Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 Convertible
Many enthusiasts have argued that Oldsmobile created the first “muscle car” in 1949, but it was not until 1964 that Oldsmobile would return to the concept, encouraged by the success of Pontiac’s GTO. Oldsmobile was in fact the first GM division to follow Pontiac’s lead and began in 1964 with the $136 RPO B09 option package, which was previously known as the “Police Apprehender Pursuit” package and applied to the all-new F-85 Cutlass intermediate. Logically, the 442 nameplate signified the car’s four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission and dual exhaust system and quickly became a part of America’s high-performance lexicon.
For 1965, the 442 option returned with a new 400 cubic inch engine, and while its 345 hp output was competitive with the GTO, the balance, excellent handling and road-ability of the 442 gained equal praise in contemporary road tests. The 442-specific upgrades included wider tires and heavy-duty versions of the shock absorbers, springs, clutch and battery, as well as a pair of front and rear stabilizer bars. Sales of the 442 reached 25,003 units for 1965, thanks to stronger marketing and a growing street reputation for this true “gentleman’s hot rod.”
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in June of 2010 at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, San Diego, California.
345 hp, 400 cu. in. V8 engine, single four-barrel carburetor, Muncie four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length control arms, coil springs and stabilizer bar, four-link rear suspension with coil springs and stabilizer bar, and four-wheel hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 115".
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel