You may have seen this 1965 4-4-2 clone within the pages of Popular Hot Rodding magazine or elsewhere in the blogosphere. It’s owned by Robert McGaffin, a professional photographer whose work has appeared in countless performance car magazines including some you likely read. Big Muscle, part of the DRIVE channel, had an opportunity to flog this Rocket-powered Olds.
And, yes, we said Rocket-powered. Despite some opinions to the contrary, there can be too many Chevy- or “Corporate”-motored cars in the world. Robert would not have any of that. He and the folks from Popular Hot Rodding built the Project Olds to be authentic to the cause of Lansing’s finest. While the top motor for the F85 and Cutlass was a small-block 330, and the 4-4-2’s motor was a big-block 400, this one is sporting a big-block 461 built by SAM Racing. Robert’s Rocket also runs 18-inch Rocket Racing Wheels on BFG g-Force Sport Comp-2 tires. Stopping power comes from Baer Brakes Track 4 up front and SS4 brakes out back. Stock 4-4-2s had a three- or four-speed manual or a two-speed auto, but this one has a Hurst Driveline Conversions TKO 600 transmission and Strange Engineering S60 rear axle. The satin silver racing stripe is reminiscent of an available dealer-installed stripe that’s rarely seen today.
All this effort has resulted in an invitation to the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational in Las Vegas, which follows November’s SEMA show. Only for licensed street cars, the invitational includes a speed-stop challenge, an autocross race, and road course racing, among other challenges.
Oldsmobile led the way for well-rounded performance in the 1960s, and this Big Muscle video shows how it’s done using today’s technology.