One of the last great Oldsmobiles, the Oldsmobile 442. Oldsmobile started using the 442 designation in 1964 to denote it’s muscle car of the day. At that time, 442 meant a four-barrel carburetor, a four-speed manual transmission, and dual exhaust pipes. The 442 name was used continually from 1964 to 1980. It would reappear for the model featured here, from 1985-1987. It would show up again for 1990-1991 model years, based on the front-wheel drive Cutlass Calais, but we will not talk about that here.
1985 Oldsmobile 442
The 442 name was brought back to life and used with the rear-wheel drive G-body Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon to replace the 1983-1984 Hurst/Olds. The Hurst/Olds was an official official collaboration between Hurst and Oldsmobile for a performance Cutlass. After the end of that relationship, Oldsmobile wanted to continue to offer a performance model. The result was the Oldsmobile 442. For this version, 442 stood for the 4-speed 200r4 automatic transmission, 4-barrel carburetor, and 2 exhausts. The 442 featured a floor mounted shifter and an upgraded F41 suspension package. There were 3,000 442s produced in 1985.
1986 Oldsmobile 442
The 442 would carry over with minor trim changes that were common to other Cutlass models. This would be the last year the 442 would be based on the Oldmobile Cutlass Salon model. Production of the 442 increased to 4,273 for 1986.
1987 Oldsmobile 442
For 1987, the 442 was switched to the less-expensive Cutlass Supreme model as the base for the 442. The 1987 model featured a stronger drivetrain, 15 X 7 fully chromed styled-steel wheels with gold trim, manually inflated air shocks in the rear, special paint scheme and gold body stripe decal package, dual-snorkel air cleaner with chrome lid, mandatory A/C and door panel 442 emblems. The 442s could also be ordered with much of the optional equipment found on the Cutlass models. 4,208 Oldsmobile 442 would be produced in 1987.
The rear-drive Oldsmobile Cutlass production would wind down in 1988. As such, the 442 was not available in 1988. A new 442 would premiere in 1990 based on the front-wheel drive Cutlass Calais for a 2-year run. For information on other Oldsmobile models see our post on the 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass S W31 or the 1961-1964 Oldsmobile 88.
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