Named after its four-barrel, four-speed manual transmission, and dual exhausts, the 1970 Oldsmobile 442 was undoubtedly the brand’s hot muscle machine. The 442 was based on the Cutlass and shared the same platform with the Chevy Chevelle SS and the Pontiac GTO, also hot muscle cars in their own right.
The 1970 Oldsmobile 442 houses a 455-cubic inch big-block V8 engine in order to keep up with the horsepower arms race going on during that era. The engine on the 1970 442 can produce power up to 365 hp and a torque of 500 lb-ft. The W30 variant of the 442 could even produce up to 370 hp.
With its revised body style, the 1970 442 was awarded pacing duties at the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) Indianapolis 500 race in 1970. The car received several praises form motoring magazines. Motor Trend said that the 442 is ‘probably one of the most identifiable cars’ in the GM franchise.
The W30 option of the 1970 Oldsmobile 442 has a fiberglass hood equipped with functional air scoops and a low-restriction air cleaner. It also features an aluminum intake manifold, and special cylinder heads, camshaft, distributor, and carburetor. For an additional $23, optional rear shoulder seatbelts may be added to your W30 1970 442.
The 1970 442 had several available options. General Motor’s Variable–ratio power steering - the N47 - was made available for this model. You may also opt for a console-mounted Hurst Dual/Gate shifter if you choose the Turbo Hydra-matic transmission for the 442. An aluminum differential housing and cover - the W27 - was also made available for potential 1970 442 owners. Moreover, all 442s which housed V8 engines were equipped with GM’s newly-developed Positive Valve Rotators for 1970s to increase the engine valve life. Two W30 442-equipped Vista Cruisers were specifically produced by special order. These units were designed specifically to their owners’ requirements, little of which is known to the public.
The W30 1970 Oldsmobile 442 clocks in a speed of 102 mph on the quarter mile test in 14.2 seconds. However, its top speed for a quarter mile test was 13.7 seconds in a run conducted by Oldsmobile engineers on the same car with a freshly tuned engine. It should also be noted that the car can hit 60 mph in less than 6 seconds, a rare achievement for a car produced in the 1970s. The 1970 442 model runs on a four-speed manual transmission and 3.91:1 rear gears.
Hollywood actor James Garner raced a 1970 Oldsmobile 442 at the NORRA Mexico 1000 before he hit the silver screens. His 442, dubbed the Goodyear Grabber, was sponsored by Goodyear tires. The car was built by NORRA Mexico racing guru, Vic Hickey. Garner won six races in his two-year NORRA Mexico 1000 stint with the Goodyear Grabber. The car was restored and sold sometime ago, but it resurfaced in 2009 when current Hickey Racing owner, Ron Johnson, bought the car for $1000 from a seller who, admittedly, had no idea what the car was. After confirming that it was the Goodyear Grabber, Johnson worked on completing the car in time for the 2009 NORRA Mexico 1000 race.
The only one ever built 1968 Olds FWD Fouranado Oldsmobile 442
We're looking at a 1968Oldsmobile FWD Fouranado Olds 442. In 1968Hurst and Oldsmobile were in the first year of the Hurst/Olds program. One of the Oldsmobile Engineers asked the Hurst Team to assist in the build of an experimental vehicle, the FWD Olds 442., and here it is.
We’re talking with the Owner Fred Mandrick. Fred’s had this car since 2012. The previous Owner had the car for 42 years! This car was in the front, or the “featured car” in 2013 at the Muscle Car and Corvette National ( MCACN ). Fred shares he first saw the car when taking to a gentleman who was putting a Hurst / Olds History book together. There was a picture of this “barn find” Front Wheel Drive ( FWD ) car and he when and negotiated a deal for the car. He restored the car completely back to its original condition.
Is this the most sought-after Muscle Car ever made? Chrysler workers only put 11 of these Hemicuda convertibles together back in ‘71, and the breakdown of options and colors puts this as one of 2 US delivered cars that were built with the 426 HemiV8 and 4-speed manual transmission.
The 1965 Buick Skylark power option is called the Grand Sport with the largest engine in the GM arsenal allowed for intermediate-sized cars. The engine size allowed at the time was 400 cubic inches, but the Grand Sport actually had a 401-cubic-inch (6.57L) V8, which produced 325 hp (242 kW) and had the moniker “nailhead.” The option was a big hit in 1965 and ’66.
In 1967, the Grand Sport became a new model and along with it came the GS 340 and the GS California. All three are available in a two-door hard-top or coupe with upscale badging and trim. The 340-cubic-inch (5.57L) engine produced 260 hp (194 kW). The power option was a newly designed 400-cubic-inch engine rated low at 340 hp, which kept insurance premiums down. The 1968 model came with a bit larger basic equipment 350-cubic-inch small-block (5.7L).
The 1968 and ’69 models came in a convertible and in a hard-top style, as well. They came equipped, if you liked, with a Rochester four-barrel on the intake of the 400-cubic-inch with the still-underrated horsepower placed at 340. The compression ratio on the stock engine was 10.25:1, which allowed it to run on regular or premium fuel.
The three-speed transmission, the basic option, complements the motor. You could have chosen the three-speed turbo Hydra-Matic 400 automatic transmission, possibly the finest transmission ever made, or a Hurst “dual-gate” shifter and linkage on the four-speed; both options mount in a console. The optional transmissions had duel exhaust pipes included in the package. The price was high compared to the competitions’ lesser cars, but in 1969 Buick stepped it up a notch with the “stage one option,” but this great car was not a big seller. The Grand Sport 350 outlasted the other two models, but the company shelved it in 1975 because of its high base price and replaced it with the Grand Sport 231.
The GS 455 in 1970 dropped the 400 in favor of a base 455-cubic-inch V8 putting out 350 hp (260 kW) at 2800 rpm. With the Stage 1 trim power option, the engine puts out 360 hp (260 kW) at the low 2800 rpm line.
All American engines were rated with a gross horsepower rating prior to the 1972 model year, but both engines are most likely rated lower than they actually could be due to insurance prices and existing regulations. With perfect timing and a carburetor tuned precisely, objective tests rated the 360 hp engine at 381.7 actual horsepower. This stage 1 option has a hot cam, higher compression, unique cylinder heads, with larger intake and exhaust valves. The automatic transmission was available with a crisper shift or a Muncie M-22 four speed. This car rated as faster than any of the Chrysler Hemis, and this has been an ongoing controversy over the years among muscle car buffs.
There was also a very rare stage 2 dealer option available, and there is little documentation available on this rare engine option, but it is a racing-equipped GS 455. Very few ever made it onto the streets.
The GSX Stage 1 was the high-performance offer starting in 1970, and it came with the 455 big-block as standard equipment. The only option offered is a four-barrel. The 1970 came in Saturn yellow and Apollo white, but in 1971, the car had six colors. The GSX came with a striking black lengthwise stripe outlined with red pinstriping over the rear spoiler.
There's a tachometer mounted on the hood with a black front spoiler, as well. The bucket seats, floor shifter, quick ratio steering, wide oval tires, front and rear sway bars were all included in the package. The options were standard or automatic transmissions.