4-2. Unlike previous years, you could check the vin to determine if a car was a 4-4-2 or Cutlass, but in 72 the 4-4-2 went back to an option. The only way in 72 to tell by the vin if you had a 4-4-2 was if it contained an X for the engine which designated the W-30 package, which by default gave you the 4-4-2.

There were only minor external appearance changes from 1971. 1972 marked the end of 442's with big blocks as standard. The 350 engine was now an option. The W-25 OAI fiberglass hood was optional on all Cutlass variations. All 1972 4-4-2's are the W-29 option (regardless of engine size).

The notchback ("57") body style was only used on the Supreme and the 72 H/O. If you've seen one with 442 emblems, they were not factory installed. Unfortunately, since the 442 reverted to an option package in 1972, there is not a unique 442 VIN. The W-29 442 package was only available on four models that year, the Cutlass sport coupe, two holiday coupes (Cutlass and Cutlass S, I believe), and the Supreme convert. Note, however, that there were notchback bodies made with the W-30 motor in 1972, as this was optional on the H/O. As a result, you could have a notchback VIN with an "X" engine code in 72.

The 442 trim package was available on the Cutlass (350 2bbl), Cutlass S (350 2 bbl), and Cutlass Supreme (convertible only, 350 4 bbl). The Cutlass and Cutlass S could be ordered with the L34 engine (350 4bbl), and all of them could be ordered with the L75 engine (455 4bbl). If you got a automatic trans with any of these you got 2.73 gears standard. You could order 3.08 or 3.23 gears with any of the engines with an automatic. If you had a manual trans you got 3.23 gears, period. The exception is if you got a W-30, in which case the gears were 3.42 (auto or manual) with 3.73 optional (auto or manual).

The OAI hood was a separate option, and the notched bumper came standard with the 455 motor. All small block cars came without notched bumper unless specifically ordered. BTW, there was no additional cost when ordering different gears. The 70-72 442 wings were fiberglass, not aluminum.

Although the 4-4-2 models have been removed from the 1972 model lineup, any Cutlass or Cutlass S Coupe, or Cutlass Supreme Convertible can look or act a sporty and the 4-4-2 ever did. And there are three distinctive optional packages to do the job.

The first available package is the 4-4-2 Appearance and Handling Package (W29). This package is available with any engine, and comes equipped with the Hursh Shifter, special hood, body-side and deck-lid striping, 4-4-2 radiator grilles, emblems and black hood louvers. It also includes heavy-duty Rallye Suspension Package (FE2), which gives it the firm ride a buyer would expect of a car that looks like this.

Rallye Suspension Package (FE2)
Heavy-Duty Front and Rear Springs
Heavy-Duty Front and Rear Stabilizer Bars
Heavy-Duty Front and Rear Shock Absorbers
Heavy-Duty Rear-Suspension Control Arms
14 x 7" Wheels
The Rallye Suspension Package (FE2) is a duplicate of the former well-proven 4-4-2 suspension system. It includes the same heavy-duty components, which give these cars similar performance characteristics. This was a 442 option only.

Availability: Available for Cutlass and Cutlass S Coupes and Cutlass Supreme Convertible. May be used with Super Stock Wheels (N66, N67, or P05). Not available with Firm-Ride Shock Absorbers (FG2), Superlift Rear Shock Absorbers (G66), Heavy-Duty Suspension, (F41), or Heavy-Duty Wheels (N99)

W29 4-4-2 Appearance and Handling Package. Includes Body-side and Deck-lid striping. 4-4-2 Radiator Grille, Black Hood Louvers and Grille and Deck-lid numerals, plus options FE2 (Rallye Suspension Package), and Y73 (Hood Paint Stripe Decal). W39 (Hurst Shifter, 3-Speed Floor, Performance) included with Standard Synchromesh Transmission. Available with any engine. Required with W30 (Performance Package). N.A. with B84 (Protective Side Moldings with Black Vinyl Insert), or Y70 (Body-Side Paint Stripe), and J50 (Pedal-Ease Power Brakes) with L75 (Rocket 455 V-8 Engine with 4-bbl. carburetor).
With W39.........$70.00
Without W39......$29.00

Both of these pieces of literature offer a lot of information that won't be found in the standard sales catalog, but they can both be expensive to obtain. '72 Dealer Albums can be hard to find, because Olds told it's dealer to throw the pages away and re-use the binder for their '73 information.

It turns out that the "colonnade" styling from 1973 was originally intended to be released for the 1972 model year. A strike at GM forced the delay of those cars and the stretch of the 1971 cars to cover 1972. If you look closely, there is very little difference between the 1971 and 1972 A-bodies. The 442 grilles, for example, are identical, with the only difference being the 1971's are painted black and the 1972's are silver. Similarly, the tail light lenses are also the same, with the exception that the 1971's are solid and the 1972's have bars dividing each lens into three parts. Bumpers in both cases are identical, as are hoods.

Model Units
Cutlass Hardtop 751
Cutlass S Sports Coupe 123
Cutlass S Hardtop 7800
Cutlass Supreme Convertible 1041
Total 9715

Engine/Model Usage
Engine Model Units
L32/L34 Coupe/Hardtop 8015
Convertible 1058
Total 9073
W-30 Coupe/Hardtop 659
Convertible 113
Total 772
Transmission/Model Usage
Trans Model Units
3spd Coupe/Hardtop 240
Convertible 15
Total 255
4spd Coupe/Hardtop 1121
Convertible 131
Total 1252
Auto Coupe/Hardtop 7313
Convertible 1025
Total 8338

Engine Specs:

In 1972 the VIN will indicate engine size:
Code H is the base 350 2-bbl single exhaust.
Code J is 350 2-bbl dual exhaust.
Code K is 350 4-bbl single exhaust.
Code M is 350 4-bbl dual exhaust.

L32: 350cu in, 2-bbl rochester, 8.50 CR, 160 [email protected], 275 ft/lbs [email protected] (base engine)
L34: 350cu in, 4-bbl rochester, 8.50 CR, 180 [email protected], 275ft/lbs [email protected]
W-30: 455cu in, 4-bbl rochester, 8.50 CR, 300 [email protected], 410ft/lbs [email protected]
L75: 455cu in, 4-bbl rochester, 8.50 CR, 270 [email protected], 370ft/lbs [email protected]


3 spd manual column (c)
4 spd manual floor
3 spd TH-350 auto (a,c)
3 spd TH-400 auto (b,c)
a = only 350 CID engines
b = only 455 CID engines
c = available with console at extra cost

Rear Axles:

3.23 Turbo Hydra-Matics
3.23 3-spd manual
3.42 4-spd manual
Performance Data:
No data.
[ Thanks to Jason Labay, Mike Rothe, Joe Padavano, Paul Hartlieb, Mark Prince, Greg Rollin, Chris Smetana for this information ]



9,797 442's were built in 1973 (251 Cutlass's and 9,546 Cutlass "S").

Built on the Cutlass "S" body style. Slanted rear glass and large rear quarter windows - not the Cutlass Supreme w/opera-like quarter windows & notch back roof. The 442 was just an option package, coded W-29, and costing $120.00. It was not availble on the Supreme.

This W-29 option gave you emblems, H.D. suspension, front and rear swap bars, and grille that was blacked out with large silver pleats done vertically - about 4 to a side. A special fiberglass hood with louvers, and stripes down the hood, fenders, ¼ panels, and trunk lid. These dual Stripes go over the hood and deck, but not the roof.

You could have bucket or bench seats. This year's 442 does not have to have gauges, sport steering wheel, swivel bucket seats w/console, SSII wheels, or dual exhausts. These were options on any Cutlass S, but not standard on a 442.

The '73 was built on the Cutlass "S" body with the long rear window. Mostly a trim and stripe package. And slight mod (slats) on the hood. I owned a Maroon one with white stripes, 350cid w/ turbo 350 trans,ac,ps, swivlle buckets,ac, super stock II's, 4bbl, white interior. The other car was White no stripes, maroon interior, 455cid, turbo 400 trans, 4bbl, ac,ps, ralley gauges, the same buckets, super stock II's. Although both cars were California cars. Egr valves, charcaol canisters, but no Cat converters or A.I.R. tubes, smog pumps or the like. Now niether car drove like my '68 Holiday coupe or convertible but then again niether was the wimp they are written about being either! Both cars got up and moved when the gas was pushed. Nothing like the feeling of a good old American V-8 that's for sure!

Engine Specs:

250 CID 6 cyl., 350 2 and 4 bbl., and 455 2 and 4 bbl.


TH-350 (250, 350 CID only)
TH-400 (455 CID only)
M-21 4-speed

Rear Axles:

2.73, 3.08, 3.23, 3.42 (Anti-Spin available on all axles).

Performance Data:

"W-Machines" - ¼ mile in 14.9 seconds. 0 - 60 in 6.8 seconds. 455 CID w/M-21. "W-Machines" - ¼ mile in 16.1 seconds. 0 - 60 in 7.8 seconds. 455 CID w/TH-400.
[ Thanks to Chuck Zallow for this information. ]



The 74 442 was again based off of the Cutlass and Cutlass S coupe. They had special paint stripes on the hood, fenders and quarters. The grille was a mesh type design. The W-29 option gave you heavy duty suspension, front and rear sway bars, and a louvered hood. You could have bucket or bench seats, with or without sport steering wheel, and dual exhaust. Production: Cutlass Coupe: 245, Cutlass S Coupe: 6959

Engine Specs:

In 1974 the VIN will indicate engine size:
Code K is 350 single exhaust 180 h.p.
Code M is 350 dual exhaust 200 h.p.
Code U is 455 dual exhaust 230 h.p.


TH-350, 350 cu-inch, TH-400, 455 cu-inch

Rear Axles:

2.73, 3.08, 3.23 (Anti-Spin available on all styles).

Performance Data:

No data.
[ Thanks to Chuck Zallow for this information. ]



Built on the Cutlass body style.

Engine Specs:


Rear Axles:

Performance Data:

No data.



9,576 were made in 1976.

Built on the Cutlass body style. The 442 option (W-29) included special body stripes, heavy duty springs, firm ride shocks, larger sway bars, and 7" wheels.

Engine Specs:

A Chevy V-6, Olds 260, 350, or 455 V-8 was available.


The 260 could be had with a 5-speed manual.

Rear Axles:

Performance Data:

No data.



There were 11,649 442 Cutlass S Coupe's made in 1977. The second largest production year next to 1970. Shipping weight was 3535 lbs. Base price with the 442 option was $4520.

The 1977 442 included a stripe kit, handling package, a different snout (nose), different header panel, and the black trim on the bumpers had no white stripe.

Plastic replaced the chrome on the 1977 compared to the 1976.

Engine Specs:

The 403 has a 8.00 compression ratio, 4bbl Rochester M4MC carb. Factory rated at 185 [email protected] and 320 ft/lbs [email protected]


3 speed TH-400 automatic
4 speed manual

Rear Axles:

2.56 TH-400 auto
2.56 4 spd manual

Performance Data:

Car & Driver ¼ mile time of [email protected] mph and 17.5 mpg.



Built on the Cutlass Salon body style. Offered with Chevy 305 engine.

Engine Specs:

Olds 260, Chevy 350, among others.


260 and available 5-speed.

Rear Axles:

Performance Data:

No data.
[ Thanks to Tom Lentz for this information ]



Built on the Cutlass Salon body style.

Engine Specs:


Rear Axles:

Performance Data:

No data.



Built on the Cutlass Supreme body style. 442 gave the "aeroback" Cutlass a 350.

Engine Specs:


Rear Axles:

Performance Data:

No data.

Mid 80's 442's

For checking whether it's the real thing
First, look in the trunk for the service sticker, and if it has code "W42" in there, then it's a 442.

Next, check the door sticker, if there, and look for 215/65/15 tire placard. 442's/H/O's only had 15 inchers. The Cutlass GT had 14's.

The VIN has a 9 for an engine code (I think it's the 10th digit). If it's a Y, it is not a 442.

All mid 80's 442s had 15" chrome SSIII wheels, with gold inlay paint and gold perimeter pinstripe. H/O's had red pinstripe and argent paint inlay. Also, the 442's had "442" in gold in the center cap instead of the rocket emblem. H/O's had the standard cap.

H/O's and 442's were also void of any bright trim around the trunk, and wheel wells. Also, no lower wide stainless panels were used on these cars. 442s all had the "442" emblem centered on the upper inner door panels.

While under the hood, look for the dual snorkel air cleaner with a chrome lid.

That's down and dirty quick ways to tell what's going on with these cars. Plus, mid-80s 442's ALL came with buckets and console shifters as part of the package. Well, not actually PART of the package, but that's what you got, along with dual sport mirrors, two-tone paint, 442 stripes and stickers, and sport wheel and guage package. The shifter in the 442's were the standard single "toothpick" shifter. Nothing special.

The '84 and '85 442 carbs differ by only that one digit, 17084554 vs 17085554 (which usually denotes the year of the carb). In fact, the carb book lists all VIN (9) carbs as "Cutlass-Hurst", from '83 through '87. So see, they even reused the ASCII code for the manuals... ;)

The '86-'87 VIN (9) 442 motors were substantially revised, and the carb number reflects it: 17086009 (at this point, the Q-jet was in its golden years, and they didn't even bother changing the numbers for the years anymore, so there was no "17087009" carb).

The regular VIN (Y) 307 carb # for the '86-'88 Cutlass was 17086008.

The last year for the Q-jet was 1990, on the 307 in the RWD wagons and RWD Cadillacs. Most of these used carb # 17088115 (yes, same carb as used on these since 1988), but there was one exception which will be of interest to Olds 442 experts:

Though the VIN (9) 307 was last installed in the Cutlass in the '87 442 with carb #17086009, the same number carb, and the same VIN (9) 307 was then installed in the '88 "Fleetwood HO" (a Hurst/Olds Fleetwood? ;) and the '89-'90 Cadillac Brougham. So, the 442 motor lived on until the bitter end in the Cadillac. Just something to file away for twenty-years down the road, when those '86-'87 442 restorers are looking for matching-number carbs, they'll also find them in '88-'90 hearses.

[ Thanks to Matthew Mayer, Mike Rothe, Bob Barry for this information ]



Built on the Cutlass Supreme body style. 3000 were produced. Option code W-42 is for the 1985 to 1987 Olds 442 model.

I called Oldsmobile in July 1985. They said they made the 442 in limited production runs, a few hundred at a time. In other words, several short "batch" runs of the cars. The line had to be altered a little to provide the parts bins for the cars, that's why they made them that way. Total production figures for 442 of the 1985 year was 3,000 for the public, but they said there were probably a few more "PR" cars made and were running around the proving grounds. Exact number of those were not disclosed.

Mine was built Feb 5, 1985. I ordered it the end of Sept. 84. There were about 3,300 Olds dealerships at the time, so the 300 lowest selling dealerships were not slated to receive any. The remaining dealerships were supposed to be allotted 1 each, however, some dealerships waived their allotment, and the bigger dealers snapped them up. I believe James Oldsmobile in Charleston, SC, (not James anymore) got 2. One bare bones job in Oct., and mine, which I ordered. As far as talking with the Gen. Manager there, every 442 in 85 was sold just about as fast as they were received. The first one I test drove was white with blue interior, no power anything or options. Very rare color. List base price? Somewhere around 10K. Mine tallied to around 16,200. I got the t-tops, which were an OPTION, for those on the list that are confused about Salon t-tops. The W-42 option was $1275, but required the 600+ dollar air conditioning. Later they packaged that together. In Dec. 84, they had a price increase across the board on all the cars. Luckily I had my order sealed at the lower price.

Case in point, the 85 442 was originally supposed to be a follow through year with the H/O also, but because of whatever tiff (I heard back then that Olds wasn't going to pay Hurst a bunch of money to use the name), the 442 got replanned in the final hours, and was scheduled for "442" production. It the more sedate look, but with somewhat similar paint scheming. The drive train was exactly the same as the 84 H/O, with the 5500 rpm WOT shift-point OZ trans, and "hi-lift" flat-tappet camshaft (not roller like the "Y" engine). Heck, I bought mine new and it even has a "5" stamped over the "4" on the carb year!!! So they didn't run out of H/O carbs in 84!

Engine Specs:

5.0-liter V-8, 4-bbl. Carburetor H.O. (LG8) with Dual Outlet Exhaust System


Rear Axles:

Performance Data:

No data.
[ Thanks to Mike Rothe for this information ]



Option code W42 is for the 1985 to 1987 Olds 442 model. 4,273 were built. Only differnce between 1986 and 1987 is the front fascia and head lights.

Yes, a 442 is a Cutlass Salon, but much more. The 442 option was only offered on the Cutlass Salon Coupe and it came with a 307 V8, but it was a high output version, with a different camshaft and carburetor. There was no fuel injection. Actually, quite the contrary - the 307 was the last carbureted V8 available. It lasted until 1990. Anyway, the 442 option included the F41 suspension package and console shifter, and the overdrive transmission and 3.73 rear axle. Besides the drivetrain, many of the 442 goodies were available on most Cutlasses, which makes it a cool package. Back then, many of the "performance" packages were merely sticker packages - the Olds 442 was actually a power package (well, relative to the era).

Engine Specs:

5.0-liter V-8, 4-bbl. Carburetor H.O. (LG8) with Dual Outlet Exhaust System


Rear Axles:

Performance Data:

No data.
[ Thanks to Mike Rothe, Jason Adcock, Matthew Mayer for this information ]



Around 4208 were made, and of those, reportedly 1,111 had T-Tops. Built on the Cutlass Supreme body style. Option code W42 is for the 1985 to 1987 Olds 442 model. Only differnce between 1986 and 1987 is the front fascia and head lights.

The option was available on the Supreme (GR) based Cutlass in 87 as far as I know (this was based on discussions with a GM line manager at the assembly plant. NEVER seen one on the GK for 87), however, if any of you fine folks with an 87 442 would check your VINs for us, I'd sure be interested to see if there were any GKs available with that option. I know the one I bought 11 years ago was a Supreme. The 85 442 factory photo/promo says it was available on the Supreme, however, it WAS only offered with the Salon coupe in 1985.

The 442 was an option on the Cutlass Supreme for 1987 only. The 1987 actually cost slightly less than the 1986 because it was not based on the Salon. The biggest differences - no recliners on the front buckets, vinyl on the front section of the upper door panel instead of cloth, thin chrome strip at top of door panel (horizontal section next to glass) instead of full width chrome strip, gray dash inserts instead of woodgrain.

Here's what the '87 Olds SPECS books says about the option W-42 ($2577.00):

W42 Cutlass 442 Package, Features a Special Paint Scheme of 15 Medium Gray Metallic, 19 Black, 31 Dark Teal Blue Metallic or 79 Burgandy Metallic Primary Color with 12 Silver Metallic Secondary Lower Accent Color Separated by Gold Metallic Accent Stripe Decals (D85). Also Gold Metallic Stripe Over the Wheel Openings. Headlamp Bezels are Black with Bright Edges. Amber Park/Turn Lamp Lenses (T88); Front and Rear Bumpers Silver, Color-Coordinated to Match Lower Body Accent. "442" Decals of Front Doors, Front-End Panel, Rear-End Panel and Interior on Doors;

Air Conditioning, Four-Season (C60); Mirrors, Color-Coordinated Outside, Driver Side Remote - Passenger Side Manual (D35); Console with Floor Shifter (D55); Level II Firm Ride and Handling Suspension System (F41) with Air Rear Shock Absorbers;

Steering Wheel, Leather Wrapped Sport (NP5); Wheels, 15", Chrome-Styled with Gold Accent (N83); Tires, P215/65R15 Steel-Belted Radial-Ply, Blackwall (QYZ); Cluster, Instrument Panel Rallye (U21); Cooling Equipment, High Capacity (V08) and Guards, Bumper Front and Rear (V30). (Available only on R47 with the Following Exterior Primary and Secondary Paint Colors and Interior Trim Combinations: 15-12 or 19-12 with Trim W4, 31-12 with Trim W3 and 79-12 with Trim W5. D68 Available - N.A. with BX2, B85, C04, DR5, D84, D88, D90, LD5, LV2, N66, N78, N91, QHW, QHY, QJR, QMW or QMX)

Engine Specs:

5.0-liter V-8, 4-bbl. Carburetor H.O. (LG8) with Dual Outlet Exhaust System


Transmission, 4-Speed Automatic with Overdrive (MX0)

Rear Axles:

Axle, 3.73 ratio (GT4)

Performance Data:

No data.
[ Thanks to Mike Rothe, Mark Tupper, Steve Ochs for this information ]


442's weren't offered in 1988. Now, I do think Cutlass GT's were made in 88, and they might have shifters on the column (most had consoles, though). It might be a Cutlass GT. From the outside, the GT and the 442 look similar, with two-tone paint, chrome SSIII's, but the 442 has the 9 code engine, whereas the GT came with the Y code engine only.

It seems like 1988 was a cool year for the last rear wheel drive Cutlass, with several different special editions being offered. I'll start off with the two best known options that year and I'll finish up with a third option that I just found out about last summer at the OCA Nationals.

Option 1: The '88 Cutlass GT
More of a localized zone package, than a nationally available option. Looks to be an appearance package, rather than performance. Produced by Top and Trends in NC. Had H/O hood scoop, rear wing, special paint, console, with buckets and a special plaque on the console, also special honeycomb stlye rims. Only @280 produced. Featured in JWO Sept. 1997.

Option 2: The 1988 Hurst/Aero kit
Produced by Action Products in AZ. Since Olds didn't want to pay to have the Hurst name on the car for the 20th anniversary of the H/O, Doc. Watson and Joe Hrudka, (then head of Mr. Gasket) put together this special kit. The kit included a ground effects package with a special rear trunk lip/wing and decal striping. It was available as a dealer option for around $500. This kit will fit on any '81-'88 RWD Cutlass and was also available as a separate kit. If installed on an '88 it was a 20th anniversary H/O, if installed on any previous model it was a H/O Aero commemorative. No known production numbers exist. I personally have seen, or heard of about 24 kits in the past two years. There is definately under 500 of these made, most likely in the 200 range.

Option 3: The LV2 Sport Coupe
250 Produced by Oldsmobile to use up some of the remaining H/O and 442 inventory. H/O spoiler that was ~not~ color keyed with the rest of the car. It was left black. It had the H.O. 307 that produced 180 HP. 200-4R trans w/3.08 rear gears and limited slip. Other items include handling and appearance packages, heavy duty cooling system, Olds Chrome rims(14") with 205/70 tires, and the rallye pac. Looks to be based on the salon trim level.


Engine Specs:


Transmission, 4-Speed Automatic with Overdrive (MX0)

Rear Axles:

Performance Data:

No data.
[ Thanks to Jason Adcock, Bill Reilly for this information ]

1990 (Quad 4 442):


Built on Cutlass Calais S body. FWD. Available as option called "Sport performance package". 14" gold lined aluminum wheels standard. Rear body colored three piece wing. Leather wrapped steering wheel, gear shift and emergency brake. FE3 handling package. Gold Quad442 decals and bodyside stripes with all blacked out trim features. Full gages include tachometer, oil pressure, coolant temp, and voltage indicator. Otherwise, interior is identical to Calais S.

Engine Specs:

180hp 2.3L Quad4 (code LG0) with multipoint F.I. and dual overhead cams only engine available. Single exhaust with dual outlets both on one side of rear.


Paired to Getrag 5 speed manual trans, also only choice.

Trans Axles:

Final drive 3.61:1.

Performance Data:

No data.
[ Thanks to John McMenamin for this information ]

1991 (Quad 4 442):


Built on Cutlass Calais S body. FWD. Available as option called "Sport performance package". 15" aluminum wheels standard. Rear body colored three piece wing. Leather wrapped steering wheel, gear shift and emergency brake. FE3 handling package. Gold Quad442 decals and bodyside stripes with all blacked out trim features. Full gages include tachometer, oil pressure, coolant temp, and voltage indicator. Otherwise, interior is identical to Calais S.

Last year on Calais platform. A W-30 version was offered as well.

Engine Specs:

180hp 2.3L Quad4 (code LG0) with multipoint F.I. and dual overhead cams only engine available. Single exhaust with dual outlets both on one side of rear.


Paired to Getrag 5 speed manual trans, also only choice. First gear is slightly lower than 1990.

Rear Axles:

Performance Data:

No data.
[ Thanks to John McMenamin for this information ]
[ Thanks to Bob Handren, Jeff Hunter, Jason Labay, Rob Malland, Mark Prince, Greg Pruett, Joe Padavano, Jeff Easton, Jon Wessel, Kurt Heinrich, Frank Gonzalez, Mike Evans, John Schumacher, Paul Hartlieb, Bill Culp, Jim Chermack, Doug Ahern, Bill Reilly, Brad Otto for this information ]


Chrome Trumpets

NAPA has the correct tail pipes and exhaust trumpets available. They will have to look them up in the parts book with the regular exhaust parts for the 4-4-2. These are not to be confused with their accessory tips in another catalog. Their exhaust catalog also lists the correct replacement hangers. NAPA's exhaust products are made by "Walker" and should be available at any parts store or speed shop that sells "Walker" or "Dynomax" products. The part number for the Walker tips is 35614.

The tailpipes, chrome trumpets, and hangers are dead ringers for the originals. The trumpets still look good after 12 years. BTW, I used clamps to hold the trumpets onto the pipes so I did not have to weld them and screw up the chrome. I pointed the threaded part of the clamps toward the trunk floor so they would not show. A little unhandy to tighten up, but worth it.

If you want the best tip available, buy the tips Brothers Auto (1-800-442-PART) sells. They are made of an alloy called Inconel, commonly used in helicopter and airplane exhaust. Inconel has a very high nickel content so it takes chrome beautifully. The Inconel tips will last forever. I have a pair with slightly over 40,000 miles and they still look like new. Brothers only charges $49 a set for these.

[ Thanks to Dave Wyatt, Steve, John Pajak, others for this information ]

Pace Cars

1970 Indy Pace Car
Option code Y-74. If it's a real Y-74, the cowl tag would be stamped Y74.

One book says the 1970 pace car came standard with the 455 and that "some Cutlass Pace Cars have the 350 4bbl". The ACTUAL pace cars were 442s that used W-30 heads and distributor. The rest of the cars used at Indy (49 of 'em) were Cutlass versions, all having the 455.

However, a copy of a memo from the Olds Division that states that the W-30 option was not available with Y74.

1972 Indy Pace Car

1974 Indy Pace Car

1985 Indy Pace Car
The Pace Car Replica car had special aluminum wheels, spoiler, Calais 500 emblems, and a special silver leather interior. It was otherwise a stock Calais, with either the Pontiac Iron Duke 151 CID 4 cyl or the optional Buick V-6 (I think in 3.0 liter size. The Indy Pace Car decals were optional.

[ Thanks to Wes Fujii, Jon Wessel, Joe Padavano for this information ]

Quad 442 Performance Parts

Try Olds MotorSports. They have a catalog on high performance items for the Quad 4, such as cams, +/- degree cam sprockets, beefier CV shafts and such. The catalogs are availible from any Oldsmobile Dealership.

From talking to the guys at Mantapart, a Quad 4 racing speed shop, there are many modifications that will increase performance. Intake, exhaust, cams, chips, port & polish etc. Expen$ive. The W-41s have different cams, exhaust, tranny gears, and a 3.94 differential. I believe that is what makes most of the difference.

Mantapart Performance Products
New Springfld, OH 44443
Phone: (330)549-3188

[ Thanks to Mark Prince, Jeff V. for this information ]


GM Part Numbers for 1985 to 1987 442 Exterior Stripes. You should be able to get the "442"'s from your dealer. Otherwise, try a search on the part number at www.partsvoice.com.

                               Black     Gray      Dk Blue   Dk Red    White
Part Description               1985-87   1985-87   1986-87   1986-87   1985
Stripe: F/Bpr Rub Strip - RH   22528704  same      same      same      same
Stripe: F/Bpr Rub Strip - LH   22528705  same      same      same      same
Decal: F/Bpr Fascia "442"      25528697  same      same      same      same
Decal: F/Fascia "442" (1987)   25530186  same      same      same      same
Stripe: F/FDR-RH               22528698  22528736  25529168  25529174  22528722
Stripe: F/FDR-LH               22528699  22528737  25529169  25529175  22528723
Decal: Door Letters "442"      22528708  same      same      same      same
Door: Stripe                   22528700  22528738  25529172  25529173  22528724
Stripe: R/QTR-RH               22528702  22528740  25529170  25529176  22528726
Stripe: R/QTR-LH               22528703  22528741  25529171  25529177  22528727
Stripe: R/BPR Rub Strip-RH     22528706  same      same      same      same
Stripe: R/BPR Rub Strip-LH     22528707  same      same      same      same
Trunk "442" (Gold)             22528697  same      same      same      same
Emblem: Trunk "Oldsmobile"     20000969  same      same      same      same

The parts that are color specific are listed. If "same" is listed, that means it is just gold stripes w/o a color backing as a seperator for the top and bottom colors.

442 striping kits are somewhat rare. Some aftermarket companies are starting to make repro kits (like Lauren Eng.). Stencils & Stripes (1108 S. Crescent, Park Ridge, IL 60068, (847) 692-6893, Fax (847) 692-6895) has them!

However, for that paltry sum of money, there's no reason not to get the whole kit, unless you've already matched the stripes for original gold shading. I say this only because there are already 85-87 "442" front and rear and door stickers out there already. Although they look ok as far as shape/size, the gold is a little too light and not metallic enough as the GM ones. So if you need that ELUSIVE quarter panel section, buying ONE side stripe may look odd on the car if the shading isn't correct. You can avoid this dilemma of course, by buying the whole kit, or by asking for a "sample" of the gold for matching. Then, a color difference, if any, is only apparent when you are parked next to a car with original stripes. Ask any 69 Hurst owner about his/her gold stripes and THAT situation. Of course, like the Hursts, about the only time that would even happen is at a car show.

Here's a tidbit of info on the side stripe placement, however.... I obtained this information back in '86 from the Plant Manager at the Arlington plant, where my 85 was built.

The body panels at the factory were taped off and painted without much regard to where the lower silver and the upper colors met, just as long as they were in the "coverage" zone of the stripe. The side stripes had 3 thin gold stripes on a UPPER body color wider stripe. The body color "appeared" to go about 1/4" below the lowest gold stripe, however, it was the decal covering up the silver. Made for a neat finish.

Keep in mind that the "clear" ones will need to have body color PAINTED to approximately 1/4" lower than the lower gold stripe. This paint line must be absoulutely straight for the stripes to go on properly and look original. Simply removing the old side stripes on the original paint more than likely won't get you there. As with any cumbersome project, either get some help, or if you don't feel comfortable about this, then farm out the project to a compentent professional.

I've also seen where a 442 was re-painted and painted stripes were added in PLACE of the original decals. On a black car, and this was when all the stripes were still available. The owner didn't want to shell out 600 bucks for new ones, so instead paid 350 to get the stripes stenciled on. Not a bad looking stripe job at all. Until you got up close you would think it had the factory decals. Best of all, there's no worry of getting wax buildup around the edge of the decal, or a little spot chipped away which looks obvious. Now if they would only gear up and start reproing the inside door panel emblems....

[ Thanks to Brad Nicholson, Mike Rothe for this information ]

1980's 442 Wheels

Part Numbers
The 15 x 7 GM Chrome Oldsmobile wheels that came on the 442 and Hurst in the 1980's is GM part #22528518, about $300. I don't have the center cap number.

The 442 and Hurst wheels are different. The 442 wheels are painted gold on the inside around the lug-nuts. The Hurst wheels are painted "Argent", which looks darn close to chrome to me. Other than the paint, they're the same.

The gold painted areas on my 442 wheels always looked sort of weak since I bought it new. After 10 years it needed some touch up. I used the Dupli-Color paint and the wheels look better than new. I have found a perfect match in a standard spray can so that you don't have to buy a quart from the auto parts store. The paint code is GM-294 (Dupli-Color) Camel Metallic. It comes in the standard small spray can.

[ Thanks to Peter House, Tom Lentz, Steve Ochs for this information ]

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