Collectible Classic: 1964-1967 Oldsmobile 442

Matt Tierney

The split-headlight grille stuck around for the 1968 model year, when the body became smaller and sleeker and the 442 became a separate model. That wouldn't last, though -- after the muscle car era peaked, the 442 was again relegated to an option package in 1972, but this time it was more show than go. The 442 name lingered until 1980 and saw two revivals before the Rocket division was euthanized in 2004.

Oldsmobile is long gone now, but the late Ransom E. Olds would certainly prefer that you remember the brand's good times, such as when the mid-'60s 442 was advertised as "keeper of the cool" and "one of the Youngmobiles from Oldsmobile."

THE SPECS
ENGINES: 5.4L OHV V-8, 310 hp, 355 lb-ft; 6.6L OHV V-8, 345-360 hp, 440 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 3- or 4-speed manual; 2-speed automatic
DRIVE: Rear-wheel
SUSPENSION, FRONT: Control arms, coil springs
SUSPENSION, REAR: Live axle, coil springs
BRAKES F/R Drums/drums or discs/drums
WEIGHT: 3600 lb (est.)

THE INFO
YEARS PRODUCED: 1964-1967
NUMBER PRODUCED: About 75,000
ORIGINAL PRICE: $2468 (1964)
VALUE TODAY: $15,000-$40,000 (two-door body styles)

WHY BUY?
It's a very nice cruiser that has the performance to back up its look and heritage. Unlike related Pontiac GTOs, early 442s came with rear antiroll bars, so handling is surprisingly decent for a muscle car. The extradesirable W-30 option debuted in 1966, adding "Outside Air Induction" and a battery relocated to the trunk; from '67, W-30 cars had distinctive red plastic front fender wells. All 442s from this time period have adequate space in the back seats and large trunks. Kanas's car is a basic and pure two-door post coupe, but hardtops

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chaetophile
"Kanas's car is a basic and pure two-door post coupe, but hardtops"...but hardtops what? WHAT DO HARDTOPS?!?

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