Oldsmobile 442

1966 Oldsmobile 442 (First Generation: 1964-1967)

The 1966 442 shared a modest facelift with other Cutlasses. Its major news was the addition of two new optional engines: the L69, with three two-barrel Rochester 2GC carburetors on a progressive linkage, rated at 360 hp (268 kW) and 440 lb·ft (597 N·m) of torque, which was priced at US$264.54, and the rare W30. The standard engine, now dubbed L78, was rated 350 hp (261 kW)/440 ft·lbf with a single four-barrel carburetor.

The W30 engine added an outside-air induction system (admitting cool air to the carburetors via tubing from the front bumper) and a hotter cam, rated—or, more likely, underrated—the same as the L69. The battery was relocated to the trunk to make room for the air hoses, which prevented the package from being ordered on convertible models. Only 54 W30s were built by the factory, although an additional 97 were produced for dealer installation.

Hurst shifters were now standard equipment with floor-mounted manual transmissions including the optional heavy-duty three-speed, M-20 wide-ratio four-speed or M-21 close-ratio four-speed. The standard transmission was a three-speed manual with column shift and the two-speed Jetaway automatic with switch-pitch torque converter was optional.The standard 350-horsepower 400 engine could be ordered with any of the four transmissions, while only manual transmissions could be ordered with the L69 three two-barrel option.

Inside, a revised instrument panel featured two round pods for the speedometer and other instruments, replacing the horizontal sweep speedometer of 1964-65 models, but the rest of the basic dashboard designed was unchanged. F-85 models had base interiors with bench seats and rubber floor mats while the more lavish Cutlass versions came with full carpeting and featured Strato bucket seats of a new design with higher and thinner seat backs, or a no-cost bench seat option.

Car Life tested an L69 442 with four-speed transmission and obtained a 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds and a quarter mile of 14.8 seconds at 97 mph (156 km/h). Motor Trend's similar test car ran 0-60 in 7.2 seconds, with a quarter mile time of 15.2 seconds at 96.6 mph (155.5 km/h).

Production slumped to 21,997. The 442 still constituted only about 10 percent of Cutlass sales, whereas Pontiac's GTO represented nearly a third of all Tempests sold.

Source: Wikipedia, 2011

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