The Oldsmobile 442 debuted in April 1964 as the brand’s answer to the massively successful Pontiac GTO. The 442 was an optional trim package for the Olds Cutlass. The 442 name stood for the four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, and dual exhaust. Drawing from the B09 Police Apprehender Pursuit Package, the 442 trim included a heavy-duty suspension, six-inch-wide wheels, redline tires, and an aggressive camshaft. In 1968, the 442 would transition from a Cutlass trim level, becoming a standalone model.
1965 marked a welcome change for the horsepower hungry when General Motors relaxed their internal rule limiting displacement in mid-size passenger cars, raising the maximum cubes from 330 to 400. In 1966, Oldsmobile took advantage of this by stuffing 400 cubes of V8 goodness under the 442’s hood. There was another change to be had, in the form of the L69 option, available on the Oldsmobile 442 for a single model year. The option would stray from the traditional naming convention by offering the 400 cubic-inch, 360-horsepower V8 fed by a trio of Rochester two-barrel carbs, à la Pontiac’s Tri-Power setup. Oldsmobile did not, however, change the moniker to 6-4-2.
Our feature 1966 Oldsmobile 442 is finished in glossy Sierra Mist Poly (possibly where the soft drink got its name?) with a black power convertible top over a black vinyl bucket seat interior. It is powered by the aforementioned L69 400, one of only 240 built for 1966. The 400 is backed by a Muncie M21 four-speed manual gearbox. The 442 is equipped with power steering, power brakes, a factory tachometer, center console, a console-mounted factory vacuum gauge, a chrome Hurst-branded shifter, embroidered 442 floor mats, and Super Sport wheels with Olds Rocket center caps wrapped in Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/T rubber. No word on when or if the 442 has been restored, but its excellent condition would certainly suggest it has been.
This 1966 Oldsmobile 442 will cross the Mecum Auctions block at their Las Vegas event taking place November 9th through the 11th.