Oldsmobile departed the automotive industry nearly 14 years ago, but General Motors’ first-founded brand still lives on through oodles of orphan car owners across the United States. Today, we look back on one of Oldsmobile’s shining moments: the 442.
The 1970 Oldsmobile 442 wasn’t the same old song and dance, as the advertisement proclaimed. Instead, it offered something new and fresh with a 455 cubic inch V8 engine with 365 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Up front was a fiberglass hood with air grabber scoops and locking hood pins, while the rear sported its signature dual exhaust.
Originally, the 442 was just an option package for the Cutlass, but the name became its own model line in 1968 through 1971. The 1970s 442 is the pinnacle of the nameplate and remained the brand’s answer to the Pontiac LeMans and GTO. Both Ponchos were unexpected success stories.
By 1972, the muscle car era was coming to a close due to high fuel prices and soaring insurance rates. The 442 reverted back to an option package for the Cutlass, which added unique appearance cues and tweaked handling. The handling changes included heavy duty springs and shocks, and front and rear sway bars.
Have a look at Oldsmobile’s glory days in the advertisement up above.