Oldsmobile 442

1964 Oldsmobile 442 (First Generation: 1964-1967)

The 442 was born out of the competition between Pontiac Division and Oldsmobile. It began as a hasty response to the Pontiac Tempest GTO, which had proved to be an unexpected success midway through the 1964 model year. It was created by performance enthusiast and Oldsmobile engineer John Beltz (also responsible for the Toronado), aided by Dale Smith and Olds Chief Engineer Bob Dorshimer.

Because of its late introduction (some three-fourths of the way through the model year) and the ambiguous nature of the GTO — which was technically a violation of GM policy limiting intermediate models to 330 CID (5.4 L) — the Olds offering was a conservative package. Technically the "B09 Police Apprehender" option, it used the four-barrel carbureted 330 CID (5.4 L) V8 with heavy-duty valve gear, posi trac, and a hotter camshaft, raising rated (SAE gross) output to 310 hp (231.3 kW) at 5200 rpm. Torque remained 355 lb·ft (481 N·m), although the torque peak rose from 2800 rpm to 3600 rpm. The package also included a stiffened frame, boxed rear suspension control arms, a heavy duty clutch and four-speed manual transmission, a heavy duty driveshaft, oversized brakes and the heavy-duty police-package suspension, with heavy duty wheels, higher-rate coil springs front and rear, heavy-duty shock absorbers, a larger front anti-roll bar, and an additional rear anti-roll bar.

The package was dubbed 4-4-2 based on its combination of four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, and two exhausts. Priced at $285.14, it was available on any F-85 or Cutlass model except the station wagon, although most were Cutlass hardtop coupés (Oldsmobile archives indicate that approximately 10 four-door sedans were built with the B09 option).

Motor Trend tested an early 4-4-2 and found that the 3,440-lb (1,560 kg) car would run 0-60 mph (0–96 km/h) in 7.5 seconds, the standing quarter mile in 15.5 seconds at 90 mph (140 km/h), and reached a top speed of 116 mph (185.6 km/h). A total of 2,999 were sold.

Source: Wikipedia, 2011

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