The 442nd was the first muscle car that broke the stereotype of buyers regarding the brand, the clientele of which were mostly old people. However, with the introduction of this “rocket”, the brand instantly won the hearts and minds of youth striving for speed and power. The model’s acceleration was compared with the takeoff start of a Boeing 747, however, it was very extreme, and not every driver could curb this “stallion”.
This invincible “stallion” was born in 1964 due to competition with the Pontiac division. It began as a hasty response to the famous Pontiac GTO. Created by engineer John Beltz, Dale Smith, and chief engineer Bob Dorshimer, it became the epitome of a perfect sports vehicle so famous in the 60s. This sporty stallion was developed initially as an optional performance package for the F-85 and Cutlass midsize cars and became a model in its own right in 1968. This coincided with all A-body platform Oldsmobiles’ major restyling, curated by Stan Whelen. As a result, they received more muscular bodies with a long hood and bulging wheel arches, and hardtops with a sloping roof and C-shaped side windows.
The first automobile was developed by engineers John Beltz and Dale Smith in response to the successful Pontiac Tempest GTO. It entered production in April 1964 as a high-performance option package for the Cutlass and F-85 series, derived from the B09 Police Apprehender Pursuit. For an additional $285, the customer received a 310 hp 5.4-liter V8 330 engine, a Muncie M20 4-speed manual transmission, a 3.36:1 rear axle, heavy-duty suspension with anti-roll bars, and larger brakes. At the end of the 60s. American youth were already buying these types of muscle cars, and the new “sportsman” was nicknamed “Youngmobile”. It was hitting the sales. Also, there were modified versions by Hurst Performance Research Corporation known as Hurst/Olds: these vehicles were powered by Toronado’s 7.5-litre V8 455 in W45 or W46 tuning with 390 hp, Turbo Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission with console-mounted Hurst Dual-Gate manual shifter, front disc brakes, reinforced suspension, and walnut instrument panel. The body was painted in Peruvian Silver with black stripes, while the cylinder block and the inner surface of the front fenders were painted bright red.
Source: Mecum Auctions
The beefy mid-size Oldsmobile body with sloping roof pillars and split twin headlights was a perfect fit for the high-performance model. It was nicknamed “Youngmobile” for its popularity in the youth market. Sales of the model in 1968 were 33,607 units, 515 of them (459 hardtops and 56 coupes) were modified by Hurst Performance Research Corporation. In 1968, all General Motors models received new bodies, with a wider base. The Oldsmobile 442 was no exception. It received a 345hp engine and the 442 became a separate model from 1968 to 1971. The top speed was advertised as 115 mph (185 km/h). The factory automobile had a 6.6-liter V8 400 engine with a bronze-colored block. In the basic version, it gave out 325 hp. with automatic transmission and 350 hp. with a 3 or 4-speed manual. Also available as an economical version of the Turnpike Cruiser with a 2-barrel carburetor and reduced compression ratio, with a power of 290 hp. The most powerful (360 hp) was the Oldsmobile 442 W30 with the Force-Air system – two air intakes in the front bumper and hoses going from them to the carburetor.
As the most stylish representative of the sports car family, the 1968 Oldsmobile 442 appeared in iconic films and music videos by famous artists. So, in Justin Bieber’s Boyfriend music video, the main character performed by the singer rides on a black 442 of 1968 release.
Engine V 8
Horsepower 375 HP (276 KW) @ 4600 RPM
Torque 678 Nm/500 ft-lb/3600 RPM
Engine Location Front Drive Type RWD
Weight 3580 lbs | 1623.861 kg
Transmission 3,4-step automatic
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