What does 442 stand for? Offered a fuel saving package

What does 442 stand for? One of the most controversial topics that come to mind when talking about classic muscle cars is the Oldsmobile 442. Some say it is one of the worst cars on the planet. In contrast, others say it is one of the best, especially considering cost differences, such as the same-year Corvette or Mustang.

No matter which side of the fence you are on, the Oldsmobile 442 was a one-of-a-kind car known for its exceptional handling and the gross power that some engines installed in them could push out. Let’s take a closer look at this fantastic car that has received a bad wrap for countless years.

What Does 442 Stand For?

The “Olds 442” refers to the Oldsmobile 442. Its name comes from its unique design — a four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission and dual exhausts. This style created a powerful, balanced vehicle that was one of the premier muscle cars of the day.

What does 442 stand for

In later years, the design changed, as designers opted instead for a four-speed automatic transmission. Though it was different from its original design, it still reflected the 442 name.

The True Meaning Of 4-4-2

Depending on who is asked, the true meaning of 4-4-2 may differ, but all are correct because the designation has changed throughout the years. At first, it was said to mean a 4-barrel carburetor, 4-speed transmission, and dual exhaust. In 1965 the designation was changed because the car came with a three-speed transmission.

It became the car known as the 4-4-2 because of the 400 cubic inch engine under the hood, the 4-barrel carburetor, and the dual exhaust. In 1985, the designation again changed due to the changes in the car’s design.

The 4-4-2 changed to mean 4-speed automatic transmission, 4-barrel carburetor, and dual exhaust. The final generation changed the meaning one last time, a 4-cylinder engine, 4 valves per cylinder, and 2 camshafts, effectively ending the popularity of the Oldsmobile 4-4-2.

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The W30 Package Was The Top End 442

The W30 package that could be added onto the base model Olds 442 upgraded the already muscular car into one that was better. The engine parts were matched according to the blueprints produced for the car, dubbed as “Select Fit” engine parts by the Oldsmobile designers.

The package also included upgrades to the camshaft, low-restriction dual exhausts, a performance-calibrated four-barrel carburetor, a battery relocated into the trunk, and a cold-air induction system. It was the version that won the 1966 NHRA stock drag racing trophy.

Produced To Compete Solely With Pontiac GTO

Throughout history, the one thing that has always stood true is that when a carmaker designs something new, it is to compete with the all the other carmakers. That is not the case with the Oldsmobile 442.

It was designed for one sole purpose: to take out the Pontiac GTO. During the ’60s, Pontiac and Oldsmobile did not care much about the other carmakers because they were in the midst of an internal competition to see who had the best designs.

The First Year Did Not Have The 400 Big Block

The original car, the first to come off the production lines, did not have the 400 Chrysler engine under the hood. In fact, the base-level car came stock with a small 5.4-liter V-8 with a larger intake installed, with a four-barrel carburetor sitting on top.

What does 442 stand for

It was considered to be a conservative attempt to make some muscle by using the “B09 Police Apprehender Pursuit Option.” This Mopar engine could push out around 310 horsepower, which was 35 horses less than what the big block 400 brought to the table.

1968 Brought On The Hurst/Olds 442

The competition within the GM ranks continued into 1968 when a partnership was made with Hurst to help Oldsmobile go around a big rule by Chevrolet. That rule was that only the Corvette could have an engine bigger than the 400. Otherwise, buyers would opt for lower-priced muscle cars.

Hurst helped Oldsmobile create a true muscle car with 7.5-liter Rocket V-8. It was outside the rules of Chevy, but since Hurst was the major contributor to the engine and drivetrain, Oldsmobile had effectively gone around the rules to produce a much-needed GM muscle car.

1970 Olds 442 Upgraded To 455 Big Block

The 1970 Oldsmobile 442 is said to be the pinnacle of the muscle car world for Olds. It was the year when the base model 442 received the 455 Big Block. GM had finally lifted the engine restrictions, so all the carmakers under its wing could take off and compete with each other.

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The Pontiac GTO was built with one of three 6.6-liter V-8s, while the Oldsmobile 442 went with the 7.5-liter Rocket that had made a name for itself the year before.

In 1972, The 442 Began To Lose Its Muscle

As with all the muscle cars in the early to mid-1970s, the Oldsmobile 442 became underpowered compared to what consumers were used to. Underpowered because of the new regulations and restrictions that the local and federal governments had implemented.

The 442 still had the large Rocket V-8, but it only pushed out 210 horses, which was back to the amount the original engines had before the Rocket V-8 was used. 1972 was truly the beginning of the end for the Olds 442.

1975 Was The End Of The True Dual Exhausts

Continuing from the insurance rate increases and the emissions regulations from the early ‘70s, the Oldsmobile 442 received its first catalytic converter. The converter was a portion added into the exhaust system that was designed to remove carbon emissions to a safer level.

What does 442 stand for

This required two things from the 442. One was that engines had to be equipped to handle unleaded fuel rather than regular. Second, since the exhaust had to flow into one catalytic converter, the dual exhaust that came straight out was a thing of the past.

1976 Retired The 455 Rocket

1976 was a sad year for 442 enthusiasts because it was the year Oldsmobile retired the well-loved 455 Rocket V-8. The following years offered a smaller 405 Rocket, which was nothing close to the power that the 455 put out.

The market simply did not have room for a big engine that guzzled gas, put out a substantial amount of harmful emissions, and produced little power when the new regulations were met. The 1976 Oldsmobile 442 is the last of its kind, giving way to the upcoming generations that eventually killed the car.

Sixth Generation Killed The Olds 442

The sixth and last generation of the car ended the prestige run of the Olds 442. The V-8 had been swapped out in the earlier generation, but in 1990 the once great muscle car lost every bit of appeal.

The carmaker decided to downgrade the motor down to a four-cylinder, which was their first attempt at a small, performance-based engine that was good on fuel. The engine was good for the first attempt, but it failed to gain a following, leading to the final demise of the Oldsmobile 442.

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Offered A Fuel Saving Package

One of the reasons it became popular (relatively speaking) was actually the very thing that has long been viewed as the antithesis of everything that muscle cars are about; good mileage.

Known as the W32 package, it made use of the ram air system on a detuned engine, producing a fairly effective economy version of the 442.

If The Battery Is In The Trunk It Is Faster

Like most muscle cars back then, there were quite a few different options and performance packages to choose from.

The cars that got the W30 package are the ones to look out for, they got a proper tune with their 455 cubic inch big block (why not 442?), ram air, and a couple of sweet-looking snorkels. They were forced to relocate the battery to make way for the ram air tubes.

Another Victim Of the Malaise Era

50 years on, it is easy to say that the end of the muscle car era was something of a tragedy, but back then it was a necessity if manufacturers wanted to still make money.

For the 442, its brief moment in the sun was over only three years after its birth, 1971 was the last model year of the only real 442s, with Oldsmobile reverting back to it being a package for the Cutlass for the 1972 model. It was the best and will always be the best Oldsmobile, thanks in part to GM putting them out to pasture many moons ago.

FAQs

How Much Is an Oldsmobile 442 Worth?

The value of the Olds 442 is different based on the year of the car. The more classic versions, for example, will likely go for more because they have boosted performance and historic qualities. Some may go for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A 1970 Oldsmobile 442 is worth quite a bit since enthusiasts often regard this as the peak of performance of the Oldsmobile. Other models, such as the 1968 Hurst/Olds, are highly sought-after due to their limited production.

How Much Power Is in the Olds 442?

An Oldsmobile 442 varied in power over the years before hitting a wall due to fuel-efficiency standards. At its peak, the Oldsmobile 442 was putting out 370 horsepower with its W-30 option. The zero to 60 for the Oldsmobile 442 hovered around six seconds.

During this time, some companies may have downplayed the actual power of the engine — this 442 might’ve had over 400 horsepower.

Was The Oldsmobile 442 A Fast Car?

Depending upon the year of the car being discussed, the Olds 442 was fast or slow. Let’s take the 1970 model that was considered to be the fastest Oldsmobile ever produced. This one had the 455 Rocket under the hood that could pounce from 0 to 60 in a mere 5.8 seconds, which is still decent by today’s standards.

Above is information about What does 442 stand for? that we have compiled. Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of Offered a fuel saving package Thank you for reading our post.

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